Atlantis wrote:I have no intention of defending the Mullah's. What I'm saying is that whatever they do, it has to be seen in view of the threat they are facing from Sunni terror, Yankee imperialism and the descendants of the Shah's regime of terror. The Shah was universally hated because he imposed a regime of terror to rob the country in the service of US imperialism.
There is discontent in most countries in the ME. In Iran that discontent is motivated by the economic hardship resulting from the US's economic warfare against Iran.
The political opposition is supported by a minority of the educated elite. The great mass of people will stay loyal to the clerics, when push comes to shove. The Iranian revolution won because it had the backing from the Mullahs. Western propaganda about Iran is as credible as the stories about Saddam's WMDs. Only fools believe it.
The neocons are still nurturing the demons of the past to prepare future aggression against Iran:
Iran crown prince predicts regime collapse as protesters ‘smell opportunity’
These are the traitors who urge young Iranian to spill their blood so that the US can once again impose a puppet regime in Tehran. Why should Iran not want to hang them?
Iran is not a liberal democracy, but it has far more legitimacy than most regimes in the ME.
The opposition has been fighting politically since the mid 90s.
After continuous banning of opposition politicians from even running in elections (Those elections you claim to be legitimate) and many being either arrested or placed under house arrest, the protests began in the street in the late 2000s.
The protests main demands were social reforms (The increasingly oppressive Islamic laws), against corruption, and demanding political rights.
After many years now with the protests and the opposition growing in size both as the younger generation is growing in number, and more collage graduates and students find themselves trapped in the system after they graduate, and as the economic conditions worsen all while the upper class becomes wealthier (This was before Trump withdrew from the deal, so don't try).
The war in Syria and the constant intervention further increased the size of the protests and the opposition due to the worsening economic conditions and increasing poverty even with the increasing size of economic resources (This was during the early stages after the nuclear deal, and when the country received the 400B dollars).
The opposition further increased as the Kurdish and Azzari independence movements (Has been around since the times of the Qajars, totally American made.) began gaining momentum with the protesters and opposition support culminating in the 2016 renewal of clashes in the northwest of the country.
Finally, the 2018-2019-present which began after even worse economic conditions brought about by :
1- The nuclear deal failing.
2- lack of social reforms.
3- The cutting down or complete removal of social welfare and aid programs.
4- The much higher degree of corruption as the opposition has been almost entirely removed from administrative positions by force.
5- The over expenditure of scarce resources on supporting outside militias all while the country is dying out internally.
This last wave of protesters joining the opposition effectively splits the population into 4 political segments:
1- The remaining pro-regime pro-Khamenei crowd, those are mainly present in Qum and Mashhad and they represent the overwhelming majority of members of the revolutionary guards and the various security agencies of the country along with filling most government and clerical positions.
Basically, Mashhad and Qum are stuffed with people who are fully integrated into the regime.
2- The reformist opposition. Those have been active since the 90s and are made up of all the various liberal (not western Liberalism), centrists, socialists, and communist parties and movements in the country along with most worker unions and a small minority of reformists clerics like Khatami.
The large majority of the leadership of this opposition is currently either under house arrest, jail, or have been killed off or simply went missing.
3- The various separatist movements in the peripheries of the country like the Kurds, Azzari Turks, Arabs, Baha'is, Balochis, Lurs and some Pashtuns in the south and Turkmen in the northeast.
4- And finally, there are the people who are pro Islamic republic but want the entire political class gone and are joining the opposition primarily to remove the corruption and as they say, clean up the country.
Although there are no official estimates, by simply counting out the ethnic groups seeking independence (around 40% of the population) and by taking the provinces that has been seeing massive anti-regime protests over the years and have continuously been a political battlefronts against the clerics, we can easily put over 65-70% of the overall population as anti-regime, and if we added the anti-corruption protesters and movements who are mainly against Khamenei's regime but not the Islamic republic, then we can easily push it up to 80-85% of the populations.