Rouhani also escaped unscathed from the 2009 controversy-marred re-election of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. While that election and the mass protests that followed produced numerous political casualties in the reform camp, Rouhani not only emerged intact but was in a good position to run as a consensus reformist-pragmatist candidate down the road.
One such group is Iran Revival, or farashgard. (In Zoroastrianism, Iran’s ancient pre-Islamic religion, farashgard is the period of the world’s rebirth after the defeat of Ahriman, the God of Darkness.) A loosely organized network of political activists spread across the US, Canada, Europe and Iran, the group, which describes itself as a “political action network,” seeks the overthrow of the Islamic Republic through a campaign of peaceful civil disobedience mimicking past successful revolutions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In particular, Iran Revival has called for “Million Man” demonstrations and gatherings across Iranian cities to overwhelm the security forces and shut down the regime.
Shahroudi, who replaced the late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as head of the Expediency Council in August 2017 after Rafsanjani’s death, was considered a relative moderate within Iran’s political spectrum despite a decade heading the judiciary from 1999 to 2009 and a record of repressing dissidents.
Yet distrust of Iran continued after the signing of the JCPOA. One of the strongest criticisms is that by excluding curbs on Iran’s ballistic missile program, the JCPOA left Iran with one part of the formula for a fully functioning nuclear weapon, namely the delivery vehicle.
The retired Marine general had policy differences with the president about Iran as well. While a supporter of containment, Mattis advocated remaining within the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). His departure tilts the balance in Trump’s national security team in favor of more hawkish individuals who have openly advocated regime change as the ultimate solution to US differences with the Islamic Republic.
Reporting on Iran tends to focus on the country’s nuclear program or squabbling of its leaders, while the diverse array of protests that regularly erupt across the country go underreported.
In the last twelve months, hardly a single day has passed without protests about the government, corruption, and the dwindling state of the economy. US-reimposed sanctions have hit the Iranian economy hard and the economic policies of President Hassan Rouhani have done little to take care of the poor— though this is no surprise since his government is dominated by ministers who support policies favoring the private sector.
Baghdad heavily relies on Iranian electricity and natural gas imports to meet its energy needs. A forty-five-day sanctions waiver granted to Iraq by the Trump administration in early November is set to expire this week.
In order to better analyze Iran’s defense strategies, it is important to note that for Iran, the line between security concerns and national pride is blurred. Iran’s traumatic historical experiences play a critical role in shaping its approach to defense and in particular, to missiles.
Hosseini had no prior knowledge of blockchains and distributed ledger technologies prior to purchasing the device. Hosseini had only heard in passing about cryptocurrencies five years ago, but forgot all about them until last year when they became all the rage globally.
History, it is said, does not repeat but it can rhyme.
An appearance by the son of the deposed Shah of Iran at a prominent Washington think tank on Dec. 14 was reminiscent in some ways of speeches by the late Iraqi opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi in the run-up to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
Reza Pahlavi, like Chalabi, insisted that the current government of his homeland is on the verge of collapse because of its destructive domestic and foreign policies. A new democratic secular Iran, Pahlavi also said, would “transform the Middle East,” including by no longer threatening Israel with destruction.