Reports from Egypt indicate that the country’s embattled President Hosni Mubarak will be resigning his position, perhaps as early as within the next few hours.
FOX Business reported earlier that the Egyptian army will be taking over temporary control of the country. Other media outlets say that Egypt’s recently appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman will take over. I’m not sure that one precludes the other.
Everything that happens going forward is on the shoulders of Barack Obama, who strongly urged Mubarak to step aside. Cue the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran’s monarchy (Pahlavi dynasty) under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution.
Demonstrations against the Shah began in January 1978. Between August and December 1978 strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country. The Shah left Iran for exile in mid-January 1979, and in the resulting power vacuum two weeks later Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran to a greeting by several million Iranians. The royal regime collapsed shortly after on February 11 when guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting. Iran voted by national referendum to become an Islamic Republic on April 1, 1979, and to approve a new theocratic constitution whereby Khomeini became Supreme Leader of the country, in December 1979.
The revolution was unusual for the surprise it created throughout the world: it lacked many of the customary causes of revolution (defeat at war, a financial crisis, peasant rebellion, or disgruntled military); produced profound change at great speed; was massively popular; overthrew a puppet regime heavily protected by a lavishly financed army and security services; and replaced a modernising monarchy with a theocracy based on Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (or velayat-e faqih). Its outcome — an Islamic Republic “under the guidance of an extraordinary religious scholar from Qom” — was, as one scholar put it, “clearly an occurrence that had to be explained.”.
Update: Mubarak refuses to step down, telling world (i.e. Obama) to back off.
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stubbornly clung to the presidency late Thursday night, refusing in a highly anticipated speech to step down by saying he does not take orders from anyone outside Egypt.
However, Mubarak said he would “delegate powers” to Vice President Omar Suleiman, according to the Constitution — a major concession from the man who has ruled Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years.
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