The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Egypt Into Iran? -- "A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy"


Abrahamian, who was born in Iran, is a distinguished professor of history at City University of New York. His books include A History of Modern Iran.
He said today: "Those who warn that if the U.S. eases out Mubarak the
outcome will be another Iran may unwittingly bring about a
self-fulfilling prophecy. In Iran there could have been a bloodless
transfer of power to the moderate opposition - [Ayatollah Mohammad]
Shariatmadari, [Prime Minister Mehdi] Bazargan and the National Front -
if the U.S. had not hung onto the Shah until it was too late. The
massacre in September 1978 - known as Bloody or Black Friday - undercut
the moderates and brought to the fore [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini.
After Bloody Friday, moderates did not want to be in any way associated
with the Shah. We are now facing the same situation. If Liberation
Square becomes Martyrs Square, there will be few moderates left in


Erlich's books include The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis and Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence, and Empire.
He said today: "Iran in 1979 and Egypt today are two totally different
situations. Khomeini was a well-known leader of the revolution in Iran.
Egypt today is a multi-sector, popular uprising without open Islamic
leadership. The Muslim Brotherhood is a popular-based movement, but not
dominant. Some in the U.S. and Israel equate Egypt and 1979 Iran as a
scare tactic to continue backing Mubarak." Erlich also produced "The Struggle for Iran," hosted by Walter Cronkite.

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.