For those of us who hoped that the overthrow of the Shah of Iran might usher in a new era of hope, the last forty years or so have proved a cruel disappointment. The aspirations of a polite and civilised people, heirs to one of the oldest civilisations in the world, are thwarted each way they turn. No flats, no money, no free education. And-no justice, the very foundation stone of the 1979 revolution, which might have made all else worthwhile.
So, how stable is the regime? Will anything change, and what might take its place? We’ve two pieces to get you started today  The one by Christopher de Bellaigue for the Guardian is a little old (December ’22), but gives a a good account of the psychological pressures boiling underneath. The one by Afshin Shahi for The Conversation is intriguing. Who exactly is carrying out all these poisonings, and why?
Whatever happens, it matters. Iran sits on a strategic crossroads. It nestles up close to three major powers: India, Russia and China, and across a major oil route in the Persian Gulf and the Shatt-al-Arab. The fall of the regime might be welcomed: but what takes its place? As we’ve confessed above, our track record here doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. But the implications both for finance and security are profound indeed. We watch with fascination. And dread.
#iran #oil #finance #ayatollah #shah #sunni #shia