Saturday, February 10, 2007

Iran's internal conflicts

Ever since 1979, Iran has largely been portrayed as a monolithic and menacing religious state. But the country is more various than that. In particular the problems and divisions which sparked the Islamic Revolution still exist and the economic and social difficulties Iran faced then may be worse today. If Iranian leaders talk big, in absolute and apocalyptic terms, it may be because their practical power, despite all that oil, is very restricted.

Today's Globe and Mail has a long feature article on Iran's domestic problems and how they have made Iran's president's power very precarious. Two things that surprised me: Iran's leaders reserve a special hostility for Canada, and the under-30 cohort of the population is up to 70%!

Image: the Jamkaran mosque referred to in the article.

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