Tunisia vs Iran

by Chris Bodenner

Ali Vaez compares and contrasts the two uprisings:

[T]he Tunisian "Jasmine Revolution" and the Iranian "Green Movement" shared striking similarities. In both countries, people from all strata of society partook in the protests, with youth and women at the forefront of the demonstrations. The tragic death of young students, like Neda Agha-Soltan in Iran and Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia, fueled the fervor against the oppressive governments. The mobile phones of citizen-journalists, not the professional cameras of Western correspondents, broadcasted the dramatic images of both rebellions. YouTube videos, Facebook pictures and Twitter slogans captured the imagination of millions around the world and served as testaments to the brutality of political orders bereft of mercy. During both movements, approximately 70 people reportedly lost their lives and many more were gravely injured.

The Iranian and Tunisian movements, however, are distinct in three ways. First, the rulers of Iran, comprised of former-revolutionaries who came to power by ousting the Western-backed Pahlavi monarchy, knew well that compromise under pressure only invites more pressure. The Supreme Leader did not show any sign of ceding control and ordered his massive suppression apparatus to nip the Green Movement in the bud.