Politics of Tolerance vis-a-vis Islamic Republic of Iran
The term ‘Politics of tolerance’ is usually not associated with the ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’. Currently, the country is in the stronghold of radical Islamic forces and no tolerance is shown for dissidents, secularists and pluralists. While Iran has historically been a conservative society, the America backed coup-de-tat of 1953 proved to be a turning point. This coup inserted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in place of its incumbent leader Mohammed Mossadegh. The irony lies in the fact that Mossadegh was a legitimate and democratically elected leader with significant popular support. Yet he was seen as an enemy by the intelligentsia of the leading democracy in the world. The Shah was loyal to Western interests and it was institutions such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which masterminded his ascendency. Under the Shah, Iran witnessed a transformation toward modern values and a tolerant socio-political culture. But this was ended with the Islamic wave of the 1970s, which reinstated its religious leader Ayatollah Kamenei as the supreme leader. Ever since, the country has been ruled autocratically and religious/political subservience has become inevitable.
With the collapse of the British Empire at the end of the Second World War and
Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2003. 258 pages.
Molavi, Afshin, The Soul of Iran, Norton, (2005), p.358
(talk accessed via: http://www.theory-talks.org/2008/07/theory-talk-12.html)
Political Scientist Robert Jervis offers interesting perspectives in the area of International Relations. In particular he talks about the nature of American dominance, the potential threats to its superpower status, the success and failure of the Treaty on Nuclear Non-Proliferation, etc. Professor Jervis presents his views from a Realist point of view – a framework that takes a pragmatic account of geo-political situations as against idealistic or fundamentalist ones. This is evident in Realists’ (including Jervis) open opposition to the war in Iraq. Even on the question of a possible intervention in Iran Jervis advices caution and suggests that Iran’s declaration of being a nuclear-enabled state could be no more than a strategic bluff. Jervis sees both advantages and disadvantages in European economic integration. On the positive side, he believes that a consolidated Europe would .