Parsing Iran’s ‘Momentous’ Internal Drama

Source: http://www.cfr.org/publication/19667/parsing_irans_momentous_internal_drama.html?breadcrumb=%2F

Interviewee: Karim Sadjadpour, Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org


Karim Sadjadpour, a leading Iranian analyst who worked for four years in Iran for the International Crisis Group, says that given the “unprecedented” scale of protests in Iran over the presidential election results, “it’s very difficult to see how the status quo ante could prevail no matter what happens.” However, he believes the United States should continue trying to stay out of the political infighting in Iran. “This is extremely delicate and the situation is so dynamic,” Sadjadpour says. “We clearly have to be on the right side of history here, but if we try to insert ourselves into the momentous internal Iranian drama that’s unfolding we may unwittingly undermine those whom we’re trying to strengthen.”

Q: The demonstrations and the opposition efforts to overturn the official election results in Iran continue. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved a partial recount by the Guardian Council, but opposition candidates are demanding a new vote. What do you think is going to happen over the next several days?

A:Something historic is afoot today in Iran. The scale of the protests is unprecedented. The depth of people’s sense of injustice and rage is palpable. People are continuing to bravely take to the streets, risking their lives, despite the fact that they’ve been told the Basij [Iranian paramilitary force] and Revolutionary Guards have been authorized to use force. This has not dissuaded them. The fissures we’re seeing amongst revolutionary elites are also unprecedented. It’s very difficult to see how the status quo ante could prevail no matter what happens.

Read interview in full

13 Responses to “Parsing Iran’s ‘Momentous’ Internal Drama”

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