THE POPULAR REBELLION IN IRAN
nota publicada en: https://prensaobrera.com/politicas/40737-
Though they had surprised even most of the observers, the popular uprisings in Iran, during last week, were potentially inscribed in the crisis of the political regime which has developed for almost two decades. The nationalist orientation of the Ayatollahs’ regime and its clashes with imperialism derived in a policy of economical autarchy which has rapidly exhausted its possibilities and provoked a stop in the development of the productive forces. Unemployment and inflation assumed levels every time higher, and even of a catastrophic range for the poorest mass of population. The exit to ‘populism’ and the economical liberalization became the crashing stone between the majority of the bourgeoisie and the state’s apparatus controlled by the clerical cliques and the military apparatus (the revolutionary guard). This crisis gave place to popular uprisings in 2009, and to successive political changes, which gave the formal victory to the ‘renovator’ or ‘liberal’ group. In 2009, the uprising agenda was occupied by a political agenda with strong laic component –incompatible, ultimately, with the theocratic regime. In iran, a council of ayatollahs designates most of parliamentary charges, and commands the armed forces and the security ones, that is to say the country works as an autocracy with constitutional ornaments and pays, in consequence, the whole maintenance cost of this parasutic caste.
The electoral victory of the liberals in two occasions did not gave place, nevertheless, to any regime modification –neither with the present president, Rouhani, re-elected last may with the 57% of the votes.
The ‘liberal’ exit to ‘populist’ inflation and stagnation carried along, as in the whole world, a policy of ‘adjustment’ and ‘economical realism’ (fares raising and consumption subsidies withdrawal), which aggravated the popular misery. The expectation of obtaining international financing and investments remained frustrated, in spite of that expectation was the counterpart promised by the United States, the European Union, Russia and China, for the renunciation, by Iran behalf, to prosecute with its nuclear development. Iran needs a hundred billion dollars to keep its present production level. Economical sanctions against Iran were lifted in a very scarce manner; Trump has adopted new sanctions, violating the agreement, and even threatening with penalties to French’s Total oil company, because of the agreements it has signed with Iran. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates, on the other hand, had unleashed a violent attack against Qatar, because of the investments this emirate share with Iran in the most important gas deposit of the planet, and they’re developing a war plan, in agreement with Israel and the United States, to destroy Iran’s influence in Yemen and Lebanon. The new Saudi hierarch reached even to kidnap the Lebanon prime minister, to impose an eviction of Hezbollah from Lebanon government. Trump has not retributed Iran for the role that it has played in the Isis defeat in Iraq, and now in the partial disarm of the Iraqi Shiite militias; neither the ‘pacification’ of Syria, which allowed Northamerican military intervention to get off the hook. The Iranian events pose not only an extraordinary political crisis, but an international political crisis. The spark that set fire to the prairie was the raise in public services fares and the price of the eggs, and the negligence towards the social disasters produced by several earthquakes. The petrol fare has risen, which will manifest into more misery. Also lay-offs had been produced because of companies’ closures, also road blockings and companies occupations. Several banks and non-regulated financial ‘entities’, which are run by sectors of the State’s apparatus had gone into bankruptcy, as well. There had been savings and deposits confiscation. It is being warned in the economical field, a principle of collapse with a range still not determinable. The protest movement does not recognize a working-class leadership, but petrol workers have not pronounced themselves yet.
The uprising started in Mashhad, fief of the ‘populist’ oppositor Rouhani, who encouraged the first steps of the rebellion, but whom lost control of it right away. The flame spreaded inmediately to the rest of the country. This rebellion diverges itself from the uprisings of 2009, on important aspects: its base is the most poorer population, not the middle class; the economical claims occupy a larger place; they constitute an attack to the regime, but including the ‘liberal’ government of ‘permanent reform’; it lacks of a political leadership previously established.
Rouhani pretended, at the beginning, to control the movement with promises of ‘corrections’ –Macri’s way. The clerical leaders ordered a repression limited to security forces. The ‘reformists’ and the ‘conservatives’ or ‘populists’ has closed lines, with the conciusness that any crack, in this stage, would give a sign to the revolution. The masses in rebellion had passed from economical grievance to political claim, with slogans against the regime as a whole. They make responsible the ayatollahs’ council and its military apparatus of hoarding the national wealth in expense of the people. By this means, the ‘confessional’ sector of the population has turned into the vector of the struggle for the republic –non islamic, i.e. laic. This happens in the most politizised country in the Middle East, with an important revolutionary tradition (1953, against CIA coup; 1979, the revolution that overthrown monarchy).
Given the experience picked up from the crushing of Arab revolutions of 2011, some see the hand of imperialism in all this. After Trump’s support, Netanyahu and the Saudi Bin Salman, some consider it a long prepared complot. But, as it’s explained by a specialist not to be suspected at all of sympathizing with the regime, “the Iranians has supported its country intervention in Syria and Iraq. After the take of Mosul, the Islamic State had threatened with invading Mashhad”, the cradle of the rebellion in course. The slogans against the military apparatus obbey to corruption, not to an opposition for the international policy (Le Monde, 1/3). The ‘support’ from Trump and its minions reinforce the national independence sentiment, and constitutes essentially a political provocation against the rebellion, even against the governments of the European Union, which has limited to claim the Iranian government ‘the defense of human rights’.
The question of the political leadership of this rebellion will be digged with the development of events. The regarding prognostic could only be conditional; the incoditional support for the actions for the popular claims and the rejection of repression, should not be confused with support to a political leadership we don’t know. The regime must operate a turn in the economical policy, not to fall in a mortal impasse. There is the chance, though, that the clerical apparatus search to use the repression to liquidate differences with the ‘reformism’ –i.e. to produce a coup. There will be a new development of the international crisis, given that the Iranian events are attributed to the rupture, by Trump, of the block which negotiated the political-economic-nuclear agreement with the present Iranian government.
It is clear that it is opening, in Iran and in the whole Middle East, a new political phase, which will re-pose all matters that couldn’t been solved by the crushing of the Arab revolutions.
LEER VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: “LA REBELIÓN POPULAR EN IRÁN”