Iranians are understandably protesting about many things: the economy, political corruption, repression, etc…

But if western critics of Iran believe that they have discovered the region’s most repressive regime, they are wrong. That regime is Saudi Arabia, which gets a pass.

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a domestic crackdown, with tons of people being confined, tortured, and extorted. Even some Saudi elites have been swept up into this dragnet.

Saudi Arabia also exports war, principally to Yemen.

But Saudi Arabia gets a pass, mostly because its economy is folded into the petrodollar system. Also, its political legacy stretches back to the days of British imperialism: bedfellows. Finally, Saudi Arabia colludes with Israel.

And so Trump, Cruz, and other critics of Iran (some of whom are right on one level) are acting so very predictably.

If there is regime change in Iran, the motley crew of trumpeteers, christians, zionists, top generals, media moguls, and others will probably be disappointed.

Many Iranians are much like the ones I met in Beirut. They are not happy with the backward, repressive elements of Islam, but they remain fiercely nationalistic, very much anti-Israel, and in favor of developing the country’s nuclear program.

Also, if one looks at Iran’s constitution carefully, it ends up producing a very resilient political system. It’s not like Saudi Arabia, where one focused coup d’etat brings down the entire house.

Power is actually very divided in Iran, and only one branch might feel the impact of this upheaval, and probably through the usual means: elections. One possible result is a more mild, secular-Islamic government, although Iran’s modern history suggests that a new government would be more aligned with Russia and China than with the West.

So the motley crew mentioned above should probably hold off on forming its usual circle jerk.

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