Did The Green Movement Fail?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 20 2011 @ 3:42pm


Ramin Jahanbegloo, an Iranian dissident in exile, refuses to consider the movement a failure:

[T]he Green Movement has achieved its goal by gaining the moral high ground, revealing to the world the true face of the Islamic regime, and draining away much of its political legitimacy. Further, it has hastened the end of Khomeinism by exposing the existent political rifts within the Iranian political power.

Maryam Sinaiee quotes Green activist Ali Alizadeh:

The problem with the movement is not the incarceration of the figures considered as the leaders of the movement, but rather its voluntary self-limitation of demands and tactics, its lack of long-term strategy … and its failure to produce a momentum around the incarceration of its symbolic representatives.

Yasaman Baji reports on strategic impasse within the movement:

The larger dilemma at this point for the Green movement, according to an Iranian political analyst who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal, is that intra-conservative conflicts are beneficial to the Greens, but lack of action could weaken the movement.

Conn Hallinan keeps an eye on the economy:

[T]he economic situation is inherently unstable. So far the government has managed to keep unrest under control by cash outlays and forcing the merchant class—many of whom support the Green opposition—to keep prices artificially low. This forces many merchants to operate at a loss. "Eventually prices will have to be allowed to float," says Poorzad, "and when that happens inflation will go up sharply."

David Rosenberg warned last month about foreign policy implications:

Right now, the battle is confined to the corridors of power in Tehran. But analysts say it could eventually manifest itself in a more aggressive foreign policy as Ahmadinejad tries to demonstrate his independence and score points with popular opinion.

There are also signs that Russia and China are losing patience with Iran. Hussein Ibish situates the Green Movement in the context of the Arab Spring:

The fact is that in spite of Arab unrest and the optimism of the Iranian ruling faction, they have not yet accrued a single tangible, strategic or stable benefit from these uprisings.