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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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Society

Return To Clay: Why An Ancient Building Material Is Back In Fashion

Concrete and glass are often thought of as the only building materials of modern architecture. But Francis Diébédo Kéré, the first African winner of a prestigious Pritzker architecture prize, works with clay, whose sustainability is not the only benefit.

Francis Diébédo Kéré extended the primary school in the village of Gando, Burkina Faso

Clara Le Fort

"Clay is fascinating. It has this unique grain and is both beautiful and soft. It soothes; it contributes to well-being..."

Francis Diébédo Kéré, the first African to be awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize last March, is paying tribute to clay. It's a material that he adores, which has too often been shunned and attributed to modest constructions and peasant houses. Diébédo Kéré has always wanted to celebrate "earthen architecture”: buildings made out of clay. It's a technique that has been used for at least 10,000 years, which draws on this telluric element, known as dried mud, beaten earth, rammed earth, cob or adobe.

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