Iran’s leadership will not be able to just use the tool of oppression to maintain power in the longer term.
China and other countries have shown that there can be a relatively stable authoritarian system with a more limited sharing of political power if the vast majority of people are seeing economic gains or have economic hope.
Iran is adding 400,000-500,000 angry and under-employed young men every year. Nextbigfuture does not think Iran will be able to fix all of its economic problems or create the political and societal pressure release valves to prevent an eventual overthrow of the current regime.
Note: IF there is successful counter-revolution in Iran, then the USA will have to help deal with the Iranian economy to fix it and get a lot of jobs for the millions of angry and under-employed people in Iran.
Young people, rural areas, workers are angry
The recent demonstrations shows that areas of the country that the regime depicted as their base — small-towns, conservative communities — are in fact very angry and very anti-regime according to Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran. There is a lot of anger among young people who are children of the working class and went to university but still find themselves unable to rise in Iranian society.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps is responding by cracking down.
Demonstrations and arrests are continuing. The near future of the protest movement may depend on whether a broader coalition forms that is capable of withstanding the oppression.
90 percent of those detained across the country in recent days are under 25 years old.
Iran’s current system is clearly fragile. If there is no mechanism for change or flexibility then pressures will build until the leaders are overthrown.
Science minister Reza Faraji Dana was quoted in 2014 as saying that 150,000 educated Iranians were leaving the country every year.
The government proposed slashing subsidies on basic goods, including food, and services for the poor and increasing fuel prices by as much as 50%. At the same time, religious institutions would be spared the austerity.
President Rouhani raised expectations about economic growth with the lifting of sanctions. Oil revenues have soared, and some sectors — such as tourism — have benefited. But aside from a few big agreements in energy, there has not been a windfall in foreign investment in the past two years. “Non-oil growth, where most jobs are created, remains far lower because of red tape, corruption, and other structural issues,” wrote Kupchan in a research note.
Economics and Demographics and Revolution
Iran’s government can clamp down but they have to fix the economy and make it worth investing in beyond any oil. Oil prices are not likely to go up with the global shift to electric cars over the next 15-25 years. Oil prices could crater.
Iran has to fix regulations and corruption and get foreign investment.
Another 8 million people will enter the workforce by 2028. 4 million more young men over ten years.
Too many enemies
Iran’s regime has international enemies in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States. The USA and Saudi Arabia will present resistance to Iran trying to cut economic deals to fix its problems.
The elite in Iran is split as seen by the Green Movement in 2009. Currently the alternative elite has not united with the workers.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.