On Geopolitics

Finding a Path to a Post-Revolutionary Iran

Matthew Bey
Senior Global Analyst, Stratfor
Jan 9, 2018 | 19:24 GMT
The economic protests targeting Iran's leaders have died down, but their political ramifications could determine which direction the Islamic republic will go.

Iranian students run for cover from tear gas at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on Dec. 30, 2017. Students protested in a third day of demonstrations, videos on social media showed, but they were outnumbered by counterdemonstrators.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The protests marked the largest and most widespread demonstrations expressing popular dissatisfaction with Iran's leaders since the 2009 Green Movement, which targeted then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the government. And with chants of "Death to the dictator" referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accompanying the latest round of protests, it is clear that no part of the government had escaped the ire of the demonstrators. Khamenei has kept the fire of the Islamic Revolution alive for nearly 30 years after the death of its founder, Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, who died in 1989. But what happens to that fire when Khamenei -- now 78 -- passes the torch to a successor who was not in Khomeini's inner circle in the 1980s? To what extent does the revolutionary spirit still resonate with the nearly 70 percent of Iran's population who were born after the revolution? While the wave of protests appears to...

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