Sunday, April 03, 2005

Is The Age of Revolution Over?

Robert Tait of the Sunday Herald attended the weekly Friday prayer session at Tehran University. He notes that the days of Iranians chanting "Death to America" are little more than a nostalgic throwback." But he spoke with found a couple of young people who still support the regime, saying:
whatever the lack of passion, for Ali Razayi, one of those attending... said: America stands for dictatorship, being an oppressor and wanting control. Whatever it says about Iran, people are expected to accept. ...
The young man tried to explain the absence of his fellow young people at the prayer session saying it was due to:
the No Rouz (Iranian new year) holidays a festival dating back to the country's Zoroastrian past and to the attraction of the day's football match . Still more, he said, were on pilgrimages.
Then their was Abouzar Alontazerolghaem, 25, a student and member of the hardline Basij militia who:
made no attempt to excuse his fellow age group but launched an attack on the opposition movement that many of Iran's young people have supported.

Which is the more legitimate? he asked. The people who each year come out in their hundreds of thousands in favour of the government and revolution and aren't scared to have their faces filmed?
Or those who want to call for change by marking down a cross on a secret ballot?
The young man speaks of "hundreds of thousands" who still support the regime, in a nation of 70 million? At one time millions of Iranians did come into the streets. But the revolution is over. In the last elections in Tehran, less than 15% chose to participate in their elections. Most of those participating receive some kind of financial support from the regime. Even if we accept the idea that 15% still support the regime, the regime should still be able to muster crowds in the millions. But it can't.

Soon millions will go into the streets seeking a new government and Iran will be free.