The Forever Imminent Collapse of the Iranian “Regime”

As Iran is literally depicted as illegitimate and derogatorily labeled a “regime,” these “experts” can inform their audiences without irony of the rising “menace” of Iran and the growing threat it poses to regional stability.

  • The Forever Imminent Collapse of the Iranian “Regime” or of the Free Civilized World?

Under US occupation Afghanistan has become the beating heart of global opium cultivation and distribution, but for Iran haters, just a whiff of unrest anywhere in the country is often enough for them to get practically stoned. BBC Persian becomes embarrassingly euphoric, while Persian television ‘Iran International’ headquartered in London and with ties to Mohammed bin Salman, and VOA Persian begin to hallucinate completely.

Arabic media narratives usually depend on state policy towards Iran. Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news channel is consistent in its hatred and is often more deranged than ‘Iran International,’ while Aljazeera Arabic and English narratives largely sway in harmony with the state of play in Doha’s dealings with Riyadh, Ankara, and Washington.

Western corporate and state-owned media usually, but by no means always, put more effort into appearing balanced and professional than their state backed Persian language Iran bashing counterparts. However, in all these outlets there is a recurring and repetitive theme that can appear credible and even well documented to the uninitiated or the true believers.

Any objective review exposes a certain consistency in “analyses” that many years ago used to surprise me. Since the 1980s, audiences have been constantly told that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an evil, unstable, unpopular, incompetent and a corrupt “regime” that is on the brink of collapse. In over four decades of research and reporting, it has been regularly implied that the day is not far off when the “regime” will finally fall into the dustbin of history.

Some would argue that these “experts” confuse analysis with aspirations and facts with expectations. For them, it seems the ultimate collapse of revolutionary Iran is natural and inevitable, since its ideological foundations, constitution and political structures are not based upon “superior” or “contemporary” western intellectual traditions. These views are constantly reinforced by a small army of Iranian comprador intellectuals and many angry “scholars” affiliated with western academia, think-tanks and media, who reassuringly repeat the favorite talking points of their western overlords. Liberals and “leftists” at academic institutions may fight over Cuba, Venezuela, and Iraq, but when it comes to Iran there is often a loving consensus.

The latent Orientalism of these western analysts and their native informants as well as the Eurocentric worldview imposed upon western institutions and academia, are solid barriers that prevent most from recognizing the often irresolvable paradoxes resulting from such “expert” analyses. Hence, as the Islamic Republic is literally depicted as illegitimate, incapable of self-governance, and derogatorily labeled a “regime,” these “experts” can inform their audiences without irony of the rising “menace” of Iran and the growing threat it poses to regional stability and even the “international community.”

They feel no need to explain how an incompetent and universally reviled “regime” can possibly be such an enormous threat to the existing and well entrenched regional and international order. Either the US-led Western Empire is vastly overrated, or the Iranian “regime” is not quite the regime it is portrayed to be.

Their failure to acknowledge, let alone explain, this contradiction lies in the fact that most are simply blind to its existence. The Orientalist demonization of Iran makes almost all negative attributes seem reasonable and plausible, even though they are often mutually exclusive.

The seemingly always-in-crisis Iran doesn’t even have the luxury of being competently evil or deceiving. We are told that Iranians hate the “regime,” Iraqis despise Iran (no allusion to General Suleimani’s massive funeral processions in Iraq), Afghans are resentful, Lebanese feel subjugated, Syrians are outraged, and Yemenis abused. Nevertheless, it is largely left unexplained how an unpopular and heavily sanctioned Iran can wield such enormous influence and maintain such powerful allies, while its western and regional antagonists have infinitely more wealth and resources at their disposal.

These so called experts and analysts don’t seem to recognize that while these powerful anti-Iranian narratives may have a significant impact on perceptions towards Iran, they definitely do not inspire confidence regarding the stability or legitimacy of the US Empire. Hence, we will continue to be told that the Iranian “regime” is possibly facing imminent collapse, but the real story may actually be that the centuries old domination of the “Free and Civilized world” is closer to imminent collapse.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.
Seyed Mohammad Marandi

Professor of English Literature and Orientalism; Head of the American Studies department at the University of Tehran