A long exposure photo of a highway in the Iranian capital Tehran

Academic Warns Of Potential For Civil War In Iran

Wednesday, 04/12/2023

An academic in Iran has accused hardliners of pushing the country toward a civil war and has warned that Iranian should not get used to the smell of blood.

Political scientist Jahanbakhsh Mohebbinia told Rouydad24 website that "Iran is moving in a direction that it would be a surprise if there are no killings in a week or in a month, and this is a dangerous situation for the country."

Speaking about the reasons why the 2022 protests in Iran led to violence, Mohebbinia said Iranian society has been always living with violence in recent decades. For nearly half of a century no one in the government has paid any attention to what the people want and not only those in the government, but everyone else including judges, university lecturers, taxi drivers and so on have always wanted to exercise their authority on the people. This creates an accrued hatred that can lead to an explosion.

The protests showed that the Iranian nation is now reacting to the existing authoritarianism, Mohebbinia argued. The people think the government is playing games with them. The government on the other hand, ignores the world's realities and if we continue this route we are going to end up in a quagmire and collapse. And particularly when the economy collapses, you cannot do anything to save the country.

Political scientist Jahanbakhsh Mohebbinia

Mohebbinia added that when the government suppresses the protests, the wounds and hatred will be accrued, and the society will never see peace again. "I know that some people were even pushing the country toward a civil war." He advised that the government should hesitate when it thinks of another round of suppression because there is a potential for a civil war.

Many have been warning during recent weeks that the government's insistence on enforcing the compulsory hijab will inevitably bring two parts of the society at a dangerous logger head. He further charged that former US National Security Adviser John Bolton came up with the idea of a civil war in Iran when the government failed to handle the protests wisely. However, the accusation could be the academic's tactic to avoid a reaction by the government. As long as a pundit says something negative about the United States, he can secure a measure of protection for criticizing the government.

Mohebbinia said that the government should not approach the protests in Kurdistan or Khuzestan violently while even the capital Tehran has the potential for starting a civil war, similar to what happened in Yemen and Syria. He warned: "When you fan the fire of insecurity, economic crisis and cultural differences, the country could be divided into ten countries."

Reformist commentator Abbas Abdi

Meanwhile, reformist commentator Abbas Abdi warned that the regime’s zeal to enforce the hijab cannot succeed. "It is undoubtedly impossible to impose religious values by using force or introducing new laws."

Abdi said it is hard for the religious government in Iran to accept that that the people have turned away from religion during recent decades. Abdi probably did not want to mention that it was the mismanagement and inefficiency of the Islamic Republic as a religious government that has annoyed Iranians.

Abdi said that in the absence of real opinion surveys, the government does not admit that religion has lost its power. However, he said that observations show that fewer people in Iran go to mosques or fast during Ramadan or pay their religious 20 percent tax (Khoms). He added that fewer Iranians nowadays give religious names to their children compared even to 10 years ago.

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