Provocateur

Martin Amis on Iran

Martin Amis weighs in on the situation in Iran in Friday’s Guardian. What’s the famous author’s take? Here’s the heart of the piece: “For the mullahs now know that they are afloat on an ocean of illegitimacy. The great hawzers of the revolution of 1978-79 are all either snapped or fraying. Of the four foundational narratives, three are myths: the ‘Islamic Revolution’ was not an Islamic revolution; the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), which destroyed a generation, was not the ‘Imposed War’, as it is still called; and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, was not a great man (Khomeini, as every inquisitive Iranian has long understood, was a world-historical monster). Perhaps most importantly of all, for now, the fourth narrative, or thread (anti-Americanism—‘Westoxication’, in the old battle cry), has been severed by the person of Obama. The Islamic Republic is also doomed by modernity (in the form of instant communications) and by demographic destiny. Persia, one of the oldest nations on earth, is getting younger and younger.” And here’s Amis’s most provocative claim: “The American politician whom Ahmadinejad most closely resembles —in one vital respect—is Ronald Reagan.”