Iranian leaders have proclaimed the Egyptian popular overthrow of their long-time dictator as the beginning of an Islamic revolution that will sweep the Islamic world. Acting on this delusion, Iran has sent two warships (a frigate and a supply ship) to pass through the Suez canal. By international treaty, any nations can do this, as long as they are not at war. Many Islamic nations are technically at war with Israel, but no matter. Egypt confirmed that the two Iranian ships would be allowed through. The ships are apparently headed for Iranian client-state Syria. This is the first time Iranian ships have passed through the canal since the 1970s, and the 1979 revolution that overthrew the monarchy. The Iranian ships were to have passed through the canal last night, but they didn’t. Egyptian canal officials reported that Iran had cancelled the transit.
The revolution in Iran has been cancelled as well. There won’t be a government overthrow in Iran, like the ones in Tunisia and Egypt. It’s not that the majority of Iranians are not angry at the religious dictatorship that has been running the country since the 1980s. It’s just that not enough Iranians are willing to risk their lives to change the government. Instead, getting out of the country is seen as a more likely (and less dangerous) path to freedom and prosperity. Three decades of such emigration has deprived Iran of many entrepreneurs and educated specialists. Meanwhile, the government remains in power because it has hundreds of thousands of armed followers who are willing to kill, and die, to keep the religious dictatorship in power. As long as that force, the Revolutionary Guard, is around, so will the government survive.