This essay takes as its point of departure the conceptual problem posed by intezar, or waiting, in revolutionary Iran. Kara suggests that this problem mirrors the suspension or deferral of sovereignty implied by the logic of historicism, and thus the wider state of belatedness faced across what was once called the “third world.” Though confronted by the problem of waiting in different ways, the author shows how thinkers from revolutionary Iran and colonial India—namely Ali Shariati (1933–77) and Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938)—may have arrived at similar conclusions. Rather than reject the principle of waiting, their thought sought to augment it, mainly by discarding the future as the focus of the political in order to render an invisible present visible. But if the conceptual possibilities condensed in colonial India and Iran's revolution reveal a shared genealogy of waiting, the resonance of this problem today is confined neither to the geography nor to the condition of coloniality that produced it. Kara concludes by suggesting that the struggle against anticipation in the twentieth century may have prefigured the planetary condition of waiting that characterizes the political in the twenty-first, a condition accentuated and elevated by the climate crisis.

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