On the 12 June 2009 a presidential election was held that would mark the beginning of an unravelling of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Just sixteen days later events were unfolding that would trigger a constitutional crisis in Honduras. As events unfolded in Iran, the world discovered a nation of people, educated, smart, brave, scared, and perhaps most of all – human. Across an ocean a South American head of state was removed from office in what has been cited as a democratic coup involving a supreme court, a congress, and a standing army.
Tehran and Tegucigalpa are the two cities in question. In Tehran we witnessed a popular uprising against an election result that announced a landslide victory to the incumbent president, a brutal suppression, and the beginning of a political power struggle that will possibly continue for a number of years. Tegucigalpa in contrast was much more a political/industrial action to maintain a status quo, a pre-emptive action to circumvent what was perceived as a move by a rogue president to move the country to the far left.
Rahm Emanuel said  …
You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.
What he meant by that was that in crisis there is opportunity to do things you could not have done before. In Iran this principal translates into an opportunity for structural changes to the Islamic Republic of Iran, it’s relationships with the outside world, it’s position on human and moral rights, and the potential for the change to the ultimate power structure. But to be clear, the role of popular unrest in this scenario is just the trigger enabling a political opportunity. Over in Honduras the events unfolded with a pre-emptive political move, a reactive but unsuccessful counter-strike, the emergence of a mediation process, and a probably conclusion within which the exiled president will be returned to his position but stripped of any effective power, and the ultimate arbitrators will be the people of Honduras in a new election in November.
In the Honduras case, chances are that the people will get to vote in free and fair elections in just a few months from now. For Iran the situation is much less clear and projection much more uncertain.
What is common between Tehran and Tegucigalpa is that …
Crisis is the mother of political opportunity.