By Hikmet Hajizade
President, FAR CENTRE
The idea of this publication has come to me following another wave of confrontation between traditional religious communities with the government in Azerbaijan in autumn 2010. Observers usually consider such confrontation as the echo of Islamic Revolution in Iran and overall growth of all forms of Islam worldwide.
But it is not only Islam reviving, though. During the past 20-30 years researchers have observed general growth of people’s religious sentiments worldwide; the religion is “back” to the social and political life ousting the ideals of Enlightenment. Authoritarian countries with Muslim culture were seen as the first resemblances of the Renaissance of political Islam. Azerbaijan has been considered within the same context and familiar question was raised: Will authoritarian Azerbaijan eventually follow the path of Iranian revolution, or not?
However I am writing this article in April 2011 at the background of another significant event – an “Arabic spring” – a secular and democratic (I am not afraid to call it this way) wave in the Arab world, which probably signalled about dying of the Iranian revolution wave in the world.
“Arab Spring” vividly demonstrated that it is not traditional religious activists and not the poorest groups of population who should be accepted as main drivers of changes in Arab world. Representatives of the middle class, well educated people who share Republican values delivered this Spring to the Arab world.
Nevertheless, we are yet to witness clashes and collisions of traditional religious activists and secular systems – both authoritarian and democratic ones…
The role of Islam in the fight with colonialism and despotism is a well studied and widely welcomed phenomenon by the international democratic community. But world’s liberals was very careful when it comes to the fundamental contradiction of traditional Muslim values with the liberal values in order to be politically correct and not to “hurt Muslims’ feelings.” This article will try to describe the contradictions between traditional religious communities and the government in Azerbaijan.
Islam in modern Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s colonization by Russian Empire (in early 19th century) and then by Bolshevik Russia had mostly predetermined differences in the situation of Islam in Azerbaijan from other Muslim countries. The country’s occupation by Tsarist Russia have split Azerbaijan from the common Muslim cultural space and unintentionally opened doors to the ideas of Enlightenment and Liberalism. Meanwhile the Bolshevik Russia denounced religion as an enemy of the progress and there were even attempts of physical liquidation of religious activists. However both Stalin and Brejnev had failed to fully suppress religion – religious sentiments and activity were observed in various forms throughout the USSR.
European ideas penetrated to the country after Russia’s occupation influenced emerging of strong Enlightening and Anti-clerical movement, founding fathers of which were such thinkers like Mirza Fatali Akhundzadeh (1812-1878), Jalil Mamedkulizadeh (1866-1932), etc. Aspirations to get rid of medieval religious obscurantism were so strong that this secularist movement became part of Azerbaijani identity and it is still strong in contemporary Azerbaijan…
It is very difficult to study any social phenomena in a not free country where people’s will and speech are intimidated and paralysed with fear. Thus it is difficult to judge about influence of Islam in Azerbaijan during the authoritarian Tsarist reign. However as repressions get weaken, the forces nobody have ever considered a serious, unexpectedly appear on the scene.
The conflict of Islamists and secularists in the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR, 1918-1920) is a typical example. Religious-conservative Ittihad party at parliamentary elections had actively and successfully used mosques for propaganda against its rival, powerful national-democratic Musavat party. Mullahs declared that the Musavat is the enemy of Islam and suggested that those voting for its candidates will end up in hell. This outraged the ADR leader Mammad Amin Rasulzadeh (1884-1955), and he spoke about it at the Musavat’s first Convention (October,1917):
People should forget about politics, parties and ideas when they entry the mosque but should care only about praying the God. Clergy should not get involved in politics and mosque should stay neutral in political struggle.
Since then political Islam in Azerbaijan tried to use all democratic means for its own propaganda. (As for Rasulzadeh’s demand not to use mosques in political debates, we will come back to the issue later in this article.)
During 70 years of Soviet rule Islam was totally oppressed in Azerbaijan – only two mosques were open in the capital city Baku with population of 1.5 million, while clergy (Akhunds and Imams) were under tight control of the KGB. Nevertheless, struggle of secularists against “leftovers of the past” for gender equality, rationalism, modernism and “open-mindedness” had continued during all Soviet period. “Sevil”, main character in Jafar Jabbarly’s (1928) the same name drama about emancipation of Azerbaijani women from the grip of religious obscurantism, became one of the symbols of this fight. Sevil became so popular that in 1957 this play character has been glorified with a monument in the centre of Baku – “Azerbaijani woman removing her veil.” In 1959 the same story laid into the opera and finally, future Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev named his daughter Sevil after the character, as many parents used to do in those years.
This was a golden age for Azerbaijani secularists while main issues had been solved for them by the Communist regime in Moscow.
Ironically enough that Azerbaijani women were indeed forced to emancipate within Stalin’s Cultural Revolution.
However, things have begun to change with the fall of the Communist regime when people got some personal and civil liberties. Religion have been coming back to people’s lives and gaining respect in the society.
While it was dangerous to confess openly about belief in God in Soviet period (till the end of 1980s), then:
- in 1998, 71% of respondents of the nationwide opinion poll had confidently declared they believe in God;
- in 2004 the numbers of believers increased to rich 96,7% of all respondents;
- according to the nationwide public opinion palls (among 1.000 respondents) conducted among youth (18-35 years old) in 2010, 95% of interviews said they believe in God (2009 – 96%, 2008 – 88%).
However, the share of regularly practicing believers among youth were much lower – only 11% of interviewed (2008 – 13%, 2009 - 13%).
This data shows that the adhesion to religion is skyrocketing in Azerbaijan. In the meantime, the surveys and estimations also shows another trend – the growth of “deep believers” – those who practicing regularly had stopped after reaching 20% threshold and do not increase further.
Islamic political activists
So called “islamists” (Islamic political activists) appeared at Azerbaijani political scene during the struggle for independence (1988-1991) and actively supported Popular Front of Azerbaijan (PFA). Their leader Haji Alikram had been even elected to the PFA Board and was respected among democrats for his activity.
However, as early as in 1991 Haji Alikram and his followers split from the PFA and announced creation of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan (IPA), which was distinct with heavily pro-Iranian orientation. The party aimed to create Islamic state in Azerbaijan, using Islamic Republic of Iran as a model.
In 1992 the democratic government of Abulfaz Elchibey registered all existing political parties, including the IPA. However, there was already a growing tension between the Islamists and secular democrats. The “Freedom of belief” Law (1992), adopted by the PFA government, was granting religious community with large liberties, mosques [once seized by Soviet government] began to be returned to believers, believers now could organize religious schools, organize pilgrimage, etc. However the same law banned religious figures to run for parliament – apparently it was done to prevent Iranian scenarios in Azerbaijan.
Former communist leader Heydar Aliyev, who came to power in 1993, cancelled the IPA registration in 1995. In May of the same year the party’s nine leading activists were arrested on the charges of cooperation with Iranian special services. The political Islam was in fact outlawed, nevertheless, the government failed to fully suppress IPA activists. They still continue acting publicly, despite the regular arrests for alleged anti-government activity.
The IPA activists mostly protest against social injustice and violation of civil (often electoral) rights; in foreign policy the IPA’s voice echoes Iranian government’s policy – in support of the Palestine, against “world Zionism” and “Western imperialism.” And of course the IPA constantly advocates for religious rights for Muslims, which, according to Islamists are being more and more suppressed by the current government.
A series of active protests against the government’s decision to ban hijab in schools in autumn 2010 was the latest activity of the IPA. During these protests the party’s leader Movsum Samedov with hopeless courage criticized the country’s president, calling him and his family infidels and enemies of Islam, against whom every Muslim has to carry jihad. For that, of course, Movsum Samedov, his party fellows and some of his close relatives have been arrested in early 2011 and they are still in prison.
It is difficult to judge about the real popularity of the IPA (as about any other political party in the country), as in oppressed societies people’s will is broken and one cannot express his/her position freely. Our surveys show that people prefer answering “do not know” to the questions that carried political background. Sometimes number of those “do not know” reaches up to 35 % of the respondents.
Anyways, surveys do not reveal any visible popularity of the IPA. The party doesn’t enjoy support of the democratic community, either. Nevertheless, several hundreds of the IPA activists vigorously and persistently continue their activity, apparently because they rely on the alleged benevolence of Allah, whom they believe to be on their side, rather than on support from voters. Overall, surveys conducted by our organization did not reveal any popular religious figure, who could potentially lead a social or political movement.
Are there personalities among religious leaders, whom you consider an authority? If yes, please name (survey in 2006)
- no – 59%; do not know – 19%; yes, yes, there are – 22%,
- Allahshukur Pashazadeh (Sheykh-ul-Islam of Azerbaijan) – 4,3%
- Vasim Mamedaliyev (pro-government theologist) – 2,2%
- Hadji Sabir (deputy Sheykh-ul-Islam) – 1,7%
- Local religious leaders – 1,7%
- Ayatollah Khamenei (current spiritual leader of Iran) – 1,3%
- Hadji Gamet (imam at «Vahhabi» Abu-Bekr mosque) – 0,9%
- Ilgar Ibrahimoglu (Imam-djamaat of democratic religious community of Djuma mosque in Baku’s Old city) – 0,4%
- Ben Laden – 0,2%
- Fazil Lankarani (Iranian Ayatollah) – 0,2%
- Nariman Gasimoglu (theologist, “Religion and Democracy” Foundation) – 0,2%
The same survey showed lower levels of support to the idea of radical religious activists’ participation in politics.
Should radical islamists be allowed to participate in elections?
- Yes – 35%; no – 33%; do not know – 32%.
IPA: fighting on two fronts
In fact the IPA has to fight on two different fronts in the country:
On one side there is an authoritarian government, trying to stop any uncontrolled activity in any sphere of the public life.
On the other side there still exist an influential secularist movement in the country which includes not only the majority of democrats but also most of the government officials. Besides, confronting all ideas coming from the West, Islamists deprived themselves of the support of the international democratic community.
“Islamophobia” which developed in the world (and in Azerbaijan) after 9/11 worsened the situation of the religious activists. Now Iran and Allah are the only potential sources of help for the IPA.
Any attempt of democrats to cooperate with the IPA fails due to the fundamental differences in values, which has been difficult to overcome so far.
After the 1996 repressions the IPA in fact turned into a group of outcast people, oppressed from all sides. After a year of deliberations and re-evaluation of values, in the mid-1997 a group of the party activists started working on the party’s revival. New leaders of the IPA decided to carry out following tactical changes:
- To re-brand the party, naming it “Muslim Democratic Party”;
- To adopt a new program with more emphasis on democracy, Constitution and Human Rights;
- To try to nationalize/localize its religious propaganda: well-known Arabic Islamic formulas now had to be translated and sounded in Azerbaijani language;
- To stop party’s isolation and arrange cooperation with other opposition groups.
Within the efforts to stop isolation, the IPA leaders signed a political agreement with relatively small Liberal and Social-Democrat parties in autumn, 1997. These agreements raised many eye-brows in the society; media kept asking what was uniting liberals and islamists?
The next target of the IPA was the country’s major opposition party – Musavat. After confidential talks with the party leaders in early 1998, Islamists submitted a draft treaty on cooperation to Musavat’s leadership consideration. The draft reads that the IPA and Musavat are obliged to:
- To work on strengthening the country’s independence, democracy and protect Constitution;
- Cooperate at the 1998 presidential elections (suggesting that the IPA will support Musavat’s candidate);
- Jointly fight against proselytism from abroad and non-Muslim sects.
It took two months to the Musavat party’s board to discuss the draft. There was no rush, as there were nine months to go till elections. In the beginning the party tempted to gain support of one more group of supporters at the presidential elections. It was first decided to sign the agreement except the part about joint struggle against foreign missionaries.
However, at last secularists won the argument and the Musavat’s board made different decision: before signing an agreement about cooperation, parties need to sign protocols on mutual understanding and common values. The IPA leaders were invited to talk with Musavat Board members. The conversation revealed that under the term democracy the IPA leadership understands the Iranian regime – a Velayate-Faqih system (Rule by the Supreme Religious leader(s)“), which bears some formal democratic elements). One of the IPA leaders, speaking of the core of the “Velayate-Faqih” regime, shared his thoughts such as:
People should not be trusted to make important decisions, as human beings they are tend to make mistakes. There should be religious leaders, theologists, ayatollahs, who will define the issues which ordinary people are eligible to vote for»; «If the vast majority of the population are Muslims, it will be democratic to have Islamic laws». As for the Constitution, «today it could be tolerated but later changed in accordance with own interests.” «The UN Declaration of Human Rights is written by human beings but we recognize only God-given rights»; «If religion will be separated from the state, there will be no space for religious people and it will be a Godless state»; «Anyone is free to chose his religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), but sects are not a religion – it is a false religion»; «Anyone can change his/her religion from Christianity to Islam, but not vice versa, as it is banned in Koran, as Islam is the latest and highest of religions»; «Our goal is Azerbaijan and our ultimate goal is the whole Islamic World.
Once acquired these answers from the IPA leaders, the Musavat board decided not to sign an agreement on political cooperation and continue consultations. Agreement has never been signed; and it will not be signed unless the IPA will find courage to re-evaluate its views.
Islamophobia and Repressions
The IPA is not the only important Islamic phenomena in Azerbaijan. Activity of the Islamic missionaries from Iran, the Persian Gulf countries and Turkey attract due attention of observers.
After the fall of the “Iron curtain”, many Islamic missioners poured into Azerbaijan to disseminate Turkish, Iranian and Vahhabi versions of Islam. The two latter openly and vigorously aimed at changing the secular and modernist course of the country. Iranian religious missionaries openly disseminated the idea of an Islamic revolution in Shiah mosques, financed supporters and recruited students for studying in religious centres of Iran, aiming at using these people for their purposes.
Vahhabis acted secretly, creating religious cells, where they effectively preached their own doctrine of Islam. This doctrine openly called for elimination of all who do not agree with Vahhabism (especially Shias).
It is still unclear how Vahhabism succeeded to strike roots in the mostly Shia populated country. However, soon the country’s government, concerned with the popularity of this current of Islam, decided to prevent the activity of Vahhabi missionaries. All of them were deported from the country, but it was already late. Vahhabism, sometimes in the most aggressive form, kept disseminated in Azerbaijan even without missionaries.
The events of 9/11 increased concerns of the society regarding a possible development of terrorism in Azerbaijan. Soon after that the public had learned that Azerbaijani Special services fight with armed Vahhabi and Shia groups, both acting in Azerbaijan as well as fighting in Chechnya and Afghanistan; one of the Azerbaijani Vahhabists even ended up in American Guantanamo prison.
In March 2011 the “Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan” non-governmental organization (chairman Eldar Zeynalov) disseminated the list of 220 convicted activists during the last six years in Azerbaijan charged with religious extremism of different kinds, including Shiah and Vahhabi.
The government used old methods while fighting this negative phenomenon – tightening of the grip, repressions and preventive repressions. They never tried enlightening, education, establishing dialog with these people, discussing their problems, etc.
Not only religious extremists but also any form of uncontrolled religious activity was under the government’s pressure. Independent religious communities were closed, religious literature went under tough censorship, Abu-Bekr and Shehidler mosques in Baku were closed and Ilahiyyat and Fatimeyi Zahra mosques were temporarily shut down despite the believers’ protests. Several mosques were demolished as illegal constructions; the government put forward a ban on loud azan – call to prayer using sound equipment; ban on hijab (vail) in the universities was toughened, ban on hijab in schools was introduced (2010).
In June 01, 2011 the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights has discussed 19 new restrictive amendments to the law "On freedom of belief." According to the amendments, all Muslim communities should be subjected to the “Caucasus Muslims office” (CMO) (government controlled religious organisation) and the Imams of the communities should not be elected by believers, according to the Muslim tradition, but should be appointed by CMO i.e. by the government. Religious literature and courses for the study of sacred books should be censored by the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations. And all of this was carried out without any public discussion...
Noteworthy is, that besides protests from some religious activists, this last wave of repressions were not properly condemned by the democratic community of Azerbaijan: like elsewhere in the world Islamophobia has been disseminated in the country, and very few were ready to hear about the rights of believers.
Prospects for religious freedoms in “democratic Azerbaijan”
The collisions described above are being observed in current, authoritarian Azerbaijan. But apparently, some problems with traditional Islam will also require a special policy in a democratic system, let’s call it future “democratic Azerbaijan.” The desire of some believers to uncompromisingly observe letter of their saint Writ, their aspirations to built Islamic statehood will always be in conflict with a republican constitution.
Let’s take a look to the main principles of the legal system in liberal-democratic and Islamic states:
Islam Law (Sharia)
All people are born free and equal in rights before the law.
- Men have more rights than women;
- Muslim have more rights than non-Muslim;
- Believers have more rights than non-believers;
- Those who believe in Koran and Bible have more rights than idolaters;
- Slavery is not prohibited etc.;
Any form of discrimination is prohibited
There is a discrimination based on gender, religion and social status.
In the very beginning of the history of Islam, both moral and legal norms foreseen in Koran might have been very progressive in terms of human rights, morality and social justice. The norms like “don’t obey anyone but God”, “don’t lie”, “help those in need”, “fight injustice”, “don’t obey to the unjust ruler” are still relevant and are not in conflict with universal values.
As for the legal norms, Islamic Shariah Law System has stuck in its medieval form and as we see from the table, sometimes justifies authoritarianism and discrimination.
We can see in the table above that the propaganda of the Islamic state (with the legal system based on Shariah Law) is the propaganda of discrimination against women, non-Muslims, non-believers, which is in fundamental conflict with both our Constitution and international conventions on human rights, ratified by Azerbaijan.
Where is the solution?
We believe that first of all there is a need for wide and sincere (I put emphasis on this word) and sometimes, unpleasant discussion of this problem in the society. This discussion has already started in our current public sphere and here are the examples of language, used in this debates:
- (ultra secularists) «Current Islamic practice should be limited as it already creates clear and present danger for secular and democratic lifestyle.
- (ultra liberals) «Religion cannot be limited in its expressions as it is part of the general freedom of expression».
- (religious fundamentalists) “We will strictly follow the spirit and letter of our Writ - you call it discrimination, we call it the will of God.”
- (religious irrationalists) «There are no any discriminative verses against women and others in Koran, you just didn’t understand it correctly.” (This is the most difficult position for dialog, as it leaves no room for further discussion).
- (Moderate liberals) «Religious rights should be protected, but religious activists have to accept liberal constitution with equality for all».
- (Islamic reformists) «There are other, more important parts of Koran, as honesty, solidarity, empathy, etc., that are not observed, while some religious activists are focusing their attention in such secondary issues as hijab».
- (Azerbaijani secular missionaries-enlighteners). “It is a mission of Azerbaijan in the whole Islamic world to adopt Muslim practices to the modern life, by finding a form of Islam which will allow to get rid of the perception of the religion as a closed and pro-extremism institution.”
There are wide debates about a dilemma of “religious rights” vs “freedom, equality and brotherhood” still going on in democratic countries. In the beginning these countries adopted the concept of multi-culturalism, which allowed believers to follow their own laws in personal life while residing in liberal-democratic society. However the horrors of Islamist activism reported in media, almost daily news on terrorist attacks committed by Muslims in Western countries, unpleasant details about private life of Muslim families and the events of 9/11 forced the West to reconsider the situation.
A long-lasting discussion of the problem was started by ultra-right political groups but finished by official leadership of European countries. The book of the famous German banker, moreover a social-democrat Thilo Sarrazin Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Abolishes Itself) published in September 2010 in Germany suggests that a majority of Muslim emigrants even of third generation refuse to integrate to the German society and accept liberal values. The author also claims that Muslims are inclined to crime and terror. However, was that they eat up the social welfare system because of their non-integration into the modern industrialized, liberal society; they get numerous children, which they do not adequately educate and prepare for a successful life in modern society, but – somehow connected to their religion and to “village/pre-modern/patriarchal” understanding of society and the individual keep to ways of thinking, and acting, which will ruin Germany.
The book was immediately condemned by the German liberal circles but the discussion continued and soon after that the world heard Angela Merkel, Nicola Sarkozy and David Cameron confessing that policy of “multi-culturalism” have died.
In his speech at the 47th Munich conference on security (5 February, 2011) D. Cameron, British PM, supported the idea of testing Islamists organizations in correspondence to the following criteria:
So let's properly judge these organisations:
Do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths?
Do they believe in equality of all before the law?
Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government?
Do they encourage integration or separatism?
These are the sorts of questions we need to ask.
Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations.
No public money. No sharing of platforms with Ministers at home.
At the same time, we must stop these groups from reaching people in publicly funded institutions – like universities and prisons.
Thus, European leaders, forgetting “political correctness” and called Muslims living in Europe to reform their religious practice and in fact to bring their values in correspondence with declarations of human rights.
Statements of the European leaders caused Islamists’ protests - “We are not allowed to live in accordance with the laws of our choice, how about the human rights?” they would ask. In this case we need to refer to the position of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on this issue.
Considering the complain of Turkish student Leyla Shahin about ban on hijab in university, the ECHR declined the case and explained its decision as follows:
Religious rights are of two types:
1. The right to believe (these rights can never be limited)
2. The right to joint practice of the cult and missionary activity (these rights could be limited if they carry a threat to the public security).
The ECHR, considering historical problems of establishment of gender equality in Turkey, considering that some religious extremists see hijab as a symbol of refusal from the equality and thus threatening public security, decided that the ban on hijab in Turkish universities is not contradicting the European Convention of Human Rights.
Islamists (both in Europe and in Azerbaijan) denounced this decision of the ECHR as well as manifestation of the end of “multi-culturalism” as showings of “islamophobia.” But they have to understand that “islamophobia” is something that does not get away with a simple spell. It could disappear only when the reports from Muslim community will not contain information about explosions, medieval treatment of human being, discrimination of women and religious minorities.
Islamists should find courage and make themselves to admit the apparent truth that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
My view on how to ease the tension between the Islamic and democratic communities looks the following way:
a) religious rights must be protected, but also
b) religious communities need reforms (or reformation): it should accept the universal rights.
Only by accepting universal rights Islamic activists will be able to get out of isolation into which they put themselves and secure their due place in the society.
Political Islam and Muslim democrats
Now I would like to go back to the topic of “Islam and politics”, namely to the above mentioned statement of the founding father of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic M. E. Rasulzadeh that “Entering the mosque, people should forget about the politics…”
It is not clear how and on what basis imams and the constituents of mosques should be banned to touch political issues in their prayers and preaches. What if the cleric is criticizing corruption in the government, should he be banned from doing so? I guess if imams of the mosques would advocate for the Musavat party and Rasulzadeh himself, he (Rasulzadeh) wouldn’t really opposed it…
In mosques, as in any public places, freedom of speech and thoughts should be guaranteed. In democratic legislation there is only one limitation for these speeches. Neither akhunds and imans, nor anyone else, are allowed to call for violence, cruelty and discrimination; any other speech should be free in the mosque.
This also refers to the Islamist political organizations. Islamic Party should have equal rights to participate in the political process with other parties but it should not have a right to call on Sharia Laws in the country, as the Shariah Law system besides others is contradicting the principle of equal rights for all citizens. And, if the Islamic Party will be able to accept the UN Declaration on Human Rights, then it will not be different from let’s say Christian Democrats and should be able to secure its due place in the political spectrum of the democratic country.
It is extremely difficult to conduct studies and make conclusions regarding social and political processes in authoritarian societies, where the will and speech of people are paralyzed with fear.
- Nevertheless, studies and estimations of the FAR CENTRE allow to conclude that there are no influential political Islamic organizations in Azerbaijan and of course there is no possibility for the establishment of an Islamic regime in the country
- Possibility to establish the Islamic state will not occur under a democratic regime with a standard set of civil rights and liberties as well.
- However, some different small extremist religious groups may try to destabilise the situation via terrorist attacks.
- The government is trying to fight the “Islamic threat” only by repressions and establishing tight control over the religious area – this strategy is not going to be successful. There is a need for legitimate democratic government and to open the dialog with religious and secular activists.
- The current dominant secularist movement in the country should get rid of its doubtful attitude to the religious community and respect freedom of religion.
- Religious communities should find courage and accept Republican values and the universal rights.
- Moderate and true Muslims should actively and openly protest against violence and extremism, committed by Muslims by using religious arguments.
- The society in general needs open, sincere, and possibly, unpleasant discussion of the problem of Islam in a democratic state; and everything should start with this discussion.
For all above mentioned, it can be surely concluded that Azerbaijan is not facing an Iranian revolution.
But maybe there will be an Arab (or Azerbaijani) spring?
Alas and however our studies and estimations do not display this possibility as well.