Looking back and moving forward, I would add these:
1) The majority of the Iranians, today in Iran, are not 'revolutionaries', unlike their parents generation during and prior to 1979. Even if we know about the Student uprising of 1999 as well as other more recent protests. And, even if the vast majority resent the Mullahs' regime.
2) The overthrow of the Shah's government became possible due to a number of elements which, at the time, perfectly came together to make it happen. A few of these elements include:
- During the Shah's era, although there were political limitations and crackdowns on "Communist" parties in Iran, there were many other freedoms (social, cultural, economic, etc..) that today under the Mullahs do not exist or are extremely controlled and restricted.
The Islamic establishment during the Shah not only was left completely free to do as it pleased, but, in parts, was even supported for the fear of communists at the time.
One can say that the Mullahs have learned from the Shah and his government's mistakes and weaknesses.
- The Shah's government and the Shah himself were betrayed by certain people within the "inner circle" of monarchy. The Mullah regime's "inner circle" is very much a closed one and highly protected.
- The so-called revolutionaries in 1979 had the active support of foreign powers, including Jimmy Carter, the UK, France and Germany. Today, these foreign powers, either seem not to have a viable strategy to topple the Mullah regime, or, for whatever reasons, do not want to do so. Even Richard Perle said so in an interview a few months ago with Radio Farda Here
3) Back in 1979, Khomeini was, at the very least, used as a figurehead by various anti-monarchy groups i.e. communists, marxists, intellectuals, islamists, women, etc.. who united and rallied around him in order to oust the Shah. Today, that "figurehead" or an "overall Iranian opposition Leader" - regardless of a specific political party or orientation - does not exist.
Various Iranian opposition movements over the last 28 years have suffered from significant disunity and internal bickering. This has in turn led to disappointment, disillusionment and cynicism all around.
4) The Mullahs' propaganda and PR machines are and have been far more sophisticated & effective than any PR belonging to the opposition (Iranian or otherwise). This applies throughout the Mideast as well as in the Western world.
5) The Western world, in general, appears not to comprehend the middle eastern perspective and cultural nuances. Nor does it seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. The West judges by its own standards. This, imo, will work to the detriment of the West in the long run.
I guess I am rather pessimistic at this stage. But, unless there is an effective and viable strategy supporting genuine Iranian dissidents (not IR reformists), the Mullah regime is set to rule and expand its rule for quite some time yet. Those Iranians who are genuinely willing and able to rid themselves of the regime will not be able to do so alone and I believe they already know this.
The latest talk by some is about an "evolutionary process" whereby the Mullahs will, eventually, hang themselves. Based on the last 30 years and thus far I very much doubt it'll happen, unless there is a strategy to make that happen. The Mullahs have already consolidated their power base in Iran and continue to do so outside and with external support.
Thanks for the ping
OK, I admit that I have been wrong for many years (I have assumed the imminent crash of the mullahcrazy for many years now), but the Iranian economy is totally ruined despite the high oil price.