The Unraveling Islamic Republic

Iran’s power posturing is designed to disguise the fact that the country is weakening from within.


The recent unrest in Iran has confirmed what many attuned to domestic conditions in the Islamic Republic have long known: that an explosion was not a matter of if, but of when.

The destructive reach of the Islamic Republic of Iran from Africa to South America and via Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq is hardly disputed. Yet this destructive influence serves the hesitance of many in the West to confront what appears as a strong and threatening regime. The riots and demonstration may have faded – but not the realities that created them. And this might provide an important policy lesson: Islamic regime’s power posturing is designed to hide its true weaknesses.

Iran’s economy is in shambles. The days of high oil prices are long gone, and national resources are almost depleted. Despite the JCPOA – an agreement aimed at opening the Iranian market to international investors – Iran’s economy remains in stagflation, with very little prospects for improvement in sight. Iran’s military is over-extended in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, putting further strain on the limited available resources. Inefficient economic policies and endemic corruption waists the rest of the available resources leaving very little for the masses.

In the months and weeks leading up to the current protests, thousands had already taken to the streets in most major cities in the country, demanding an answer to these deficiencies and corruptions.

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Iran: Can Rouhani Deliver?


by Nir Boms and Shayan Arya
July 30, 2013 at 3:00 am

The Gatestone Institute

Rouhani’s campaign symbol was a giant golden key, which he waved at rallies to symbolize his ability to open locked doors. To an Iranian electorate all too familiar with locked doors in every aspect of their lives — both domestic and international — even the remote possibility of things getting better was irresistible. But now that Rouhani has been elected, he may find it difficult to deliver on his promise.

Last week, more than 250 Iranian steel workers gathered in front of the Supreme Leader’s residence in protest against unjustified layoffs and unpaid salaries. They were not the only ones. Reports from the past week revealed a dozen other such protests and strikes that range from a tire company, cable workers, the cinema association and even employees of Iran’s Ministry of Youth Affairs.

Protests and demonstrations are not that common in Iran; their last wave was met with harsh repression and violence. Now they have spread again and become more brazen. Signs again read “Down with the dictator,” while police used tear gas in an attempt to scare protesters away.

A combination of international sanctions and domestic mismanagement has resulted in rapidly rising unemployment and restive unemployed youth. The worsening economic conditions were also a key driver for the vote for change which took place in Tehran during the last Presidential election. But change is still a long way off. View full post…

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