A look at the different interpretations and positions over the recent protests in Iran.
Since the declaration of incumbent president Mahmoud Ahamadinejad's victory in the Iranian Presidential elections with dubiously high (66% of votes polled in his favour) margin streets of the Iranian cities of Teheran,Isfahan,Shiraz have witnessed defiant popular protests. Srinivasan Ramani in his article 'Disputed Election Verdict in Iran' has succintly overviewd the whole election process and the ensing protests,so I would not go into details and focus on the varied interpretations of these developments .
There has been an outpour of analyses and interpretations in the Blogosphere on the issue of protests and Iran.Some of the analysts, most notably M.K.Bhadrakumar and james Petras,have dubbed the protesters as 'middle class-'gucci crowd' and hailed ahmadinejad as a potent anti-imperialist force with the backing of the iranian working class. Interestingly these analyses emerging from he left have much in common ( in so far as their perception of the class-character of the protests is concerned) with the western media iterpretations of these protests being a'colour revolution or twiter revolution',though the politics of the two is diametrically opposite!
A strong rebuttal to these analyses can be found in an article by blogger gabriel 'Iran, Gucci anti-imperialism and movement anti-intellectuals, where the blogger argues against an over-simplified class analysis by the likes of petras and while pointing towards the working class participation in the protests questions the use of the binaries such as ' either anti-imperialist or supporter of civil rights in Iran'. A Nuanced approach to the question of the class character of the protests is to be found in Richard Seymour's article ' The Iranian working class and the revolt' where he emphasises the achievement of basic democratic demands for the long term prospects of working class struggle and further in an article titled as ' A question of Solidarity' he argues that though left should not have any illusions about the 'inevitability of these protests taking on a lefist hue it is only by engaging in the movement could the left hope to shift it in that direction.