: Blogger Alireza Doostdar gives NY Times columnist Tom Friedman a history lesson. Friedman argues that building democracy in Iraq will have a positive impact on Iran (well, it certainly will have a positive impact on the entire region). But Alizera says:
True, Iraq, like Iran, is a majority Shiite country. But Iran, unlike Iraq, has a 150-year-old democracy movement, which started with a revolution that constitutionalized the monarchy and established a parliament during the Qajar period. The Islamic Republic was not established when clerics suddenly decided to get out of their hujras in Qom and invade Tehran. It was an important milestone in the evolution of a massive national movement, which has continued to evolve and change. I think it is very naive to think that by helping Iraqis start to build democratic institutions where they have never existed, and “experiment with defining relations between religion and politics” you would have a significant impact on a country that has been experimenting with various definitions of the same relationship for decades. If anything, it will probably be the other way around, with the Iranian experience impacting developments in Iraq (as has seemed to be the case at least so far).