How Egypt Is Playing In Iran

by Patrick Appel

Tehran Bureau reports:

Reza, a professor of philosophy, told Tehran Bureau, "Mubarak is repeating the Shah's mistakes." The Iranian state media apparatus encourages this analogy, or any other that draws parallels between the Shah and Mubarak. The logic is simple. "If Mubarak is the Shah, then Egyptians' revolution can be portrayed as Iran's Islamic Revolution," explains Reza.

But that's not the only narrative: 

"Like us, Egyptians are voicing their anger at a regime they consider corrupt and illegitimately in power," says Maryam, 27, from central Tehran. She does not remember the nights of 32 years ago. Her memory is filled with images from summer 2009. The fact that international observers regard the most recent election in Egypt as rigged only adds to her sympathy for ordinary Egyptians. "They are demanding democracy, which we wanted and want." The way she looks at the events, Mubarak is another "dictator, unpopular and unelected. It is Egyptians' right to get rid of him." In this analogy, the present Iranian opposition has much in common with the people of Egypt and the Iranian government is assigned a role similar to that of Mubarak's regime.