Freedom House Looks at Who is Undermining Democracy
In conjunction with a symposium held yesterday, Freedom House, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Liberty have launched www.underminingdemocracy.org. Of particular interest to POMED Wire readers, is a report in the Iran section of the website by Abbas Milani on the Islamic Republic’s “finely calibrated system of authoritarian control.”
In the report, Milani posits that the regime has gone to great lengths to “forge a new Islamic man or woman—pious, loyal, and xenophobic, particularly with respect to the United States and Israel.” At the same time, it has recently engaged in a sophisticated outreach program to other Muslim nations, in order to foster international support for the legitimacy of its distinct form of government.
As of yet, “Iranian democrats have failed to develop a cogent policy or a unified leadership, and the authorities use a range of tools to sow disunity and confusion among them.” Even though Iran’s presidential elections are only one week away, Milani identifies systemic challenges that underline the Islamic Republic’s resilience towards meaningful political change.