Wednesday, April 26, 2023

 commenter Abu Ali replies to Séamus Malekafzali 

Being an Iraqi dude, Iran and its internal politics has always been interesting to me. With how unpopular the government in Iran has become recently and with diaspora trying to properly organize into a semi-united front, it's hard to not draw parallels to how the Iraqi opposition slowly coalesced before the American invasion in 2003. The most striking difference to me is how "unrepresentative" the current diaspora opposition is of local attitudes. I've been to Iran multiple times and I've seen a diverse population that is sometimes not very fond of the government, but is still proud of their Iranian identity with both its Islamic and non-Islamic components. Mosques and Hussianiyas were filled with people and there's a genuine sense of pride over the fact that Iran is the face of Shia Islam.

The Iraqi opposition with all its disastrous mistakes still tried to reflect the diversity of Iraqi society, everyone from communists to shia islamists to CIA guys to separatist Kurds to secular Shias and even disgruntled London Sunnis found a place at the diaspora table in the end. I don't see anything representative of Iran in the diaspora opposition, they're only representative of the diaspora itself. You can't tell me that there isn't a single exiled Shia cleric that they can invite to a conference to at least make it look more legitmate. I found it very telling that when Reza Pahlavi visited Israel, he only went to the Western Wall when Al Aqsa is literally two minutes away. He pandered to a few neocon donors while he claims to represent the people of Iran, who are definitely more Muslim and more interested in Al Aqsa. I won't even be too harsh on him, the loudest voices in the diaspora opposition all seem to base their entire worldview on one reddit post titled "Female Iranian students playing and laughing, Tehran, 1974". They're so ridiculously disconnected from the lives of the local Iranian people. It's really a shame because Iran deserves better than the IR, but the so-called opposition in America is disgraceful. The regime doesn't even need to work hard when vilifying these people, when they're disgracing themselves in Israel and doing wacky performance art outside of embassies. All I can is God help the people in choosing their own path.

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