Bradanini: ” Women’s protest in Iran is a step towards tolerance ”

The former Italian ambassador to Tehran believes that the ongoing demonstrations will not lead to an overthrow of the regime, but will lead to greater openness at the top.

” He will not overthrow the Iranian regime ”, not this one. But the protest of women took to the streets of Iran, to demonstrate against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the moral police on suspicion of wearing the Islamic veil badly, could lead to “ an opening, a greater tolerance ”. Because within the Majlis, the Iranian Parliament, “right now” the hypothesis of “reducing the presence of the moral police on the streets and squares of Iran” is making its way. And in this way ” reducing the distance between the population and its leadership ”. Thus the former Italian ambassador to Tehran, Alberto Bradanini, analyzes with Adnkronos what is happening in Iran. Where, in the face of thousands of women protesting “against a social discipline perceived as repression” and “discriminatory”, President Ebrahim Raisi organized a counter-demonstration in support of the veil. ” Pure scenography of power that cannot show signs of weakness ”, Bradanini cuts short, especially ” in the face of events that can be destabilizing ”. Especially in a country, like Iran, which ” is not pacified ” and therefore can be ” exposed to rash reactions ”.

But ” the police apparatus is very effective, capable of containing protests ” and ” the regime is able to guarantee its protection with firm control of society, the media and communication ”. And also because it is ” united internally by external pressure ”. So “I would say that it is excessive to think that from these demonstrations a broader political movement could be born that could lead to an overthrow of the regime”.

Of course, ” there is a political profile in these demonstrations ”, as there was in the past for ” protests motivated by economic reasons, such as those for the increase in the price of bread, or those for more structural reasons. , as against youth unemployment ”. The profile is that of an ” Iranian population that, in most cases, hopes for a possibly peaceful transition towards a more liberal and pluralist system that will allow Iran to move from a situation of containment of the West to a more relaxed one. towards the international community also with respect to fundamental freedoms and human rights ”.

Rights which, in Mahsa’s case, concern both those of women and those of the Kurdish minority. ” Iran, in its small way, is an imperial reality and not a nation state – explains Bradanini – Just over 50 percent of the Iranian population is of Persian ethnicity. The rest are 20 percent Azeris of Turkmen ethnicity and then there are the Kurds who are notoriously discriminated against not only in Iran, but also in Turkey ”. They are ” a little less so in Iraq, where they have created a state reality with a military path, they are protected by the Peshmerga army ”. The fact remains that the Kurds are “a people that does not find a homeland” and that therefore they represent “an intrinsically destabilizing structural reality” that the Iranian regime intends to repress. How much the fact that Mahsa was of Kurdish ethnicity ” weighed in this specific episode we do not know and the Iranian government has no interest in raising an ethnic reaction ”.

For the diplomat, however, it is ” very likely that the moral police who oversee compliance with the rules of covering the head for women have interpreted this repression in an excessive way, it has exceeded the limits also because it faced a Kurdish woman and not a Persian ”. However, citing ” Iranian sources heard in the last few hours ”, Bradanini says he wants to be ” positive ” and cites ” encouraging signs in the government, which would have initiated a reflection that could lead to greater tolerance and a slow opening ” ‘. The diplomat referred in particular to ” a debate in parliament during which some deputies proposed reducing the presence in the squares and streets of the moral police. The rule would remain in force, but the physical presence of the police would be reduced. ”

It is therefore a “sign that the country seems to be becoming aware, not only among the population, but also at the top, that something must be done” to reduce “the distance between people and leaders”. Because ” the importance of this veil rule is symbolic ” and the Iranian regime has stuck to it as a matter of substance. He is afraid that once the veil has been dropped, society will get out of hand. But it is a pathological fear, a social neurosis widespread at the top of the country, ” said the diplomat.