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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Hypocrisy Of The Iranian Regime

It is no secret that Tunisian and Egyptian revolution have started a new tsunami of sorts in authoritarian regimes of the Middle East. It is quite heartening to see people on the streets of other major metropolis demanding similar rights and freedoms, as their Egyptian brethren have achieved, after such a momentous and historical movement.

When the 18 day long ordeal of the Egyptians was in full swing, the overly authoritarian regime of Iran was supportive of their struggle. The Iranians of course had a vested interest. According to their view, the resistance against Mubarik was symbolically against the US. As Mubarik was viewed and loathed as a US stooge.

Amazingly, not very long ago the Iranian people were out on the streets, much like their Egyptian brethren, but those protesters and their movement was brutally quashed by the so "righteous Iranian regime." The world witnessed the heavy handed response of the Iranian regime in sheer amazement. How the voices of dissent were silenced and how many precious lives were lost is of course a sad reality.

What the Iranian Supreme Council perhaps failed to realize about US is, that its foreign policy shifts based on ground realities. It is no secret that Obama Administration's foreign policy stalwarts were working behind the scene to facilitate the departure of Mubarik, in line with the raging sentiments of the masses. As once said by someone to this effect, "US has its interests, that it will always protect."

So the Iranian regime is sending favourable signals to similar demonstrations in Shite dominated Bahrain as well. The demands of Bahrainis seeking reforms in Manama are being welcomed by the hard line Iranians. Again according to the Iranian view, it may be a step in the right direction. Getting an "Iranian inspired" movement in Bahrain may go a long way. Eventually when in power, they may request the US to vacate the Naval base from the island kingdom.

Now looking at all of this from a distance, it makes you wonder that Iran is no different than the US. It has its own " interests" and it is trying to protect and advance those interests, whether it is Lebanon, Egypt or Bahrain. But when it comes down to its own citizens, the rules are not the same.

Then all of a sudden freedom and democracy become alien and "Western" phenomena to the Iranian regime. As "evil" as the US may be (according to the Iranians), it will inspire and support movements much like Eqypt around the Middle Eastern peninsula. Will let the sage and clever policy makers in Tehran figure out the reasons why.

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