Saturday, july 16, 2011, from 9:00 to 12:00 a.m.
The victory of Islamic Revolution in Iran (1979) shook the Arab people and leaders. It woke up Islamist movements in the region and presented an alternative to the oppressed Arabs. Once the post-revolutionary euphoria passed, maintaining their grip on power and institution building led the Islamic Republic to give up more of the ideals of the Revolution. Three decades after the Iranian spring, the revolution remains a distant memory and people are left with a bitter sense of betrayal.
The Arab awakening has produced mixed results. If the fall of the strong regime of Zein el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Egyptian Hosni Mubarak has surprised by its speed, the unprecedented repression of popular revolt by other Arab regimes illustrates the difficult task of Libyans, Yemenis, Bahrain, etc., to replicate the Tunisia and Egypt achievements.
How about the Islamic Republic of Iran? After a long silence that reflected the confusion in Tehran, the regime of the Ayatollahs bounced back by praising the revolt of the "Muslims masses" in the Middle East "against the lackeys of imperialism and Zionism" as a result of their attraction for the Islamic revolution in Iran.
The reality is that the Arab Revolutionaries have more affinity with the Green Movement in Iran than with the Islamic regime that oppresses that movement.
Lecturer: Houchang Hassan-Yari
Professor and head of Politics and Economics department
Royal military college of Canada