1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Plenty of false dawns before

Reader comment on item: Iran in Crisis

Submitted by Patrick (United States), Jul 24, 2002 at 11:56

Taheri's resignation is just the latest in a series of events that have challenged the hardliners for more than a decade. Going back to Ayatollah Montazeri's removal as the apparent successor to Khomeini, to Rafsanjani's fleeting attempts to modernise the political system to Khamenei's unexpected victory in 1997, the hardliners have been presented with effective challenges. Still, they are able to maintain control over important centers of power. The $64 billion question is for how long.

Dr Pipes is right to recognize something fundamental maybe happening. However we need to remember there have been plenty of false dawns before. The power of the hardliners should not be underestimated. That said, everytime they over-react to some event (such as prohibiting the publication of Taheri's letter or beating up students) they lose another piece of power and influence. They have to run out soon.

Regarding the lessons offered by Iran about Islam, I'm not sure to what extent they are transferrable to Arab countries. It is too easy for Sunni militants to dismiss Iran as a Shi'a mistake. Futhermore, it is conceivable that people in desperate economic and political situations are more amenable to militant promises of the good life. Still, the main lesson offered by Iran is that concepts such as the Velayat Faqih do not make for good public policy irrespective of the religious attractions.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Plenty of false dawns before by Patrick

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)