The Islamic Republic proudly celebrated its fourth decade of existence after the historic 1979 Revolution, proving that it's possible to stand up to the US for nearly half a century and still survive. American politicians have gotten into the habit of repeatedly predicting that the country won't survive another year, yet it always has a knack for proving them wrong, though the reasons behind this happening aren't properly understood by most international observers. Iran has received a bad rap in the West for supposedly being an "Islamic dictatorship", but the reality is that the country is one of the most democratic in the Mideast because of its republican system.
The political inclusiveness of its governing model and the prevalence of local councils that sprouted up after the revolution contrast with the exclusivity and top-down authoritarianism of the former system that prevailed under the Shah, which was so oppressive that Iranians spent years trying to topple it through various methods. It wasn't until leftist activists pooled their forces with religious ones that the so-called "perfect storm" of revolutionary fervor was formed and finally succeeded. The syncretic outcome of an economically leftist but religiously conservative government was so threatening to American interests in the region that the US encouraged its Iraqi subordinate Saddam Hussein to invade Iran and attempt to reverse the revolution.
The indescribable suffering of the Iranian people during this eight-year-long bloodbath forged within them an intense love for their homeland and the revolutionary government that they were dying to defend, which made it comparatively easier for them to withstand the joint American-Israeli-Saudi Hybrid War pressure that they've been subjected to since then. It's true that some of their economic difficulties are beginning to bite once more, especially among the youth who didn't experience their parents' 1980s suffering and got their hopes artificially high in the aftermath of the 2015 nuclear deal, but it nevertheless looks like the Islamic Republic will last for another 40 years or even longer.
Andrew Korybko is joined by Padraig Joseph McGrath, Irish journalist who has been living and working in Crimea for the past 5 years, and Catherine Shakdam, Researcher at Al Bayan Center.
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