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Geopolitics

As Iran Protests Spread, Regime Is Busy Clinging To Power

Facing resurgent protests in several provinces, Iran's clerical regime now relies on two defenses: brute force and Western appeasement. But its days may be numbered as younger Iranians are increasingly emboldened to demand a different future.

​A man repairs a carpet in Tehran

A man repairs a carpet in Tehran, Iran

Elahe Boghrat

-Editorial-

Governing ordinarily consists of assuring the security and welfare of a population or nation, within a state or territory. Take away one element from that equation and the government in question begins to move toward failure, defeat, and perhaps its downfall.


Not every government that is toppled has necessarily failed, however, and other reasons may be at play. But a regime that cannot assure the people's basic welfare, and thus loses legitimacy, is condemned to be overthrown, in spite of the repression that may keep it in power a few years longer.

\u200bPhoto of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi shakes hand with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the capital Tehran

President Ebrahim Raisi shaking hands with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Tehran

Iranian Presidency/ZUMA

Interests in Syria and Gaza

The Islamic Republic of Iran was in this failed state from the start. Inefficacy was intrinsic to it since its inception in 1979 and in this case, you couldn't claim it gradually lost efficacy in a process of decline. Iranian society has meanwhile paid the cost of an essential dysfunctionality the regime couldn't whitewash with vapid slogans like Reconstruction, Reforms, Justice and the like.

For the Islamic Republic, the country as "homeland" does not exist.


For the current powers in Tehran, the country as "homeland" does not exist. It has shown it is more concerned with saving Syria and Gaza than the parched province of Khuzestan or other parts of Iran. And the people in its field of vision are not Iranians, but the Islamic "community" or ummah. This community, it believes, needs religious leaders whose security may be assured at the cost of the blood of common folk if need be.

The regime is an entrenched, medieval structure that has barely evolved. Even its propaganda has failed, as the declining number of its partisans indicates. Its only defenses now are the threat of violence, hanging over Iranians like a sword of Damocles, and Western appeasement.

But Iranians increasingly are shedding their fear of the repressive state, and their recurring protests might even embolden the West to take their side for a change.

Experience has led younger generations in Iran to rectify their forefathers. With evident signs of dogged and growing support for the Pahlavis, the country's exiled princes, Iranians want an end to 40 years of turmoil and instead, a future of prosperity alongside their neighbors and other nations.

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Geopolitics

North Korea And Nukes: Why The World Is Obliged To Try To Negotiate

How to handle a nuclear armed pariah state is not a simple question.

North Korea And Nukes: Why The World Is Obliged To Try To Negotiate

North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Yongsan Railway Station in Seoul

Alexander Gillespie

The recent claim by Kim Jong Un that North Korea plans to develop the world’s most powerful nuclear force may well have been more bravado than credible threat. But that doesn’t mean it can be ignored.

The best guess is that North Korea now has sufficient fissile material to build 45 to 55 nuclear weapons, three decades after beginning its program. The warheads would mostly have yields of around 10 to 20 kilotons, similar to the 15 kiloton bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

But North Korea has the capacity to make devices ten times bigger. Its missile delivery systems are also advancing in leaps and bounds. The technological advance is matched in rhetoric and increasingly reckless acts, including test-firing missiles over Japan in violation of all international norms, provoking terror and risking accidental war.

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