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To Where Is Iran's Regime Leading the Nation? Up To the Wall of UK Embassy ?

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

Last Tuesday's storming of the British embassy in Tehran brought back memories of Iran's 1979 U.S. embassy attacks and subsequent hostage crisis. The crisis that ensued in 1979 and all the consequences of that act of violence had a huge impact on Iran's diplomatic standing in the international community. The sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Iran ever since have caused so many problems for the regime in Tehran and the Iranian people as well .
The embargo against Iran's aviation sector, and sanctions against Iran's oil and gas industries have seriously slowed development in the country developments and for years, have slowed the rate of industrialization .
Thirty-three years after Iran's revolution, ordinary Iranians often reminisce about Iran's pre-revolutionary period, when Reza Shah Pahlavi was still in power. Regretful images of a rapidly developing Iran that had a higher standard of living and was treated with respect by the global community, are on the minds of much of Iran's public. Of course, Iran's pre-revolution era wasn't a perfect Utopia, but for many who now compare the days of the Shah with Iran's current situation, it's not uncommon to hear them praise Iran's late King and express regret that a revolution ever happened. Even the generations born after the revolution, who never witnessed or experienced the old Iran, share in their parents' nostalgia for a more peaceful Iran .
What happened to that Iran and the civilized and hospitable people Iranians are renowned for being? Why has the nation changed so much, and where did these frightening mobs of agitators come from ?
Post-revolutionary Iran began a new era of softening its hostility towards western countries in 1997, when Mohammad Khatami was first elected president .
With Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei finally had a head of government who, unlike Mohammad Khatami and his reformist administration, would not cause trouble with talk of issues such as democracy or opening dialogue with the U.S .
As is widely known, Dr. Ahmadinejad's popular government ultimately became the administration to trouble Khamenei the most. The current government, once beloved by the supreme leader, who backed Ahmadinejad's contested re-election in 2009 -- deeming it an act of God -- is now being plotted against to ensure none of the president's allies or close aides will be able to succeed Ahmadinejad in the 2013 presidential elections
Embroiled in a clash with President Ahmadinejad and his close allies, the supreme leader is now busy trying to get his own people into Iran's next parliament, in order to succeed in making what he has termed "a little change" in Iran's constitution. The "little change" he has in mind will jeopardize democracy in Iran for good by eliminating the country's direct presidential election .
It is still unclear exactly why, for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an independent president and open relations with Western countries are equivalent to the end of Iran's Islamic Republic and the regime he inherited from Ayatollah Khomeini. Nevertheless, the supreme leader -- busy with his attempts to expand and consolidate his power -- can't see and understand the real threats surrounding Iran. If the European Union and the U.S. restrict countries from trading with Iran and investing in the development of Iran's oil and gas sectors, and cut ties to Iran's Central Bank as the UK has done, Iran's economy will be paralyzed within a month .
With sanctions on Iran's central bank, even if there are costumers for Iran's oil and gas, it will be almost impossible for any clients to make payments to Iran. To where Iran's Islamic regime leading the nation? Up to the wall of Tehran's British Embassy? The anti-riot police who sent millions of demonstrators back home and crushed their protests in 2009 clearly showed a strong capacity to control demonstrators. So how is it possible that these highly trained security forces were unable to stop a bunch of agitators from climbing up the walls of the UK's diplomatic compounds and storming in ?
These questions are not only being raised by the international community but by ordinary Iranians as well. Those who climbed and occupied the U.S. embassy's walls back in 1979 hid themselves from public life for years after. People have blamed them for all the trouble that hostage crisis created for the Iranian nation. Ayatollah Khomeini's "heroic" students are now amongst the most hated people by the public, no matter how much they have tried to change and how strongly they now criticize themselves for their misbehavior .
They have not been forgiven by the Iranian population because today a people who, before Iran's 1979 revolution, were able to travel freely throughout the world -- even granted UK visas at the airport -- must now stand in long lines behind the closed doors of embassies who treat them poorly and with much disrespect. What good is it for ordinary Iranians if their country has good relations with Uganda and Zimbabwe ?
Many members of Iran's parliament have tried to downplay and even justify the UK embassy attacks. Alaeddin Bouroujerdi, a lawmaker who is well-aware of international law and knows that the protection of foreign embassies is the responsibility of the host country, has merely referred to the law-breakers as "spontaneous angry students." On November 22, the head of Iran's parliament, Ali Larijani, told reporters the UK imposition of new sanctions against Iran wouldn't be left unanswered. "They should wait for Iran's reaction," Larijani said .
Larijani's comment looked like Iran's warning to the UK and international community that any reaction from the Islamic Republic would not be diplomatic or through active diplomacy .
In the eye of its own people and the world at large, the Iranian regime has so far expressed its anger in a very ugly and barbaric way. The picture painted on November 30th by international media depicted Iranians as a cannibalistic, scary people crawling up and inside the UK embassy .
Humiliated and assaulted by the ruling regime and its supporters, the only thing the Iranian people can now do is sit in their houses and wait to see what happens


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last update: 4/26/2017 9:47