Alexandr Rahr: Iran to react to protest mood in country tougher than Egypt

Politics Materials 15 February 2011 17:15 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.15, Trend, E. Tariverdiyeva /
Iran's reaction to protest mood in the country will be tougher than in Egypt, and representatives of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps will hardly show the humane attitude towards the people on the example of the Egyptian security forces, Alexander Rahr, Director of the Russia-Eurasia Center of the Council on Foreign Relations of Germany, member of Trend Expert Council, believes.
"We saw protests in Iran last year, when the so-called "green revolution" was stopped by the military very severely: all the Western observers and journalists were exiled or arrested," Rahr told Trend over phone from Berlin. "So, the Iranian regime reacts to things more severely. If to compare the revolution scenario in Egypt with the velvet revolutions in Europe, it was more likely of Czech or Polish fashion. However, the situation in Iran will more likely develop on the Romanian scenario, if there is escalation.
Demonstrations in support of Egypt and Tunisia's peoples, which were planned earlier, started in Tehran at 11:30 on Feb.14. According to reports, demonstrations were also held in other cities of Iran, including Isfahan, Shiraz and Kermanshah. According to the opposition website Kaleme.com, more than 1,000 demonstrators went on the streets in the cities of Shiraz and Isfahan, the police tried to disperse the protesters.
Iran's national security forces used tear gas against demonstrators when dispersing protestors on the squares of Azadi and Ingilab in Tehran.

Access to mobile communications was denied, in many Iranian cities, particularly in Tehran.
During the mass protests covering Tehran at least one person died, several dozen demonstrators were injured, while more than 100 protesters were arrested.
According to Rahr, enormous frustration with the regime has accumulated in Iran indeed, especially as the younger generation of Iranians uses the Internet, speak foreign languages and, in general, it is fairly advanced. Young people do not want to live in an Islamist state, which, like the Egyptian state, has existed for already 30 years, he believes.
When riots broke out in Egypt, it was hard to believe that everything will end in Mubarak's resignation, Rahr believes.
"The Europeans had preconceived point of view that there is a complete dictatorship of corrupt regimes, or the imperative to it - Islamism in the Arab world. But the younger generation in the Arab countries and Islamic countries have started to prove themselves more in recent years," he said.
Rahr believes that they are unorganized, but angry, and they demand changes. So, the Egyptian scenario may be well repeated in Iran.
Large-scale anti-governmental protests were held in Egypt. Thousands of people in different cities across the country went to the streets, demanding President Hosni Mubarak's resignation and the dissolution of parliament. The unrests in the country have killed at least 300 people and injuring over 4,000. A one million march passed at Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand the resignation of President Mubarak. As a result, on Friday, Mubarak announced about his resignation. The leadership passed to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.