Iran specialist Abbas Milani ponders what will likely happen if the government crushes the protesters:

It is difficult to imagine the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)] quelling the current protests and then simply turning power over to the clergy. If a political compromise cannot be reached between the regime and the opposition, and the IRGC is used in suppressing the protests, its commanders would likely expect a bigger role in the government. It is even conceivable that faced with irresolution among the clergy, they will act on their own, and establish a military dictatorship that uses Islam as its ideological veneer--similar to Pakistan under Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

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