As the leadership in Tehran prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of the Khomeinist revolution, a growing number of Iranians are wondering whether the time has come for their country to close that chapter and resume its historic path as a nation-state.
The need for Iran to move beyond the Khomeinist revolution was the theme of a seminar last month at Westminster University in London where the return of Iran as a nation-state was highlighted as an urgent need for regional peace and stability.
The Khomeinist revolution in Iran has failed to “export” its model to a single country, while making Iran poorer and more vulnerable than it had been under the Shah.
The main reason for this is that the Khomeinist revolution failed to create a new state structure with credible and efficient institutions. Unable to destroy the Iranian state as it had developed over some five centuries, the new Khomeinist rulers tried to duplicate it by creating parallel organs for exercising power.
The aims and interests of those parallel organs, not to mention their modus operandi, differ sharply from those of the Iranian state, leading to almost continuous tension between the two.