Could Iran turn into a liberal democracy? The Research Question explored in the following paper is the following: To what extent do the values in Iranian society support the efforts of the Iranian protest movement to create a possible transition from autocracy to liberal democracy?
Prologue Since The Khomeini Revolution in 1979, Iran has become an international symbol of radical theocracy â€“ an icon of Islamic extremism. For over 30 years the Shiite regime has succeeded in exporting revolutionary Islamic fervor all over the world â€“ from the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon to Sunni Hamas in the Gaza strip, extremists in Black Africa, and even eventually reaching the heart of Europe. In stark contrast to the confusion which seems to characterize Western leadership and to the corruption which often characterizes Middle Eastern and African leadership, the Islamic movement presents ideological depth, clear values and adamant faith. In an era in which Arab leaders right and left are being overtaken by the masses and deposed of their previously formidable power, the Ayatollah regime seems to be relentlessly stable, following an oppressive defeat of civilian opposition in 2009. Three years after the Green Wave Movement vying for liberal and democratic values created uproar in Iran, the regime of terror seems to have triumphed over the desire for freedom. Iran is identified in the West predominately by the country's active pursuance of nuclear weapons, perceived as the potential beginning of an uncontrollable nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East. Consequently, the media is filled with coverage regarding the formidable Iranian threat, as decision makers and the general public ask themselves when Iran is going to cross the irreversible point of operative nuclear military ability, and are Israel or the United States going to launch a preemptive attack. The Iranian case is picked, prodded and examined from every military angle possible, as decision makers gradually find themselves at a loss for alternate solutions. Consequently, the only question still residing in the minds of most decision makers and the majority of the general public is if Iran can still be stopped militarily, or if it has already crossed the point of no return.
This research proposes new lenses from which to view the Islamic Republic of Iran, different than the common picture portrayed in the Wester...