Why Teheran Is Not Tiananmen

For Iran’s theocrats, the Tiananmen model must have seemed very appealing. Seen through the eyes of an authoritarian, Tiananmen was a success, one crackdown, and several hundred deaths helped keep the Chinese Communist regime in power for what has now been two decades. Given the number of authoritarian regimes which have collapsed in since 1989, the appeal of the Chinese model seems even clearer. For Iran, the lessons from other countries, for example, the Soviet Union, Chile or even several post-Soviet states, is that failing to crack down or trying to negotiate some kind of compromise ends with defeat. For the Iranian regime, based on these experiences, the decision was easy.