Tunisia’s Revolution: Lessons for Iran

Thus, the lessons that Iranians can draw from Tunisia’s revolution are, first, that it has had a much broader social base than the Green Movement. As I have always emphasized, unless the poor and working class openly join the democratic movement, it may not be able to succeed. Yes, the urban middle class wants freedom — political, social, cultural — but the middle class makes up only about 40 percent of the population, and it is also worried about its economic position. Recall that it was only when the workers joined the 1979 Revolution and went on strike, particularly in the oil industry, that its success was ensured. Again, this is why Mousavi has emphasized that the Green Movement needs to spread its wings and enfold every strata of the society. Subsidy cuts, high inflation, chronic unemployment, poor economic growth, and vast corruption, all exacerbated by the foreign-imposed sanctions, may act as a catalyst for the Green Movement’s future success.

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