An Iranian Intifada

An Iranian Intifada

Amal Amireh

Ahmadinejad owes the Iranian opposition big. In fact, all Iranians, even those who disagree with Mousavi’s supporters, should be grateful that they exist, that they are loud, and that they are pouring into the streets of Tehran.

Because it is this green opposition which is protecting Iran from Israel and those in the US itching to bomb. Yes, these women and men are the human shield that can protect Iranians better than any nuclear arsenal can. They also expose the neocon doctrine of regime change as farcical for they demonstrate that the best change comes from within.

The world can no longer think about Iran and just see Ahmadinejad and grim looking mullahs frowning into the camera daring them to bomb. Now we see a different Iran: youthful, energetic, creative, determined, joyful, hopeful. And Islamic.

The women of the Iranian opposition stand out. They are kicking ass and need no one to save them baby. They have enough spunk and courage to start exporting revolution. No wonder the Islamic Republic needs so many rules to contain them. They know what they are up against!

Some Americans like to take credit for what is happening in Iran. The liberals say this is the effect of the Obama Speech. The conservatives say this proves Bush was right in going into Iraq, because look, the desire for freedom, which we have patented, is spreading. Of course, Ahmadinejad too has his version of this line: he accuses the western media of stirring trouble. Next, he will blame twitter. All three are arrogant and blinded by their power.

As a Palestinian, I was moved to hear that Iranian students were chanting that Iran is now Palestine after being shot at in their universities by armed militias. I recognize the affinity: like the Palestinians, these Iranians are staging an uprising against injustice and for self-determination. Like the Palestinians, they are being shot at and killed.

And I was furious, but not surprised, that Hamas came out joyful that Ahmadinejad was re-elected. Of course they love Ahmadinejad: they love his overblown, empty rhetoric, which is just like theirs. They love his militias and macho strutting and detest the unmilitarized chaos of women and youth rebellions. They also like his style of power: their militia recently cracked down on PFLP protestors marching peacefully in Gaza against the undemocratic and exclusivist deals that Hamas and Fateh are cooking together. Of course, they love Ahmadinejad.

They and Israel. Because Israel would love for the Iranian hardliners to be back in power because they want to escalate, not defuse. A wiser opposition at the helm would make it harder for Israel to rally the world against the Islamic Republic. A reformist Iranian regime would take the human rights card out of Israel’s hand.

No one knows what the outcome of the Iranian Intifada will be. But weather it succeeds in annulling the elections or not, it has already succeeded. 

Source: Arabisto Amal Amira is also the author of “Improvisations: Arab Woman Progressive Voice,” a blog about Arab women, Palestine, and cultural politics at