Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Downward Spiral in Iran?

It is never a good sign when a country starts attacking embassies, and political observers in Iran say the attack by “student demonstrators” who looted the British embassy in Tehran has all the signs of a state-sponsored attack.

That embassy is now, of course, closed, and the organized crime groups currently running Iran are further isolating themselves from the world.

There are some echoes of events in Syria, so is Iran starting to follow that regime’s downward spiral? There are a few reasons to think that is possible. Notably, first, Iran and Syria previously had a long history of collaboration in support of crime groups in Lebanon and Gaza. To the extent that regimes in Iran and Syria have supported each other, a decline in one place would imply a decline in the other. Second, it seems possible that the corruption in all four countries is driven by oil money, and that is a formula that has proved less potent in other places around the world over the last five years.

Iran’s government has been very publicly feuding with itself since before the last bungled election, and the process of overturning that election cemented the country’s status as a failed state. Now the establishment figures who had agreed to pose as opposition candidates in that election have been locked up. That is a potent symbol of a regime that is giving in to paranoia and running out of friends. That was the dysfunctional psychological state that brought down the regime in Libya and if it progresses in Iran, could ultimately bring down that regime too.