While the US president fires off tweet after tweet of exclamations about unrest in Iran – at least seven posted over the past several days – others are not getting so excited.
China’s ruling party mouthpiece People’s Daily published an editorial (link in Chinese) on Tuesday, reassuring that Iran is in no danger of fulfilling dreams of a “color revolution.”
While the Iranian people’s outrage over austerity measures is real, the commentary from the newspaper’s Overseas Edition penname Xieke Dao acknowledges, these demonstrations pale in comparison to those in recent years.
More important than the nature of the political dispute, “Uncle Dao” writes, is the fact that the Iranian government has “monumental” capacity for controlling the situation.
“In 2009, three million people protesting on the streets of Tehran couldn’t even shake up the government,” an observer of Iranian politics was quoted as saying. “Now there are maybe less than 3,000 people. What could they do?”
In reality, in the eyes of many Iranians, “this time isn’t just not a revolution, it’s not even a political movement. It’s just Iranian people letting out their feelings of dissatisfaction with the current rut the economy and political situation are in,” the observer went on.
Despite confidence that the demonstrations were not worthy of the excitement expressed by some, including Trump in his tweets, the commentary concluded with a warning.
“Even though these demonstrations are going to end, the Iranian economic situation is still terrible, and with regard to their yearning for a high quality of life the people will continue to test the ability and good intentions of those in power,” Dao wrote.
The People’s Daily-owned Global Times also weighed in on the unrest, as well as Trump’s tweets, with an editorial on Monday. The protests are a learning opportunity for non-Western countries, the commentary said, reminding that not every country need follow the same model:
Western nations often jointly support unrest in certain non-Western countries. With a lack of self-confidence in politics, those developing countries facing protests are easily caught up in chaos.
But the government systems of this world are not up to the West to decide. Each country’s history, culture, economy and social development differs from another. The one-size-fits-all Western political standard will only create blood and pain and is not in the interests of the general public in developing countries.