Elkhan Aleskerov: the West does not have resources for the Arab Spring in Iran
The scale of the protests in Iran showed that, even with some external influence, the main impulse of demonstrations against price increases and other actions of Hassan Ruhani’s government proceeded from the very Iranian society, the head of the expert council of the Baku Network Elkhan Aleskerov told Vestnik Kavkaza, analyzing the causes of the unrest in the Islamic Republic.
"It's about the fact that ordinary citizens of Iran, who are not satisfied with the social conditions, came to the streets. The intervention of external forces comes second because the protests covered the entire regions and extremely different parts of the vast Iranian territories in two or three days. One can come to a conclusion that the very start of the protests was not the result of exclusively external influence, although it can not be denied, that the external forces are making attempts to attack Iran from the inside, " he said.
The expert noted that prices have been growing in Iran for many years, but the December price surge was the last straw that broke camel’s back. "In Iran, there are severe social conditions with a simultaneous rise in the price of goods, this trend has been maintained for the last 5-10 years. Earlier in Iran, many goods were very cheap compared to Azerbaijan, now it's impossible to say so. The reasons for this are in the financial system, which has incurred burdensome expenses for conducting a military campaign both in Syria and Iraq. Since 2011, Iran has provided enormous financial and human resources for waging war in these countries, and spending on the anti-terrorist struggle certainly affects the budget, " Elkhan Alasgarov said, recalling that President Hasan Ruhani announced the government's plans to allocate $ 11 billion to strengthen units of the IRGC in the new year.
The reluctance of Iranians to continue the war in Syria and Iraq is not only related to the financial problems of the country. "The essential factor is the loss of Iran in these wars. It is enough to see how many Iranian brigade generals died in Syria - so many people are dying when there is a martial law in the country. And these are only generals - you can imagine how many other officers and private soldiers die. That is, the discontent of Iranians is largely due to the military campaign the republic carries out abroad. Therefore, the protesters made slogans that Lebanon, Syria and Iraq are not about them, they live in Iran, "the head of the Baku Network expert council drew attention.
"Of course, there are external factors, including anti-government propaganda from abroad and other soft power instruments, but I do not think that the West has the resources to raise protests simultaneously in the central, eastern and western regions of the country. Perhaps, if the riots took place only in the center, first of all, in Tehran, then one could say that they were organized by certain structures that are financed by the West, but here is a completely different situation. In addition, the Iranian authorities strictly control the pro-Western opposition, " the expert added.
In this case, the situation is worth looking deeper. "According to my information, the authorities accused the head of Mashhad, who was involved in organizing the protests - and here one can find an invisible point of confrontation between the reformers of Khasan Ruhani's team and the clerical top. The slogans voiced at the rallies have given grounds to believe that the internal political struggle is going on, although Iran is a fairly closed society and it is too early to make exact conclusions. And yet it must be emphasized that Iran is a deep state, possessing not only methods of attack, but also methods of protection. According to some views, the events could be initiated specifically to release the crisis energy of society and blow off steam, " Elkhan Aleskerov said.
According to him, the result will be the complete stabilization of Iran. "I think that the situation will be taken under control. The pro-regime forces have already organized rallies, supporters of the regime make up the majority in the country. I think it would be wrong to say that this confrontation will result in something similar to the Arab spring. The protest actions are part of the traditions of the Iranian state, in which a peculiar form of democracy has developed: people who are dissatisfied with the situation, take to the streets and speak openly, and the leadership of the regions is quite receptive to the protest voices. In the end, we should expect that the issue will be solved one way or another, and concessions will be made for the population in terms of social life, " the head of the expert council of the Baku Network concluded.