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Notes on Iran Notes on Iran
by Joseph Gatt
2019-02-22 08:11:58
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A few notes on Iran in no particular order.

-In Islamic states, the nation is adored. But the concept of nation is different from that we have in the West. In Iran, the concept of nation includes land and nature, but does not include people. When we, say, in the United States, say that we love our country, we mean that we love our people. In Iran, they mean they love their land and skies, but the notion of love of the Iranian people tends to be absent.

iran01_400_02-Exclusive development. In Iran, when leaders discuss economic development strategies, they discuss the economic development of the leadership, not of the people. In the West of course some people are excluded from economic development, but everyone has a shot at it. In Iran, economic development is for the leadership class.

-Let me be more specific. I remember when I was in 7th grade my foster family would give me chocolate bars to snack on. I wasn't a big fan of chocolate, so I shared the chocolate bars with whoever wanted them, and won friends in the process. There was this guy from an Islamic nation who suggested that I give him all the bars if I didn't want them. That guy did not understand that I wanted inclusive friendship, when the guy wanted exclusive friendship. Likewise, economic development in Iran deliberately omits certain classes, and tends to be exclusive to the ruling class.

-Media blackout. If you ask the average Iranian their thoughts on government and leadership, they probably would not be able to come up with a coherent narrative. This is because access to the media is blurred out, and the media is mostly leaders shaking hands with other leaders.

-The media also includes stories on crime and murder, but little else. This means the average Iranian cannot build a narrative on their personal future, how to build wealth, or where they see themselves in the future.

-Refugee crisis. I bet you don't want 81.16 million Iranian refugees all over Europe and the Middle East. Yet, as I said before, Iran has three schools of thought when it comes to government that cannot work together. There are the Orthodox Shiite Muslims who lead the country, and want to apply strict Sharia law. There are conservative Muslims, who practice Islam but don't mind seeing a woman in a skirt. Then there are the nihilists, who tend not to be religious, but who tend to be cynical when it comes to the possibility of ruling the country.

-How to avoid a war thus a refugee crisis. You can't corrupt Iranians with money because they'll buy nuclear weapons and missiles with it. But if you give them generous bank accounts in, say, the United States or Europe, and tell them they can't send the money to Iran, that can temporarily freeze their nuclear ambitions. You give their kids and grandkids generous holdings in Europe, and tell them the holdings will be confiscated if Iran resumes nuclear ambitions. I know it's unethical, but I'm trying to save lives here. That's assuming holdings won't be used for terrorist attacks in the West, which is a pretty big assumption.

-The future of Iran. Will the Orthodox be able to find a compromise with the Conservatives. Will the Nihilists have a say in all this? If you arm the Conservatives against the Orthodox, soon enough the Conservatives will take power, but will become Orthodox themselves. If you arm the Nihilists, they will gradually realize they need ideology of some kind, and Islam is all they know. The death of Communism and the lack of any rogue or mainstream ideology means Islam is all they know in Iran. The weakness of a third world or non-aligned movement also means Iran has no one to talk to.

-The survival of the Mullahs. In the end, it's the Mullahs playing their survival. First they want to survive, second, they are a bunch of hungry wolves.

-Now why do they threaten Israel? They can't threaten Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria as basically their largest neighbors are failed states, and they don't want to become the next failed state. Plus there's the belief that Israel is to blame for wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and if there's an attack on Iran, Israel will be to blame.

-Finally, what the Mullahs think. They know that if they were to disappear, there would be chaos in Iran. If they were to stay, they would have to play their survival cards well. They are paranoid about Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan building up to the point of being a threat, they are paranoid about Iranians taking the streets and asking them to leave and they are paranoid about Western powers attacking them. And yet they stick to inflexible and sacred values. That's a lot on their plate. 

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