According to an Italian-Iranian professor, a revolution could come in Iran

According to an Italian-Iranian professor, a revolution could come in Iran
According to an Italian-Iranian professor, a revolution could come in Iran
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“Tehran is not a protest, but a real revolution.” An Italian-Persian professor explains why the revolt can overwhelm the regime of the ayatollahs. Despite the ferocious repression of these four months

It’s not a protest, it’s a cultural and social revolution that changes the fabric of Iranian society; I would call it a Risorgimento movement: at the head are young people, only them» – photo

Pejman Abdolmohammadi is professor of history and politics of the Middle East at the University of Trento. He was born in Italy to Persian parents and has also lived in Iran. Inevitably, his gaze on the country of origin captures original facets. The first question is the most banal, but also the most urgent: how will it end? “I cannot predict when the Iranian constitution will change. An irreversible process has certainly been set in motion which will lead to the overcoming of the current political-religious system”.

Are you saying that we are seeing the beginning of the end of the rule of the ayatollahs? “It is the end of the political legitimacy of the Islamic republic.”

Could the current elite make enough reforms to curb the protests? “A truly reformist breakthrough is impossible. The boys are asking for freedom and a secular state, that is, two elements foreign to the DNA of the Islamic Republic. Iran will become a democratic country, but the path could turn out to be tortuous: a period of harsh repression is possible, and perhaps it will pass through a semi-authoritarian formula like the Russian one”.

Among Western observers the opinion prevails that Iranian boys do not have great chances and that it is in any case a protest that concerns a minority of the country. «Often the judgment of the West, and above all
of a certain milieu liberal-progressive, does not grasp the true matrix of this revolt: the twentieth-century categories of right and left in this case are obsolete. Young Iranians have the spirit of Giuseppe Mazzini’s Young Italy. It is a revolt that has been going on for 100 days, in big cities as well as in smaller towns, and also affects the less well-off classes. The courage of the boys, and their martyrdom, has also made it transgenerational: the parents and grandparents of the young people who are now taking to the streets in the streets have largely sided with them».

Could I retort that the Conservatives won in the last election in Iran? «In Iran there are elections, but they are controlled. It doesn’t matter that the Conservatives won. What is important instead is that, when the reformists won, the changes were minimal. This is why today even moderate voters believe that the only possibility is to overcome the Islamic republic».


Why, after 100 days, no leaders have emerged? “There are no leaders or a political category to which they belong. Historically we know that the presence of a leader and a strong idea accelerate events. On the other hand, the lack of a head is a factor that makes it more difficult to put down the revolt. However, it is certain that the leaders, and the new ruling class of the country, will emerge within this movement of young people. Adults, even those who opposed the Islamic Republic, and perhaps live abroad today, have little say. We are in the presence of a cultural and generational revolution. To understand this aspect, one should think, for example, of 1968».

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Russia has clever intelligence, could it help Iran to disarticulate the protest? “It’s already happening, but the wave has such strength that it will be difficult to stop it. The open clash between the liberal demands of the young and the authoritarian ones of the Islamic republic is the mirror of the clash that exists today between Russia, China and Iran and the liberal nations».

The children of Iranian elites live in the West and exhibit a lavish lifestyle on social networks… “It is a Source of great anger: the same people who impose a strict code of behavior on young Iranians allow their children to completely disregard those rules”.

Andrew Greco


The article is in Italian

Tags: ItalianIranian professor revolution Iran