Saturday, June 11, 2005

Continuing Signs of Restlessness in Iran

There is some very interesting poll data highlighted at Regime Change Iran regarding the thoughts of typical Iranians, as we head closer to their June 17 election.

A recent public opinion survey of Iranians, conducted by The Tarrance Group, surprisingly found that a vast majority (74%) of Iranians feel America’s presence in the Middle East will increase the probability of democracy in their own country. The survey, which was the first of its kind, found, two-thirds of Iranians believe that regime change in Iraq has been a positive for both neighboring countries: with 66% believing that it served Iran’s national interests, while 65% believed the Iraqi people will, in the long-run, be better off.

These kinds of numbers must drive the mullahs absolutely nuts, and seems to bolster the notion that the Iranian people are just...kind of...looming out there, waiting for a chance to rehape their country. In fact...

Validating reports of widespread discontent with the clerical regime, three-fourths of Iranians (73%) support the call for a national referendum through which Iranians are given a chance to choose the form of government of their choice. Significantly, almost all Iranians reject their government’s attempts to keep exiled Iranians out of the political and economic equation of Iran. Fully 84% of all Iranians say Iranians living abroad should have a role in shaping the political and economic future of their homeland.

The poll even includes some data of Iranians feelings toward their country's nuclear ambitions.

On the nuclear issue, a solid majority of surveyed respondents inside Iran (60%) feel that the international community’s worry about the prospects of terrorists obtaining weapons of mass destruction is real.

Regime Change Iran has more on the methodology of the poll, and more results. Chrenkoff adds his own analysis of Iran and this poll, including this hopeful conclusion:

There's one country whose citizens are desperate to burst out of the Axis of Evil shell. Let's hope that this year will be the year. Imagine that, an almost unbroken chain of democracy from the Mediterranean to Central Asia.

It's one of those things that people almost dare not wish for, lest they be pigeonholed as eternally and fatally optimistic. Nevertheless, I include myself amongst the hopeful. The inspiration that the people of Iraq have provided the region has proven to be viral in many other areas, including many that are not even feeling the "axis of evil" pressure, like Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Were the people of Iran to reshape their country in a truly democratic way it would be the political equivilent of an earthquake, felt from one end of the region to the other.

Just imagine the greatest state sponsor of terror removed from the equation, and in the long run, something less than an enemy. Syria starts to look like a pretty lonely place, and who would be left for N. Korea to sell weapons too, a few psychos with no state sponsorship?

Channel your good thoughts for the people of Iran folks. Whether they are aware of it or not, they may hold the fate of the region in their collective hands.

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