Where do the world powers stand regarding the Iranian uprising?

The following is the translation of the article first published here written by Amin Hosouri.

Let us first make it clear that no power in the world has a common interest with the oppressed people in the political geography of Iran. The fact that most of the “western” politicians – who allegedly are considered as the Islamic Republic’s enemies- have taken diplomatic and media positions advocating the uprising, or (cautiously) condemning oppression in Iran, fuels the popular belief that it is possible to find allies among foreign powers. This “hope” which stems from the persistent belief that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, is often accompanied by a tactical, pragmatic understanding of political struggle; an approach stemming from a particular understanding of global power relations and the strategy of struggle. Changes in the balance of global power might be used as justification for such a position, which could be briefly formulated as: “the Iranian regime is in the middle of a gruelling struggle with the U.S. and its western allies. The emergence of new eastern powers (Russia and China) and the repolarization of the global power system have brought Iran to a strategic position closer to the eastern bloc. Therefore, as Russia fully supports the Iranian regime, the U.S and its allies’ interests require that they support an uprising which might lead to the collapse of the Iranian regime.”

This article tries to criticise this “straightforward calculation” and elaborate on the claim above that no nation-state is an ally of the Iranian people. The core of the article is an analysis of the position of the political geography of Iran in the context of the contemporary world order. Based on this analysis, the article criticises the approach which, once again and in the middle of the ups and downs of the current uprising, tries to highlight the old solution of appealing to western states, as an urgent necessary tool for the uprising to ensure victory. The media campaign run by Kave Shahrouz, who represents the group of activists close to Hamed Esmailioun, is among the latest attempts to revive this model. The relatively widespread public attention given to this campaign is a reason to critically reflect on the context in which this approach has spread and its implications.

On the “sympathetic” reaction of western powers to the Jina uprising

The initial formal reaction of powerful states to current events all over the world is mostly influenced by the extent to which these events are covered and focused on by the media. Seemingly, political spheres and elites in power have become more accessible or let’s say ‘’intimate’’ through the transformation of public media in terms of forms and functions, as well as the extension of their reachability in the digital era on social media. In this context, political elites and powerful states’ representatives quickly take positions on trending issues- no matter intended or unwitting- a position which should maintain and strengthen their democratic image in accordance with public sentiments and affirm their political claims. The issue is not only about such positions being of a theatrical nature or the fact that their human rights rhetoric has no binding obligation; but more importantly, this theatre of human rights is concurrently based on a particular representation whose main outlines have been already drawn in mainstream media. The Jina uprising is not an exceptional case. The international sympathy toward the uprising was so significant, that not only taking a dissident position but just keeping silent about it could damage the political image of western states or of their political elites. Going along with public sentiment and the feminist aspect of the uprising was a cheap way to show off ‘’being progressive’’ while following the usual half-hidden policies aimed at “national interests” or in other words, “imperialist policies”. A few emotional speeches, and some earnest media shows in which western MPs or government ministers (who nowadays often collect votes with feminist gestures) cut part of their hair, are not only cost-free but serve to cover up their contradictory political resumes or the performance of their respective governments.

The context and legitimacy of the Jina uprising have been obviously reduced to women’s demands (and women’s subjectivity) by mainstream media and politicians; a representation which relies in its turn on a bourgeois approach towards the “woman question”. Since in this approach “woman question” is not connected to “the universal” (the relationships of the imperialist system), the fact that these elites advocate women’s causes in the Jina uprising is actually a preliminary measure to confine radical aspects of the “woman question” in Iran, to which the uprising owes its radical nature. As such, the problem of the Hijab is being introduced as the main motive of the uprising, in order to re-identify the dogma and cruelty of the religious ruling class as the basis of the problem. This portrayal is so naive that it arouses almost everyone’s sympathy and politicians can also resonate with “the people”. Riding the wave of sympathy, western politicians criticise Iranian authorities; impose sanctions against morality police or guidance patrol authorities and some other institutions related to them. They even – since the brutal oppression arouses media attention and public sentiment, through publishing loads of personal videos on social media – put “temporary” sanctions against a number of Iranian ministers or high-ranking military-security officials. On the other hand, the reaction of western states and media means Iranian authorities can easily introduce opponents and protesters as either intended or unintended accomplices of western enemies, to justify the intensification of repression. Since the uprising in December 2017, several times we have witnessed the repetition of this approach and its two related components. However, the wider dimensions of the current uprising and broader related global reactions will undoubtedly have some impacts on the form and the scope of advancing the above-mentioned approach in the status quo. 

In a growing conflict with the Russia-China bloc, western states try to weaken Iran as the influential regional ally of this bloc. The intensifying tensions between the two blocs, due to the consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine, stressed the necessity of pursuing such a policy by the western bloc. This tension has had a significant impact on the negotiation atmosphere between different powers on the Iran nuclear issue. For instance, Russia clearly indicated that advancing negotiations to finalise the JCPOA, depends on Russia’s interests being met by western countries, namely lifting, or reducing sanctions and punishments against the country after invading Ukraine. In this context, it is clear that western states try to profit from the current uprising as an opportunity to score points from Iran and Russia, by means of all media and diplomatic measures. However, it doesn’t mean that these world powers have initiated or fuelled the uprising (what Iranian authorities, their supporters, and allies claim); nor have they any common interest with oppressed desperate people in Iran; nor are they willing or able to stand on their side. In the geopolitical conflicts between states, the general principle is not life or demands of the oppressed, but profiting from a flowing concrete-historical situation to gain advantages from adversaries and gain a superior position (in a mid-term perspective) in the sphere of global powers.

However, the question, which is yet to be answered, is why the wish of the oppressed in Iran to get rid of the dominant regime, cannot temporarily overlap with the desire of western powers to weaken Iran? A brief answer is that contrary to the propaganda of the Iranian regime and the pseudo-anti-imperialist currents and media, who all feed on highlighting and exaggerating the threat of foreign enemies, the real desire of western states is not to overthrow the regime in Iran, but to intensify the pressure to make the regime submit and to push it toward the western bloc. But why? Since in the contemporary intertwined world, it is not possible to understand the “Iran question” in abstraction from the world order and its protective power system, to explain the reasons, one should consider the context of world order and the power relations behind it to be able to understand the position of Iran in this context and its implications. The fact that – inspired by liberal human rights approaches – the “Iran question” is often separated from the world relations of dominance, and reduced to theocratic tyranny and the rentier economy, indicates the hegemony of a positivist methodology in the field of thought in today’s societies. In the following, I will argue that this methodological error/bias is problematic not only in the field of thought but more than that, in the area of implementing political strategies: where – based on such an understanding – some of the global powers are introduced as potential allies of the oppressed.

On the position of Iran in the context of the world order

To enter this discussion, first of all, we face the general question of what is the driving force behind the constant conflicts and geopolitical struggles among world powers. In other words, what are the main mechanisms that create and regulate the world order? Many would like to attribute the origin of these superiority-seeking tensions and interactions to governments’ insatiable desire for national greatness. As such, they reduce the regulatory mechanism of the world order to the balance of power between dominant powers. Whereas nationalism is only a justification to prepare the political ideology to make these movements possible. Balance of power does not create the world order; rather, it is an inevitable aspect of the world order’s reproduction. The main driving force for these movements is the deep dependence of powerful states on the continuation and reproduction of capitalism and their structural requirement to fulfil the needs of capital(ism). Although the needs of capitalism have national and global aspects, efforts to satisfy them in the given historical context are carried out in a national (and competitive) framework. The indisputable/unconditional priority of the national capital, the essential support of every government and the guide for its functions determine the national characteristics of these conflicts (confrontation between imperialist states) by building a national foundation for these requirements.  On the other side, the globalisation of capitalism, the interdependence of countries’ national economies (including the interdependence of competing powers), and their dependence on the world market establish the transnational foundation of these requirements. 

The fact that there is a mechanism of harmony between the global powers and its structural necessity, does not negate the intensification of inter-imperialist conflicts in the contemporary world. These conflicts have intensified either due to the crisis of hegemony in the global power structure (with the emergence of China’s power and the gradual decline of the undisputed position of the U.S) or the fact that the imperialist world order is getting close to its fundamental boundaries (which has given the multiple crises of this system an increasing and permanent character). However, the field of conflict is still defined by the fundamental rules and requirements of capital; which has been more globalised than ever and for a long time has not been confined to national territories. A concrete example in this regard is the mechanism and historical path of the integration of militarism in the capitalist economy. The embodiment of global capital in rival national frames crisis – which is the main motive/drive for inter-imperialist conflicts – is a partly contingent reality in the history of the global development of capitalism. However, this reality, in conjunction with the fundamental necessity of establishing national economies, has turned militarism into a fundamental part of the global mechanisms of capital accumulation. Also, the national government is also responsible for protecting the interests of the national capital in a globalised economy. The fulfilment of this task for the government, especially with the arrival of imperialism at the end of the 19th century, ultimately relies on the support of military power. During the 20th century, the fact that the strength of a national state – against the working class and foreign competitors – mainly relies on its military power, has played a prominent role in determining the economy (and politics) of the capitalist countries. The occurrence of two imperialist world wars was both a manifestation of the growth of this trend and the cause of its intensification. Since then, the foundation of the national economy in these countries was so intertwined with the constant expansion of militarism that the constant movement of industry and the military economy became a driving engine for the flow of capital accumulation in the entire body of the national economy. Also, since the imperialist poles gave in to such a mechanism, it can be seen that the global accumulation of capital is connected with the constant expansion of militarism. This mechanism thus can be called “accumulation of capital through militarism”.

The mechanism above explains that the conflicts between world powers occur in the context of the necessity of reproduction of capitalist relations, not the other way around. In other words, the main subjectivity is with capital, not with the powers whose economic (and political-military) ascension was due to the historical process of maximum submission to the laws of capital. Their domination in the sphere of world politics is not only a reflection of their greater obedience to the domination of capital but also their greater dependence on the establishment of capitalist economic order on a global scale. As a result, the dynamic of political-military conflicts between world powers does not only go beyond the framework of capitalism but is ultimately aimed at providing and preparing the necessities for the reproduction of the global cycle of capital.

But what is the relation of all this to the “question of Iran” or the global powers’ challenge over Iran?

Iran’s political geography within the contemporary global order is a part of the geography of the global south; a ‘periphery’ country in the global sphere of the capitalist economy. In the global division of labour, all periphery countries have a function in the reproduction of the global capitalist order, although these functions are not necessarily of the same significance. Iran’s rich sources of petroleum and gas, its broad consumer market, its large population of cheap labour, educated or professional human force, and its specific geopolitical position in the Middle East region are among the main factors due to which Iran has gained a particular position in the structure of global order. In addition, in the context of the post-cold war rearrangement of politics in the Middle East based on political Islamism, neoliberalism, and militarism, providing political stability is of great importance in Iran. We know that the political borders and the genesis of Middle Eastern nation-states have been essentially shaped through imperialist-colonialist interventions. The dominant political-economic order in Middle Eastern societies has been historically imposed in a way that produces several contradictions within these societies. Over recent decades, with the imposed arrival of political Islam and neoliberalism into these societies and the augmentation of all their consequences, the depth and extent of these contradictions have significantly increased. Similarly, the degree of internal fragility of these societies and their states has increased. The Arab Spring uprisings as the reflection of the saturation of suffering, and public discontent with the consequences of neoliberalism, Islamism, and political suffocation showed how great the degree of fragility was. Hence, the persistence of the imposed political-economic order in all these societies requires the existence of states whose foundation of power is based on the permanent expansion of militarism. And this is exactly the same intersection that annexes even these periphery states into a part of the global circle of ‘capital accumulation through militarism’. Many of these states such as the IRI lack an organic relationship with the majority of society and the historical path of their stability of power has been in fact the process of exclusionary augmentation of economic, political, and military powers. Reckless imposition of neoliberal policies in the ‘Global South’ societies has overwhelmingly accelerated the process of exclusionary augmentation of power resources into the hands of the state elites. Two main factors have been effective in this process: on the one hand, the permanent dispossession of society and the transfer of national wealth resources to the ruling elites have had an irresistible charm on the ruling class (let’s remind how the IRI has voluntarily adopted the neoliberal economic model since the end of the war with Iraq). On the other hand, intimidation and suppression of neoliberalism’s political consequences (the resistance of the poor masses) necessitate the increasing integration of the political system and the military apparatus. In this way, the expansion and fixation of neoliberalism have increasingly widened the gap that was already existing between states and people in Middle Eastern societies. In this regard, the dynamic of the state in Iran is a significant historical instance.       

In search of “external” support for the Zhina uprising?

In light of the above discussion, it may have become clear that the western governments themselves are part of the mechanisms for forming and consolidating the chains of oppression that the oppressed Iranians have once again stood up against to free themselves from their shackles. And that the ruling elites in dictatorial systems will have a short political life without relying on the support of their class relatives in capitalist centres. We have shown that the nature of the world order and its protective power relations is such that the rulers of powerful governments not only have no interest in liberating the people of Iran but will use all their efforts to stop any revolutionary uprising quickly and end with minor reforms and changes, see here for an example. At the same time, if significant political changes are inevitable, they try to bring the path of these changes under their management and hegemonic influence. In the current situation, it seems that a fundamental shift in the political structure of Iran has become inevitable. There is a deep river of blood between the oppressed people and the rulers. The bridges of return have been completely destroyed. Therefore, the question is, what are the characteristics of the preferred alternative of the guardians of the world order for the political future of Iran’s geography, and how is it possible to impose that?

We have seen that due to the growth and deepening of continuous struggles and successive uprisings of the oppressed until the current revolutionary horizon, the rhetoric of monarchism – with a delay of several years after the rhetoric of reformism – has fallen out of use or at least is declining. Similarly, due to the penetration of the feminist struggle during the Zhina uprising, the mainstream media’s “modernist” portrayal of Masih Alinejad has also lost its expected effectiveness. Also, in all the forces that are officially under right-wing political tendencies, there is no reliable pawn to which Western powers can entrust the helm of the future government (or at least the transition process to a future government). The historical contradictions accumulated in Iranian society, the fragmentation of the society, the variety of demands and approaches, and the turbulent dynamics of current developments have created complex conditions that undoubtedly affect the way of external intervention for “making alternatives from above”.

Iranian society is widely wounded. Many people are fighting against the ruling regime in different ways to the best of their ability. They emphatically deny the totality of the regime because countless years of oppression have shown that none of their diverse demands can be realised under the current regime’s rule. These demands include providing work, economic welfare, social justice, social peace, political-civil freedoms, freedom from oppression, gender and sexual discrimination, cultural autonomy, recognition of the rights of ethnic-national communities, separation of sources of economic and political power, the right to freely organize, freedom of personal lifestyle choice and protection of the environment and natural areas, etc. These diverse sets of demands can be seen in the heterogeneous crowd of protesting people. However, these oppressed, rebellious, and angry people do not necessarily follow specific political-ideological frameworks to achieve these demands. More than four decades of political suffocation (suppression of freedom of expression, the right to organise, and the rights of nationalities and minorities), along with neoliberal depoliticization of the public arena, and experiencing political defeats and deceptions have “politicised” the majority of the oppressed people of Iran’s geography. The non-stop propaganda of the regime, continuous riots in virtual social networks around competing political views, and the daily flood of information and conflicting opinions have added to the intensity of this politicisation. So, even though the most rebellious of the people, in the convergence of their anger and hope, have created the purest political uprising in recent decades, the majority of the oppressed – affected by the excesses of the dominant order – have almost no desire for conventional politics or existing political formulations. In fact, the conditions governing the intellectual atmosphere of Iranian society, despite the positive effects of successive uprisings, still reflect some characteristic features of the neoliberal era, including the decline of collectivism, politics in the sense of a collective matter, and the rise of the unquestionable position of the individual; a person disconnected from the continuum of society and history, hence without political support and compass.

The collective struggle is the arena of political education. Collective learning gains unprecedented momentum and dimensions in the process of mass uprisings, as we have seen so far in the form of a relative rejection of reactionary tendencies. Therefore, there is no doubt that the continuation and deepening of this uprising “can” cleanse this Augean stable from the accumulation of neoliberal and other inhibiting pollutions, like the mythical river, and nurture a revolutionary collective subject. But the problem is that precisely because of this potential, the global centres of power are preparing to contain and metamorphize this uprising to stop its revolutionary dynamics. The Achilles’ heel that the powerful have now targeted is the lack of collectivist political traditions, experiences, and organisation of the oppressed. Despite the living experiences of this uprising, Iran’s atomized society has not been freed from the restraining consequences of several decades of political suffocation and neoliberal depoliticisation. The perverse understanding of politics in the sense of “political representation”, or handing over one’s subjectivity to political elites, still has a powerful presence at a ubiquitous scale. All these traits have a more visible footprint among the majority of the Iranian diaspora population, who mostly did not have any living, direct connection with the purging qualities of the uprisings in the past and at present, as they were largely (not completely) far from the atmosphere of collective activism. These factors have fueled the old tendency toward promoting political heroes, the kind of heroes who – considering the historical background drawn by the political suffocation and neoliberalism – would do better to have no political experience or claims and be above the old fights of leftists and rightists. In the meantime, the history of human rights activism, which is mainly considered non-political in public opinion, is a powerful indicator for the political heroes of the new era, especially if the person in question is a direct victim of the violation of human rights.

The characteristics listed in the last few lines were accidentally gathered in the person of Hamed Esmaeilion. Based on the mentioned historical conditions and the imposed dominant understanding of politics, the combination of these features in Esmaeilion placed him in a unique position, with the ability to gain public trust. This potential advanced toward actualisation when Esmaeilion and his pals showed commendable resistance in the litigation process for the Flight PS752 victims. The inherent connection of litigation with the truth and the righteousness of the plaintiffs, in contrast to the brazen denial of the crime by the Iranian government and appeasement by the Canadian government, found a significant media reflection. When the rulers of Iran were triumphantly celebrating the repressions and massacres after the “mighty” repression and slaughter of the November 2019 protests, and while the political and media spaces abroad were mainly captured by the Iranian government’s lobbies, apologists and propagandists, the insistence of the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims on the litigation process and their small victories earned particular respect and importance. With this in the backdrop, the Jina uprising happened. So, on the one hand, the symbolic importance of the litigation movement and the possibilities of legal advancement in it increased. On the other hand, the lawsuit against the Iranian government’s crime was – whether it was wanted or not – linked to the Jina uprising and its broader demands. In such a context and without political forces and organisations with credibility and public trust, Esmaeilion’s call to march in Canadian cities on October 1st was widely welcomed. With that success, he immediately became the centre of public attention and expectations. A unique position that put him in front of great political responsibility. Consequently, the formation of the “Iranians for Justice and Human Rights” circle, the call to the Berlin demonstration, and then the media campaign addressed to the leaders of the G-7 group were clear signs that he had chosen to accept the abrupt political responsibility.

So far, we have depicted a general and descriptive picture of Esmaeilion’s actions up to their current position. Now we will discuss the fragilities and dangers of the situation in which he is placed and its potential risks for the Jina uprising. First of all, let’s review three significant observations: in his recent campaigns and movements, Esmaeilion has chosen the Western powers (under the name of “the free world”) as his interlocutor; the Western media and politicians have acknowledged his prominence as a representative of the Iranian diaspora opposition; the participants in the marches in response to his calls have mainly appeared with the Iranian flag and nationalist slogans. The importance of these observations is that they indicate the emergence of an open nationalist West-leaning populism (which restricts the range of Hamed Esmaeilion’s activism in advance) and, at the same time, reveal the reason why the Western powers favoured him to become the face of the future (which is the sclerotisation of this revolutionary uprising in the body of a conventional and controllable political model). The sclerotisation of the uprising into the image of a person can be a prelude to the emergence of a nationalist populism open to the “West”. This claim needs an explanation.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the “great evil” in the eyes of many oppressed people of Iran, has introduced the Western powers and the “Western world” as the “great evil” for decades in order to project the blame for its policies of political suffocation, economic misery, and other oppressions. The increase in conflicts between the Western powers and the Iranian government in the last two decades has consolidated this dualism in the public mind. But the growing opposition of the oppressed people to the Islamic state has given a special substance to this dualism, which lacks any critical view of the role of the Western powers in establishing and consolidating the world order which would place the oppressive subjugation of Iranian society in context. As a result, getting rid of this regime and realising “democracy” look like desires shared by the Western powers. In the meantime, the common, paradoxical idea promoted by the elites and media of Iran and the West, the equation of democracy and the free market, has largely fueled the idea that getting rid of economic misery depends on adopting the Western model of the free market. All this, along with the strategic and costly alliance of the Iranian state with the bloc of powers opposed to the West (Russia and China), has laid the grounds for a somewhat widespread sympathy for appealing to the Western powers to fix the existing situation. This historical background explains both the Esmaeilion circle’s current approach to dialogue with Western powers and the widespread uncritical acceptance of this approach. More importantly, it shows that the practical redirection of the revolutionary uprising into the channel of “controlled political transition” [which the right-wing opposition translates a revolution into] requires advancing the above approach and increasing the political weight of Esmaeilion.

Each dictatorial system, along with its functions, in some way shapes the future development of the society under its power: the “Western” political suffocation imposed by Shah Pahlavi paved the way for the political rise of Khomeini’s Islamism and its demonstrative “anti-Westernism” (the Shah was supported by the majority of western powers at the time). In a similar vein, the political suffocation imposed by the “anti-imperialism” of the Islamic Republic provided a base for the cultivation of nationalism open to the “West”. It should be noted that the people of Iran’s political geography, in addition to all the oppressions they have suffered (to varying degrees), have been widely humiliated and denied (albeit to varying degrees), while they were forbidden to express their sufferings and hopes in collective ways. Simultaneously, in the era of media expansion around the world, the people of this geography are mainly represented by the same “identity” as their political rulers and dominant cultural-political elements. The accumulation of individual experiences of humiliation in the geography of Iran, in connection with the recent events, has increasingly given rise to the public sense of ”historical humiliation”, which in turn has been effective in the accumulation and explosion of public anger. However, the widespread sense of “historical humiliation”, as evidenced by numerous historical instances, also provides the basis for the growth of nationalist tendencies. In the absence of channels to practise politics in a collective way and alternative progressive models, the growth of these trends has prepared the space for the emergence of nationalist populism. This emerging wave can take a lot of “non-political”, unhappy people with it. On the other hand, nationalism, due to its internal characteristics, is prone to be filled with right-wing political content. Thus, in Iran’s recent historical conditions, “Western” nationalist populism is a vessel that, in principle (not necessarily), can shape and determine the boundaries of mass uprisings if they pass the barrier of the state repression machine. This ability indicates why Reza Pahlavi has been at the centre of Western powers’ attention as an alternative to inevitable years-long turmoil. Now, after the expansion and deepening of the Jina uprising, it seems that the realisation of “Western-oriented” nationalist populism requires a more effective option that can attract wider sections of the opposition. This can be obtained by representing pluralism and the diverse demands of society; an option that can match the depth and dimensions of this uprising as well as the ability to relate to the anger of the liberated people. Apparently, Hamed Esmaeilion – willingly or unwillingly – is at the centre of such necessity.


In the last part, it was shown that Hamed Esmaeilion was in a position of political ascension due to his apparently neutral political face and the social credibility gained as leader of the campaign for justice for the victims of flight PS752, as well as the general effects of political suffocation in the neoliberal regime. With the establishment and expansion of Jina’suprising, these two attributes meant he found a special ability to gain public trust and play a role in this open (but still empty) space; a space that is necessarily a hegemonic battlefield to determine and stabilise the political content. This is why Western politicians and mainstream media paid attention to him, and he was placed in a position (or thrown into it) that is one of the starting points of transformation of the revolutionary horizon of a mass uprising. This critical assessment is independent of his personality and political background. Focusing on these downplays the structural underpinnings of this risk. 

The main criticism against Esmaeilion is his obvious disregard for how world relations function and his political choice based on the common illusions of the “free world” and the possibility of relying on Western powers to strengthen the uprising (or liberation of Iranian society). Instead, he could have, and still can, focus on the issue of litigation with the help of other progressive forces to radically expand a global litigation movement that seeks justice. Such a movement can weaken the Iranian government’s powers and reveal the nature of the global order that supports Iran. This will help to form an alternative notion of “solidarity”. But unfortunately, he seems to have taken the simpler and more volatile path that follows the neoliberal approach to human rights combined with some kind of extremist pragmatism. Along this route, his symbolic role in creating public solidarity, or desire to help the path of nationalist populism; a unity that, in spite of its pluralism (with its nominal diversity), acts against pluralism and empties the solidarity from its progressive meaning and its essential functions. 

Reducing an uprising to some popular faces is the prelude to its transformation and integration into the dominant order. Jina’s uprising, for the realisation of its revolutionary horizon, can only rely on the expansion of its inner power and its continuous refinement. Shared historical pains and chains with the Middle East nations offer an important material context for the spread of common struggles, which will be able to maintain and realise the revolutionary horizon of this uprising. Instead of looking at distant powers, we must seek and build international solidarity in this common geography of domination and oppression.

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