Asharq Al-Awsat, By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Friday, 12 May 2016
As the US President complained to Russian Foreign minister over Iran’s attitude and the importance of suppressing it, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was publicly warning citizens that “they want to change Iran’s attitude and this means changing our regime”.
Tehran is undergoing an internal concern of change and Khamenei was right when he described the change of the regime’s attitude as dangerous on the state. Change is a tough process but it is the bitter medicine because the regime is old on the level of ideas and not years – the regime fits the Cold War period but not the age of competing markets.
He sees that danger lies in politicians who praise the people and grant them development and change promises during elections. The supreme leader expresses rejection, “we will not change,” and ignores the change of circumstances, succession of generations and the rise of ambitions.
Candidates want to gain electors’ support and they promise of positive change – which is rejected and seen as dangerous by the regime guards.
There are world powers and region countries also complaining that Iran did not change. It still has the same policy established by Khomeini – at the beginning of his term – the policy of revolutions and wars in the region. For this reason, he established and supported local groups.
He built a network of agents that do filthy actions on his behalf. It started with hijacking airplanes’ operations, kidnapping and killing diplomats and academics and attempting to control local authorities in the targeted countries. This is Iran’s policy until today.
When the US administration complained over the Iranian attitude, it was complaining over a situation that has been there for a while. It is the reason behind chaos and tension in the region. Pressure put on Iran’s political regime is increasing to change its attitude and cope with the new world.
In fact, the greatest danger does not come from US or regional enemies but from the Iranian interior.
Tehran’s authorities are worried that elections might go out of their hands just like in 2009, although the political process is already designed in the official framework, whether through allowing the pro-regime only to run for the elections, limiting electoral letters or even controlling the media and sorting ballots.
The challenges that the old regime in Tehran is facing are represented in rejecting to deal in a realistic manner with the change of generations. Majority of the world’s regimes have changed and are coping with their surroundings.
China, for example, maintained its regime but changed its methods – it let go the ideological legality and adopted the recent modern administration and the legality of the economic achievement. Vietnam – the most famous country to fight an ideology – changed and opened up to the world even on the level of enmity with the US.
Iran should learn from Arab regimes that refused to change and then collapsed, starting from Saddam in Iraq to Qaddafi in Libya, Saleh in Yemen and Assad who is suffering in Syria.
This strictness in ideology, political demagogy and the centralism of the security and military project will lead Iran to collapse. It will suffer foreign crises for adopting wars’ projects in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and for its support to extremist armed religious groups in Bahrain, Pakistan and others.
Also, the internal condition in Iran can’t be controlled by the authority of religious men who object over the youth’s ambitions; the majority of population. Candidates tried to attract Iranian voters by openness’ promises but Khamenei called them not to open this door.
This electoral conflict unveils the social and mental changes and reveals expectations of the Iranian people that the regime is trying to put an end for.