Despite what the mainstream media is sometimes promoting about protests in Iran that it might end up in a revolution, there are many reasons that prove otherwise.
The latest round of widespread protests in Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini started in different cities of the country since last month. Although the protests are now limited only to a number of universities in a few cities, a question that arises is that whether this round of protests can lead to a revolution in Iran.
There are many reasons to reject the idea of an eminent revolution in Iran. First of all, a stable political movement is needed for the revolution to happen. This movement itself has requirements, the most important of which is the existence of order and discipline, the presence of a determined and popular leader at the top who is accepted by the majority of opposition groups.
Another obstacle to revolution in Iran is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. So far, the IRGC has not stepped into the scene of the protests and the government continues to only rely on police forces to disperse the demonstrators. However, if the situation escalates, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is responsible for protecting the revolution against internal and external threats, will most likely stand strong against riots to control and manage the situation.
History too isn’t supporting the idea of a revolution
Another point is that during the revolution of 1979, in which Iranians toppled the Shah regime, the army and the imperial guard, which were responsible for protecting the monarchy and the government, collapsed even before the Shah left Iran and joined the ranks of the protesters. This is while in Iran today, each and every military organization is fully loyal to Iran’s leader.
The last thing, which is of course the most important, is the lack of stable political alternatives after the Islamic Republic. The opposition of the Islamic Republic is weak and disjointed and is rejected by the majority of Iranian people. Two main groups can be mentioned here. First, the supporters of the monarchy who claim that Reza Pahlavi, the son of the deposed Shah, is the future legal leader of Iran.
However, the crown prince himself announced in 2021 that he “personally” prefers a republican system, which raises serious doubts about his desire to reclaim the throne. The situation is even worse for the Mojahedin Khalq, which Iran calls them as Monafeghin (hypocrites). This group is widely despised by Iranians of all political spectrums and the main reason for such hatred is their support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980s during Iraq’s attack on Iran and their violence in the country during that time.
Therefore, in the absence of the mentioned factors, it is unlikely that the current demonstrations will lead to a fundamental change in the structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Therefore, the most likely scenario is that Iran’s government will make minor reforms to calm the situation and the protests will subside over time. In this context, while addressing the widespread protests in the country, Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi recently told Iran’s state television that some reforms may be necessary in general, especially in regard to the ways of implementing the Hijab law.