Movement for change in Iran most powerful in 30 years

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Washington, July 12 (ANI): A specialist on Iranian history and religions has determined that basic, irreversible changes are occurring in Iran, which is the most powerful in 30 years.

According to Indiana University Professor Jamsheed Choksy, "This is the most powerful and broad-based movement for political and social restructuring of Iran that I have witnessed in three decades of studying and traveling in that country."

"What began as a presidential election between four carefully pre-screened candidates has emerged as a monumental struggle for that nation's future," he said.

"Events now pose the most serious widespread challenge in 30 years to the rule of the ayatollahs.

Major fissures are emerging even in the Muslim clergy's own ranks, the regular military forces appear to be divided on how to respond, and what began as public street protest is transforming into concerted opposition to the incumbent regime," he added.

Iranians of all backgrounds, not just young and secular individuals, are openly contesting the roles of Islamic fundamentalists and political militants, according to Choksy.

"Denouncing of the election results has moved from streets and homes to mosques, madrassas and Shiite clerical associations," he commented.

"The indignation felt by supporters of the candidates from whom the election was stolen is becoming transformed into resolve for change among increasing numbers of the very clerics who established the Islamic Republic of Iran," he said.

Choksy noted that even the usually conservative students in madrassas, or religious schools, at Qum, Mashhad and Isfahan are not supporting the regime through public demonstrations.

He said that the elements of popular dissatisfaction with the status quo, debate and resolve for sociopolitical and economic changes, and anti-government organization that brought about basic transformation within Iran's polity twice before - in 1905 during the Constitutional Revolution and in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution - are coalescing among students, entrepreneurs, civil servants, women, clergymen and minorities yet again.

"The governing hardliners among the ayatollahs, although still clinging to power, must be wondering how long the military will continue to stand by an increasingly illegitimate administration," he remarked. (ANI)

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