Tensions between the USA and Iran remain high after the murder of Suleimani in Iraq and the revenge attack of Iran. The possibility of further escalations was in many people’s mind in the days after these events. January 2020: has the Iranian war already started?
A tensed status quo is reached a week after the escalations. Although, this is a status quo that could collapse at any moment. The unpredictable Trump has no political limitations. While Iranian politics are known for its clever and longterm, power politics. Both are persistent, which makes the current situation even more unpredictable. The reactions aimed at de-escalation from international leaders hasn’t had any significant impact so far. If they will have any impact in the future is highly questionable.
From escalation to war
In these circumstances, it’s no surprise analysts and opinionmakers talk about the possibility of another war in the Middle East. Predictions focus at a war affecting the entire region, not only a war that’s limited to Iran. It makes sense: where-ever the influence of Iran is, there will be consequences, as the country has an extended network of interference in countries as Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. Not only that, the whole region will have a negative impact on escalations nearby. Every leader in the Middle East is aware that.
Indeed, there’s a point that the currently tensed status quo between Iran and USA could escalate in war. For sure this will affect the whole region negatively. Still, it’s a misunderstanding that there’s no war yet. In fact, a war already started years ago, not on a regional level but on the national Iranian level.
Since the beginning of the Islamic Republic in 1979, the regime of Iran is known for its strict control of Iranian society. This is noticeable at politics as it’s no secret that the opposition of the regime has few options or no options at all. In reality, everything in Iran is political. In fact, in the daily life of Iran, all citizens have only the freedom the Ayatollah chose them to have. According to an Iranian man: since my birth, my life is already decided by politics. I will follow the Shiism Islam, have Islamic education, dress according to the law, find a wife, read the books and see the programs the government chooses me to see. Besides, I will think that America and Israel are our worst enemies.
His words show that the influence of the Iranian regime comes back in every aspect of Iranian life. From education to leisure, from politics to sexuality, from clothing to opinions. The Ayatollah gives you the options where you can choose from and those options are limited.
In the 40 years after the Islamic revolution, Iran had to deal with growing protests. Among others against the corruption, restrictions, misleadings, the economic situation and the government in general. The politics of the Ayatollah might have worked partly in the beginning. Years later, more and more citizens are affected negatively by them as the growing protests show.
Whenever protest expanded the government responded with repression. Everything was and still is allowed to get the Iranian citizens back at their submissive position. Shootings, imprisonment and tortures are no exceptions to keep the regime in charge. In fact, the Iranian government used repression in all kinds of ways toward their citizens in the need to survive. In this light, the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran shows that there’s already a war going on. Because a government that uses aggressive repression against its own citizens is in fact in war with its own citizens.
The next episode
The events in January 2020 have raised international tensions and fear of a war beyond the national borders. In reality, the events have been for Iranians the cause of another horrible episode of an internal war with the Iranian regime. In the days after the plane crash by Iranian missiles, massive protests are happening daily. The Iranian regime and the Iranian citizens are again in front of each other. How this battle will end is open for multiple interpretations. Read more about this: January 2020: how could Iran get out of this crisis.
Whatever might happen, both the Iranian regime and Iranian citizens have a lot to lose. The Iranian regime wants to remain in power. The Iranian citizens want a future. For both parties, an internal war will be the only thing left to gain power and have a future.
The focus of war shouldn’t be directed only to the Middle East but also to the country of Iran. In January 2020 there’s already a war going on between the national Iranian boundaries. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of it as the Iranian regime also decides what foreigners see and hear of Iran. The only source of information comes from the Iranians themselves. Their options for communication are also limited as you could guess.