Why Iran Can’t Follow China’s Lead – NYTimes.com

One of the best contemporary analysts on Iran contrasts two paths for modernization:

For now the Islamic Republic endures like other autocracies in the Middle East. But the alienation of the population and the fragmentation of the elite will mean an uneasy future. With its politics so polarized, Iran cannot sustain its legitimacy on the basis of economic performance, backed by oil. The violence of 2009 severed an essential bond between the state and society.

The Islamic Republic will either hang on as an autocratic theocracy or be transformed into a populist democracy. The irony is that Ayatollah Khamenei, by ruthlessly consolidating his power, might have ensured that the system he created will not easily endure without his steady hand.

via Why Iran Can’t Follow China’s Lead – NYTimes.com.

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3 thoughts on “Why Iran Can’t Follow China’s Lead – NYTimes.com

  1. aprilrvd says:

    Great analysis, it is yet an another wake up call to many authoritarian countries ( that have been maintaining their power with economic legitimacy ) that in these globalized times when it is inevitable to sustain economy without interdependence, their previous methods may not work as well as they did so far. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/world/middleeast/iran-places-new-restrictions-on-currency-trading.html?ref=middleeast
    Another prospective fall of government legitimacy due to economic weakness can be observed from North Korea as well: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/asia/north-koreans-say-life-has-not-improved.html?_r=1

  2. Matthew Merrill says:

    This was a wonderfully insightful article about Sino-Persian relations. Mr Takeyh makes the case that Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei continues to promote a system of purging pragmatic leaders in favor of “reliable revolutionaries” (oxymoron anyone?). The Soviet Union provided one model of a revolutionary state and China another, but it seems that the Ayatollah sees both as a failure to maintain the ideological purity requisite of “their exalted republic.” To me this begs the question, what is the end goal or vision of Iran and its leaders? What exactly will Iran be like when it has reached its fully ‘exalted state?’ Will women still play a lesser role? Will its currency still be mired in inflation? Will there still be a dearth of educational opportunities for portions of the population? The list could go on and on, yet I’m guessing Ayatollah Khamenei isn’t holding a Q&A session anytime soon.

    This link gives some great info about Chinese-Iranian relations
    http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP351.html#abstract

  3. brianmedwards says:

    After reading this article I believe that each country is different and will come into the globalized world in a different way. We know that China entered the globalized world differently from the West and their economy is doing great for the moment. Iran is entirely different from China because they are a religious state. They too will one day come into the international globalized world in probably a way completely different from either the West or China. It will be interesting to continue to watch Iran as they take their Islam and become a globalized country. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/opinion/sunday/americas-place-in-the-new-world.html?pagewanted=all This article talks specifically about America in the new world order but applies to the idea that each country has different ideas and values that do not need to represent the West’s.

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