There have been many comparisons between the Tunisia and Egypt uprisings and why Tunisians succeeded where Iranians failed. The answer is quite simple: neither Tunisia, nor Egypt, have the any of the following:
-A highly trained, brutal security force that is handpicked for ideological allegiance, and that whose members are so thoroughly brainwashed that they won’t hesitate in killing a human being for their leader. Tunisia and Egypt tried (and Egypt is trying) to quash a popular uprising using members of the military who are nothing but conscripts. That was Shah’s mistake. And as we saw in Iran back in 1979, the military joining the masses is only a matter of time.
-A highly organized intelligence apparatus whose members, again, are not only opportunistic, they are also thoroughly brainwashed, and won’t hesitate in spying on, and turning in, even close members of their family should they speak ill of the government.
-A brutal regime that ranks number one in executions worldwide on per capita basis. More than 3500 people have been executed in Iran since Ahamdinejad took power in 2005. And the numbers are only on the rise. By contrast, how many people were executed in Tunisia and Egypt in the past 5 years? Fewer than 50? The IRI knows how to instill fear in the hearts of its opponents, and so far, it has worked.
-A regime that mixes religion with its system of governance. And to make it worst, the religion is Shia Islam, which is essentially a martyrdom cult that expects its followers to endure hardship and to follow the clergy—now the heads of the government—without question. That dynamic, in and of itself, creates a large following among the devout segments of the population. Tunisia and Egypt, by contrast, were (are) one man dictatorships which invoke no such passion among the population.
-A highly organized, well funded propaganda empire that infuses religion and politics from early on in life, in elementary schools, and carries the brainwashing forward through all stages of life through various mechanisms, such as multiple radio and television stations, internet sites, newspaper. And most significantly—a highly trained, west residing cadre of pseudo- intellectual propagandists who push its line in foreign journals and internet sites by creating a sense of false victimhood for the brutal regime and putting a civilized mask on it. This, in turn, takes international support away, to some extent, from the opposition and portrays the regime as a victim of some sort of a conspiracy. Neither Tunisia nor Egypt come anywhere close in the propaganda arena.
-A self manufactured list of external enemies that it can always point fingers at, create a false threat of imminent attack and then: 1) silence the opposition, and 2) rally the gullible around the flag. Neither Tunisia nor Egypt had (have) that element.
In my opinion, those are the reasons why Tunisians succeeded in their uprising, and the Egyptians seems to be on their way for success, and Iranians failed…at least so far.