Posted by: Sam Carson | 30 March, 2007

Iran as Revolutionary State

The knee-jerk liberal and international relations junkie in me needs to see the mechanics of current affairs.  That band of nations that stretch from Cairo to New Delhi, Mogadishu up to the Fergana Valley is absolutely fascinating.  In the middle of it all, geographically and politically, lies Tehran.

I defend them quite a bit, those loons in Tehran.  Sometimes I cannot, like with their latest escapade with these British seamen.  Why would they do such a thing?  Internal propaganda is my best guess, the British government have already announced plans to leave Iraq, perhaps Tehran feel they can be seen to “chase the British out”.

Why be so belligerent and provocative?  Fred Halliday at has an excellent explanation that explains Iran’s international actions without having to plant horns and a pitchfork on them.  It has to do with the 1979 revolution in Iran, and the process of expansion that revolution must take, says he:

The Iranian revolution of 1978-79 was, as much as those of France, Russia, China or Cuba, one of the major social and political upheavals of modern history. Like its predecessors, it set out not only to transform its own internal system – for sure at a high cost in repression, wastage and illusion – but to export revolution. And this Iran did: to Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon in the 1980s and now to Palestine and, in much more favourable circumstances thanks to the US, to Iraq again. It can indeed be argued that it is the confrontation between internationalist revolutionary Iran on one side, and the US and its regional allies on the other, that has been the major axis of conflict in the middle east this past quarter of a century. By comparison, America’s war with Sunni, al-Qaida-type, militancy is a secondary affair.

And further:

A comparison could indeed be made with the Russia of the early 1930s or the China of the 1960s, and say that Iran under Ahmadinejad is now going through its “third period” or a mild replica of the “cultural revolution”.

This article is very interesting and very much recommended to those who want to understand what is happening in Tehran, without the need for the words: good and evil.

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