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Haven't read through all the comments, having been off ET for a couple days playing good tourist, and stuffing my face with food and drink, so apologies if I'm just repeating stuff others have said, but a few thoughts.

I don't see this succeeding. I wish I did. However what I see is a regime which not only holds the normal state levers of power, but whose apparatchiks and shocktroops still deeply believe in the state ideology, and which benefits from a large minority of the population with a similar attitude. Furthermore, it is its own entity, not a client state of a major power. It also has little need for foreign support, nor has it ever needed that.

When these kinds of revolutions succeed, it is generally where the rank and file of the regime is made up of careerist opportunists, who only pay lip service to the True Vision of the World. I don't mean that in their heart they oppose it, simply they don't care. There only reason to  with the regime is out of fear of losing their livelihood (or worse). If they see things going south, their instinct is going to be to seek an accomodation with the opposition, and they will be very wary of mass bloodshed since that enormously increases the risk to themselves. But in Iran, these people also have a strong personal investment in the nature of the system. Which is not to say that the other factors arent't there, but they are not the primary ones.

Also the nationalist factor doesn't work for the protesters the way it did in so many of the Soviet and American authoritarian client states. It is at best neutral, and probably on the side of the regime.

by MarekNYC on Sun Jun 21st, 2009 at 05:49:45 PM EST

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