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The coming crisis
Iran is not at a boiling point -- yet.

By Reza Shabdean
January 29, 2004

Now-a-days, everyone and their "amoo" is talking about Iran and it's "explosive" nature. "It will crack any day," they say. However, I believe most Iranian-Americans as well as almost all Iranians in Iran know this is not true. Iran is not at a boiling point. What most seem to forget about this entire "Majlis Crisis" is that it is the regime itself that is conflicting with itself, not the people versus the regime.

While in Iran this past summer, I conversed with a wide array of people and the same conclusion always came up; Iran would not be an Islamic Republic right now if not for Khatami.

Imagine if you will a pot. We'll name this pot Iran. Next, imagine water inside the pot, boiling, and releasing steem. We'll let that represent the people and their frustrations. Now, the pot was ready to explode when Mr. Khatami stepped in and cracked open the pot just enough so that the pot wouldn't explode. Basically, he released some tension in Iran under his banner of "reforms" by letting women move their headscarfs back a few inches and by allowing young people to hold hands in public.

However nice of a change this might have been for Iranians, it wasn't any real change. They are still not free to criticize the "rahbar" or to dare speak ill of the Islamic system. Under the facade of change, the regime has prolonged its life for, at the very least, another decade.
In more ways than one, it would be a breath of fresh air if the "conservatives" sweep the elections in late february.

Let Iran and Iranians see the true face of "Islamic Democracy", which, in all respects, is an oxymoron. Let the pressure cook up again, as it were. Hopefully, the Iranian people will not be as gullible this time. You can't fool a deer with the same ploy twice, hunters say.

The sitaution in Iran is simple. The regime employs itself into two camps, with both having the common goal of ensuring the survival of the regime. In one camp, the regime sticks to its old "conservative" ways of Islam governing every aspect of life. On the other, you have the reformists, whose main goal is to stop the inevitable insurrection. They use tactics such as false promises of reform and change while, in reality, they simply shut the people up. The entire reformist movement is simply the Islamic Republic's ugly head under a mask. It is a trick that worked all too well.

Today in Iran, a disporportionate number of the population is under the age of 25. The figure is around 70%, I believe. This same 70% of the population will one day be the motor that spins the wheels of Iran. They will run the country. It is at that time, my friends, my hamvatans, that Iran will reach the crossroads of revolution. It is then when the real crisis begins for the regime. It is then when the Rahbar's only choice will be exile or death, not whether or not to intermediate. It is then and only then when we will see real change in Iran, not a mere changing of the regime's hands from right to left or vice versa.

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By the way
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Rethinking Modernity in Iran
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