Iran chaos reflects US’ declining authority

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/2 23:23:39

The chaos in Iran is spreading. Opinions differ as to whether it will evolve into another color revolution of the Middle East. The US has been the most active Western country in publicly supporting protesters in Iran, with President Donald Trump taking the lead by posting tweets every day. Washington is interfering in the internal politics of Iran.

Many non-Islamic countries do not admire Iran's system, but most countries in the world respect the internal affairs of Iran. The international community should not encourage Washington's brazen interference with Iran's domestic affairs. Especially when the West is accusing China of infiltrating some Western countries and interfering with their freedom of speech, the Western world should distance itself from Washington's interfering acts.

How Iran solves the crisis should be determined on its own. Teheran can ignore Washington's stance and make choices that benefit the country and its people most. The Iranian government has adopted a relatively mild approach toward the protesters so far. President Hassan Rouhani said government bodies must provide a "space for criticism," but warned protesters that violence was unacceptable. Even Western opinion cannot find fault with such an attitude.

The US is instigating protesters to confront the government. If the protests turn into a violent revolution, perhaps Washington will support those demonstrators unconditionally.

It is uncertain how the demonstrations in Iran will evolve. The causes of the demonstrations this time are the soaring prices and high unemployment rate. Unlike the 2009 protests against the presidential election fraud, the political demands of people this time are dispersed. Both secular and religious forces exist in Iran, and the politics of the country sways between the two. The events in Iran are not as easy as the West defines them.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the drastic changes of Eastern Europe, color revolutions took place in a number of countries. But no matter whether it was in Central Asia or the Middle East, none were deemed successful. Today, the moral appeal of color revolutions is not as strong as it used to be, and many developing countries maintain a high vigilance against them.

Iran did not adopt a heavy-handed approach in dealing with the protests. It remains to be seen if this shows the country's political maturity. At least some Iranian people expressed their opinions and sentiments through the protests, and it is believed Teheran will feel them.

Iran is the biggest external ally of Shiite forces in the Arab world. Its involvement in the affairs of Syria, Yemen and Palestine has cost it dearly. Iran was not part of the Islamic world before the Arab Empire conquered Persia. Whether Iran will detach itself from religious conflicts in the Middle East will have a profound influence on the region's geopolitics.

Anyway Washington is less authoritative in defining world affairs than in previous years, which is proved by the current chaos in Iran.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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