As of Tuesday night, nobody had a clear picture of what was likely to happen on Wednesday. There has been very little press coverage so far (although the Washington Post‘s man in Tehran wrote about strikes in several cities), but all day Tuesday Bandar Abbas was full of Iranian journalists, and there will probably be more reporting in the morning. If the Wapo is right, the regime may be facing a national challenge from workers, and there doesn’t seem to be a good solution for Supreme Leader Khamenei and his henchmen. If they back off the cancellation of the subsidies, this will encourage all sorts of people to challenge the regime. If they try to wheel and deal, offering economic goodies to the transport workers to get them back to work, they will have shown serious weakness, and, again, others will challenge them. Apparently the government reps in Bandar Abbas threatened severe consequences (ranging from arrests to contract cancellations) if things had not returned to normal by midday Wednesday. We’ll see. So far as I can tell, this is not the first stage of a rebellion organized by the Green Movement. It seems to be a spontaneous protest from people who see that their regime is dragging them into ruin. But spontaneous protests sometimes gather momentum, and there is hardly an Iranian without deep grievances against the regime.
What we already see is confirmation of what I have been saying for some years: the Iranian people do not like their regime, and they are prepared to confront it. The chaos in Bandar Abbas is a self-inflicted wound masterminded by the fanatical buffoons who rule the Islamic Republic. Sooner or later, this sort of thing will spread, and the hollowness of the regime will be exposed to everyone.
Maybe even the feckless Western leaders will see it and support the Iranian people.