Why Tunisians succeeded but Iranians faltered
Foreign Policy
25-Jan-2011 (2 comments)

The unprecedented events that shook the already fragile political spheres in Iran and Tunisia had different socio-political causes. In Tunisia, the revolt was sparked by the self-immolation of the 26-year old student-turned street merchant, Mohammed Bouazizi. He instantly became the symbol of the frustration that an entire generation of young Tunisians had endured. Protests spread like wildfire throughout the country. Initially, the protesters' grievances centered on economic issues and reflected people's ire with the rising prices of staples, increasing unemployment and rampant corruption. Over time, the economic demands transmuted into more destabilizing political clamors that called for the removal of the president's grip from power and the prosecution of his wife, Leila Trabelsi, for corruption.
In Iran, however, the uprising had pure political motives. After the government announced the election victory of the incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with 63 percent of the vote, the opposition accused the government of widespread fraud. The day after the election, spontaneous popular demonstrations broke out across the country. On June 15, 2009, three million demonstrators marched silently on the streets of Tehran, according to the city's conservative mayor, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. The wave of protest swept through the country with increasing momentum. The uprising started with the motto "Where is my vote?" which was rapidly transformed into chants o... >>>

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envisioned but never realized

by Examiner on

As the evidence enumerated in this article makes it abundantly clear, and contrary to Vaez’s own proposition, the comparison between the Tunisian “Jasmine Revolution” and Iran’s Green Movement led post-election protests is quite superficial, and mainly geared toward disparaging the Green Movement. Statements such as, “Prudence replaced persistence and the Green Movement lost momentum”; or, “As the storm of the regime's vicious clampdown started, they deserted the streets and hoped for redemption”, merely reflect the author’s unwarranted “envisioned but never realized” expectation of a prompt regime change, rather than the reality on the ground.

A much more apt comparison would have been between the 2010-11 Tunisia and the 1978-9 Iran. One can only hope though that Tunisian experiment with revolutionary change will produce a democratic outcome. As far as the Green Movement – or by extension, the Jasmine Revolution - is concerned, however as they say, “the morning is still young!”



by vildemose on