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"Notre métier n’est ni de faire plaisir, ni de faire du tort. Il est de porter la plume dans la plaie." - Albert Londres


L'Iran pour ceux qui n'y comprennent rien.

Un long texte de Timothy Garton Ash (New York Review of Books, November 3, 2005) permet au lecteur attentif de comprendre facilement ce qui se passe en Iran.



The political system of the Islamic Republic of Iran is at once fiendishly complex and extremely simple.( ) The country has at least two governments at any one time: a semi-democratic formal state structure, now headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and a religious-ideological command structure headed by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. There are numerous shifting formal and informal power centers, including political parties in parliament, ministries, rich religious foun- dations, the Revolutionary Guards, and the multimillion-man Basij militia, whose mobilization helped Ahmadinejad to get elected. There are also backroom ethnic or regional mafias, and numerous competing intelligence, security, and police agencies-eighteen of them according to one recent count.

Yet the longer I was there, the more strongly I felt that the essence of this regime remains quite simple. At its core, the Islamic Republic is still an ideological dictatorship. Its central organizing principle can be summarized in four sentences: (1) There is only one God and Muhammad is his Prophet. (2) God knows best what is good for men and women. (3) The Islamic clergy, and especially the most learned among them, the jurists qualified to interpret Islamic law, know best what God wants. (4) In case of dispute among learned jurists, the Supreme Leader decides.
"the system [nazam] has decided" on the resumption of uranium reprocessing. When leaders use that specific term nazam, "the system," everyone knows they mean the ideological command hierarchy right up to the Supreme Leader-God's representative on earth.

What, then, has this regime to fear? Only one thing, I conclude, but that a very big one: its own young people, the grandchildren of the revolution.

Iran is a remarkably old country, with some 2,500 years of continuous history. It is also a remarkably young country. Two thirds of its 70 million people are under thirty years of age.

The regime has spent twenty-five years trying to make these young Iranians deeply pro-Islamic, anti-American, anti-Western, and anti-Israeli. As a result, most of them are resentful of Islam (at least in its current, state-imposed form), rather pro-American, and have a friendly curiosity about Israel.

If, however, Europe and the United States can avoid that trap; if whatever we do to slow down the nucleariza-tion of Iran does not end up merely slowing down the democratization of Iran; and if, at the same time, we can find policies that help the gradual social emancipation and eventual self-liberation of Young Persia, then the long-term prospects are good. The Islamic revolution, like the French and Russian revolutions before it, has been busy devouring its own children. One day, its grandchildren will devour the revolution.

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