Jun 25 2009
I have mentioned many times over the past week that the violent attacks on the people of Iran will probably change a lot of hearts inside the military and security forces. The reason I believe this is because security and military forces obviously come from the national community, which means when a government tries to set these forces on the populace it can easily backfire on the government. When you ask people to attack their family, friends and neighbors it doesn’t take a lot of violence to change hearts.
And we still see signs this is, in fact, occurring in Iran:
For reasons best not explained, I’ve come to know a former member of the Revolutionary Guards really well.
He’s done some pretty dreadful things in his life, from attacking women in the streets for not wearing the full Islamic gear to fighting alongside Islamic revolutionaries in countries abroad.
And yet now, in the tumult that has gripped Iran since its elections last week, he’s had a change of heart.
He’s not the only one.
I had to leave Iran last Sunday, when the authorities refused to renew my visa. But before I left, another former senior Revolutionary Guard came to our hotel to see us.
“Remember me,” he pleaded. “Remember that I helped the BBC.”
I realised that even a person so intimately linked to the Islamic Revolution thinks that something will soon change in Iran.
The Revolutionary Guards with second thoughts illustrate some of the deeper forces driving a crisis which I believe could change Iran forever.
I agree 100% with this assessment. Violence, up close and personal, can easily shock a person out of the fantasy of a cause and into the harsh reality of life on the edge. And then survival instinct kicks in.