[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/23/iran.protest.faces/art.modern.gi.jpg caption="The modern face of Iran - seen in this June 15 photo - is also represented at anti-Ahmadinejad protests. "]
Interfaith Youth Core
The Washington Post
My guess (and let's be honest – when it comes to Iran, we're all guessing) is that two grand narratives are playing a shaping role in Iran right now - call them Grant Park and Karbala, otherwise known as the current Era of Obama and the ancient heritage of Shia Islam.
The celebration of Obama's election victory in Grant Park on November 5, 2008, matters for two reasons. The first is because that's the day Iran stopped being part of the Axis of Evil. For decades, The regime in Iran had successfully built support by creating an Us vs. Them framework with America playing the role of 'Them'. By making Iran part of the Axis of Evil, the Bush Administration embraced the role of 'Them'. However much young and progressive Iranians hated their regime, they hated being labeled Evil by a foreign power even more. If they had to choose between being punched in the face by the Iranian regime or being punched in the face by the Bush Administration, they chose the Persian fist. Obama's victory, and his subsequent reaching out to the Iranian people, changed the Us vs. Them framework.
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