Regime Change in Iran?

There is every reason to believe that the Islamic Republic’s days are numbered. The current government, lorded over by the religious supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i, and his Guardian Council of aging mullahs, who can overrule any policy change by the pseudo-elected president, seem wildly out of touch with the general populace. Not only are the youth of Iran—some 70 percent of whom are under the age of thirty—chaffing under the „guardianship of the Islamic jurists“ (velayet-e-faqih)—but so is the economy, due to sanctions imposed by the West in response to the regime’s insistence on pursuing its nuclear program.[1] Inflation has long been out of control and trade and tourism a tiny fraction of what it could be, and yet the establishment has on the whole shown little interest in sacrificing militant, revolutionary principles for economic, and indeed, political expediency. Can this approach be sustained in view of the tightening economic noose around Tehran, and at what cost?

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