The 2011 Arab Awakening had a Persian beginning, in Iran’s Twitter Revolution of 2009. That uprising against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rigged presidential election was brutally beaten back by the clerical regime. But it’s back in the streets and facing yet another crackdown. Can it topple the ruling ayatollahs? In the long run, yes.
The prospects for democracy in Iran are much stronger than elsewhere in the region. But for now, the Green Movement faces daunting challenges…
“As the desperation of the regime increases, so does its penchant for violence,” says Payam Akhavan, professor of law at McGill University and an expert on his native Iran.
“Its obsessive shows of force — parading missiles in military spectacles or destroying the nation’s youth in torture chambers — is nothing but a sign of its profound weakness. The will of the people will ultimately prevail. The question is, at what cost?”