Ever since they seized power in 1979, Iran’s ruling mullahs have faced the challenge of forging a synthesis between perception and reality. In almost every case, attempts at replacing reality with the perception of an ideal ends in grief. And in many cases, the ideological regime is prepared to sacrifice reality to perception. What matters is how things look, not how they are.
Iran’s Khomeinist regime is the latest illustration of that. The seizure of American hostages in 1979 ended with a disaster for the Iranian economy, not to mention the nation’s prestige. Yet, the ayatollah declared victory over the “Great Satan.”
In 1988, the eight-year war with Iraq had a humiliating end for the Islamic Republic. But, there too Khomeini crowed about his triumph, and ordered the execution of thousands of prisoners to divert attention.
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Source Credits: Amir Taheri in Asharq Al-Awsat. Image above shows protest against hijab in Sweden by Community Party of Iran and the Organization against Violence to Women in Iran.