Why Iran’s protests today are more robust than in 1999
Christian Science Monitor / Christa Case Bryant
09-Jul-2009 (one comment)

Thursday’s rally broke a nearly two-week stretch of quiet after a series mass protests against the official June 12 election results. This resurgence heightens speculation that this is a movement that will not be easily quelled – even by the state’s heavy hand.This uprising marks the “most profound challenge” to the Iranian regime since the 1979 revolution that brought it about, says veteran journalist and Iran expert Robin Wright.The Monitor made a similar statement at the time of the 1999 protests, which ended without bringing about real change. But whereas those protests included only one sector of society, this movement is much more diverse, says Ms. Wright.“In 1999, the movement … was a body without a head, without a strategy and without a cause that could mobilize other sectors of society,” says Wright, now a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson center in Washington.By contrast, she points out, this movement is driven by a diverse coalition including two former presidents, a former prime minister, the Islamic world’s most politically active women, ethnic minorities, sanctions-strapped businessmen, taxi drivers, famous filmmakers, and members of the national soccer team. Such coalitions were a key part of the three major changes in 20th-century Iran, including the 1905-11 constitutional revolution, the 1953 Mossadeq period, and the 1979 revolution. But Wright cautions ... >>>

Shifteh Ansari

A diverse coalition challenges the heavy hand

by Shifteh Ansari on

Iranians have grown and learned a lot since 1999.  What happened in Tehran between July 1999 and June 2009 was just a matter of time and the rest of this movement which is inevitable, will also happen in its due time.  Though it might look that way at times, Iran will never go back to the safe haven for the dictators that it was.  Time will tell.