The prospect of long-term protests are beginning to emerge in the Iranian media, with some arguing that there is no bright prospect for an end to the crisis.
Protesters’ demands have gone beyond partial reforms, and they just want an end to the Islamic Republic’s clerical, authoritarian rule. There are no constitutional or institutional mechanisms to resolve the conflict.
The first execution of a protester on Thursday also signalled that the regime is not looking for any compromise and has decided to amplify violence to subdue the people.
Meanwhile, political scientist Ahmad Banijamali told Khabar Online that "Institutionalized denial of the problem is the most important obstacle for ending the ongoing crisis in the Iranian society."
He said, "the protests have led to an impasse and there is no bright prospect for the future. In the absence of civil institutions such as trade unions and political parties, strategic mistakes in the analysis of the situation by the people and the government can lend a new momentum to the crisis." He also pointed out that it is dangerous that elements who are not part of the political structure can determine the direction of events.
Banijamali added: "Political systems need to have very important tools that can take them out of a crisis: Institutions to end disputes and begin a move toward a compromise, such as powerful social institutions such as political parties, trade unions, guilds, and civil institutions."
He stressed that the Islamic Republic has eliminated all these mediation mechanisms and as a result, the government faces a shapeless mass that lacks any institution. So, even if it is really interested to negotiate, it does not know who it needs to turn to for facilitating the process."
Banijamali further explained that the powerhouse of the Islamic Republic has traditionally been a chaotic system marked by anarchy. “This is a non-functional system in which status groups, pressure groups and wealthy entities hold a piece of the cake. At the same time, creation of unnecessary institutions has increased the system's inefficiency." He added that conflict of interests between different parts of the system has made decision-making impossible, particularly over significant matters."
Banijamali added that "in this situation, it is not clear who is going to put an end to the dispute as the opposition has always been in an antagonistic conflict with the system, political forces such as reformists and moderates have been discredited by radicals in the system and the society no longer accepts them as its own voice. It is a scary situation in which the institutions that should have been at the top and bottom of the society are absent and radical elements are there to lend momentum to the crises."
This week news emerged that the Fajr Film Festival which is usually held to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in mid-February, might not take place, signaling that the ongoing uprising is not likely to end in the next three months.
Reza Dorostkar, the deputy director of the Iranian Film Critics Association said in an interview that "Under the current circumstances, the Fajr Film Festival should not be held this year."
Like some other Iranian film industry figures, film critics have said in a statement that in view of "bitter and unpleasant events of recent months," they prefer not to take part in this year's festival while suggesting that the festival should not be held at all this February.