Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
NOT ALL ROSY IN IRAN
The Syrian uprising is roiling Tehran. Syria is the country's major ally. That is the reason that after cheering demonstrators in Tunisia, Egypt,Yemen, Bahrain and Libya, Iran blames Jordan and Saudi Arabia for Assad's troubles. An Arab uprising in the oil producing Iranian region is always a threat. The recent Explosions in three oil pipes in Qum could be harbinger of things to come.
The Arab Iranian cold war is heating up: Iran expelled three Kuwaiti diplomats in retaliation for similar Kuwaiti action. We need to 'reveal the Iranian file insists the Arab Times:
If Iran had any sense or wisdom, it wouldn’t have said ‘we will burn US bases in the region if any aircraft launches an attack against us.’ Its latest transgression involves the operating of a spy group in which three officers of the Iranian embassy in Kuwait were found involved. After all this, Iranian President Ahmadinejad has the cheek to ask ‘why will we spy against Kuwait?’ Thanks to heaven and the efforts of the State Securitymen who discovered the spy group which is said to be one of the seven of its kind. We wonder how many such groups are operating in the Gulf region.
Iran tried to interfere in the affairs of Bahrain and Lebanon through its representative Hassan Nasrallah who delivered a speech during the unrest in Bahrain but remained mute during Dera’a events. He did not allow his spoiled mass media to even cover the events.
Perhaps the Iranian chief of stuff had such wisdom when that Iran is friends with all nations including Israel. Ahmadinejad just fired him despite his being his in law.
Optimists such as Dariush Zahedi and Hamed Aleaziz argue that Iran's green movement could go blue because times are tough in Iran regardless of the high price of oil.
For the average Iranian, times are tough. The country's economy is weak, unemployment has skyrocketed to 14.6 percent officially (real numbers are surely higher), and inflation is creeping up as the government cuts subsidies on energy, food, and other consumer goods. So stark is the contrast between the government line and reality that, for the first time, Ahmadinejad's perpetual optimism is losing — rather than winning — supporters.
The president's claim about hunger in Iran went down particularly poorly with his base among the lower class. The next day, on March 1, when Ahmadinejad delivered a speech in the industrial city of Khorramabad, whose working-class population once warmly embraced him, he found the mood rather cold. A sign held up above the crowd read,"We the workers of Parsilon [a factory] are hungry." Another sign in the crowd read,"Swear to God, we've come to a breaking point from all the discrimination and injustice."
Such workers have historically made up a significant portion of Ahmadinejad's base. Their loyalty cemented with generous government largesse, they mostly stayed on the side of the president after the contested June 2009 election, when thousands of protesters took to the streets to denounce the results. Those discontents called themselves the Green Movement, drawn primarily from the ranks of the middle class, intelligentsia, and students. The underclass, still loyal to the regime and Ahmadinejad, became known as the Blues, to underscore the fact that, to the extent that they had jobs, they were primarily engaged in blue-collar professions.
All I can hope that the Iranian the green, blue or any mixture of the two are organizing. Recent revelations of yet another secret nuclear site reminds all of us of the ticking clock.