A wave of protests has been sweeping through Iran for more than two months. Police and government react with violence, but the riots do not stop. The Revolutionary Guard could now take advantage of the situation, warns an expert. The country has been heading towards a military dictatorship for years.
According to the Islamic scholar Katajun Amirpur, there is also a real risk of a military coup in Iran. "The Pasdaran, the Revolutionary Guards, could put an end to this theocracy," said the professor of Islamic studies at the University of Cologne. "But of course they are not willing to establish a democracy. That would then be a military dictatorship. Iran has been on this path for several years anyway."
Even if the influence of the Revolutionary Guards should increase, Amirpur does not believe in an end to the freedom movement. The knowledge in the country about what the rule of law and democracy means is too great.
"This desire for freedom and, above all, the knowledge of what a better Iran could look like is there." It was very inconsistent that the state made women second-class citizens, while at the same time training them to become professors, doctors and lawyers and let them study. "It's completely clear that it will eventually explode."
The system-critical protests were triggered by the death of the young Iranian Kurd Jina Mahsa Amini. She died in police custody in mid-September after being arrested by morality officers for violating Islamic dress codes. The ensuing protests plunged Iran's political leadership into one of the worst crises in decades.