by Khadijah Ali (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 52, No. 10, Jumada' al-Ula', 1444)
Western gloating over violent riots in the Islamic Republic of Iran is not only a sign of desperation, it will also create further blind spots in the west’s already failing policies against Tehran. In fact, the current violent riots will further legitimize and empower the Islamic system in Iran. This was evident from the massive turnout in Isfahan for the funeral of three security personnel martyred by the rioters.
Prior to delving into why this is the case, let us be clear that unlike what the western propaganda attempts to package, not all criticism in Iran is considered sedition. Also, Islamic Iran has a lot of room for public policy improvement as most other states do. The officials of the Islamic system in Iran have made this clear on numerous occasions.
Many western pundits and policy-makers formulate their understanding of the processes in Iran not through rigorous scholarly research, but via trending headlines, dubious social media posts and influential elites of the exile community, many of whom left Iran years ago. This approach creates an echo chamber and leads to the phenomenon of getting Chalabied, as happened to the regimes of George Bush and Tony Blair and their false perception of what the occupation of Iraq would look like after Saddam Hussein is eliminated.
Crescent International’s own sources inside Iran confirm that western media coverage of riots is greatly exaggerated. The rioters do not enjoy mass support. In fact, according to our sources, many ordinary people in Iran are demanding that the government take stricter measures against rioters to ensure greater public safety.
The western storyline creates delusional narratives where anti-Iran policies are formulated based on unrealistic assessment of on the ground realities. For example, the western corporate media simply pretends that there are no pro-government masses in Iran or dismisses them as crowds artificially pressured by the government to attend rallies. This spin turns into a mistaken policy foundation based on which many other flawed policies are formulated. A domino effect of flawed policies. This partly explains why an alliance of powerful countries has failed to topple the Islamic government in Iran since 1979.
Also, the western intellectual tradition takes parting from religion as “progress” due to the west’s own negative experience with their religious traditions. Western elites cannot fathom that in other societies a move towards a God-centric state system is considered progress. This arrogant position stems from the reality that western regimes lost the war of ideas in Iran in 1979 and the Iranian society opted for an Islamic governance system and has made it work.
Intellectually flawed understanding of Iran, combined with a deliberate imperialistic agenda to make up for the loss of Iran in 1979 as a western client state leads to crude propaganda of what is happening inside the country today.
Conflating rioters with those having differing views with the Islamic government in Iran is simply a western spin.
It is akin to identifying anti-racist US protestors with those protestors who stormed the Capitol Hill or attempting to portray protests after George Floyd’s murder as a movement unseating America’s two-party political oligopoly.
Would it be accurate to use the sizable truckers protest movement in Canada and define the Canadian population as anti-vaxxers or right-wing? Would it be correct to call Justin Trudeau’s government as a police state when it enacted unprecedented emergency powers to dismantle the truckers’ protests?
This sort of narrative would be immediately dismissed as classic strawman fallacy.
Also, in every state tradition altering the form of government is not a matter of simple popular will. For example, in Canada the constitutional benchmark to remove the monarchy is set so high that some legal experts consider the abolition of the archaic institution to be practically impossible.
Thus, every state system has its own redlines. The state sovereignty concept specifies that outsider powers must not interfere with internal matters of other countries. These are their own internal affairs. Unfortunately, western regimes invoke these rules only when their strategic interests are at stake.
People familiar with the history and experience of the Islamic Revolution in Iran beyond headlines and online hashtags, know that Islamic Iran has been in the state of economic, political, and military struggle since it became the only country in the region which overthrew western domination within its borders.
Iran experienced similar internal turbulences in the 1980s, at the stage of its life when the Islamic system was much more vulnerable than it is today. In the 1980s, Iran was much weaker on many fronts. Over the past few years, even its detractors have acknowledged many of the Islamic system’s economic, political, and geopolitical achievements. Therefore, the narrative that “Islamic Iran is on the ropes” is an old story, retold in a modernised way.
The rioters do not represent a political trend or a socio-political movement. At best it is a group of staunchly anti-Islamic clusters with no concrete program of struggle let alone governance. Even the more organized anti-Islamic elements enjoying western support are bitterly divided among themselves. Thus, once again on Iran’s socio-political landscape the only real political game in town is the Islamic movement. It has the backing of a critical popular mass, is united and has a diverse constituency, along with more than 40 years of experience running a state system. Forces opposing it do not have a practical plan on how to run a small rural municipality or get along with each other even at conferences.
By resorting to violence against the Islamic system, these desperate anti-Islamic clusters in Iran are fighting a losing battle. They lost the moral high ground by resorting to mob violence and do not possess the capabilities anywhere near the means that the Islamic state system possesses.
Widely documented violent methods of rioters and the western political narrative backing the riots, show that NATO regimes are trying to create a mini-Syria type situation in Iran. The assumption is that it will exhaust Islamic Iran and force it to concentrate on the internal battle instead of confronting regional neo-colonialism of western regimes and apartheid Israel.
Tehran’s rapid response against Iraq-based Western backed Kurdish terrorist groups shows that this is another miscalculation in the making.
Those with a short memory should be reminded that Islamic Iran assisted the formation of Hizbullah in Lebanon and even Afghans fighting the Soviets in the 1980s when Iran itself faced a bloody internal destabilization campaign and the western-backed full-scale invasion by Saddam Hussein’s regime. Iran will take the war to its enemies at the time of its choosing and there is nothing external powers can do to prevent it from doing so if it makes that decision.
It appears that as the western global hegemony is ending with the onset of the multipolar world order, NATO regimes are throwing all what they can to destabilize Iran internally. This exposes the west’s strategies, methods, and proxies inside Iran and essentially unmasks its internal leverages against Iran.
It is possible that Iran’s external enemies may be able to instigate prolonged disturbances inside the country, but these cannot pose a strategic threat to the Islamic system which has experienced far more difficult challenges in its revolutionary history.
Western regimes failed to topple the Syrian government that enjoys far less popular support, and limited economic and political strengths. It is an illusion to assume that what the west failed to achieve against much weaker state systems like those in Syria or Cuba, it will be able to achieve in Iran. Also, with Iran’s growing capabilities and the ongoing war in Ukraine, today Iran possesses the means to take destabilization into the western geopolitical sphere and it does not include only Ukraine, but occupied Palestine as well.
Those assuming that a few hundred rioters will achieve what western regimes failed to accomplish since 1979 are up for a rude awakening.