Opinion | What the U.S. Gets Wrong About Iran

William J. Burns, director of the CIA, and one of the diplomatic architects of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Written that the deal was made possible by “tough foreign policy, aided by the economic leverage of sanctions, the political leverage of international consensus, and the military leverage of the use of force.” potential.” Today, foreign policy is no longer tough, sanctions are not fully enforced, international consensus is increasingly difficult to achieve, and Tehran seems to believe that President Biden is not interested in a conflict. other militaries in the Middle East.

The clerical regime that ruled Iran for the past four decades is incurable, but it continues to persist in part due to the lack of viable alternatives. It could not meaningfully reform, because of well-founded fears that doing so would hasten its demise. The four horsemen of the Iranian economy – inflation, corruption, mismanagement and brain drain – are endemic. The common denominator between Iran and the regions of influence in the region – Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq – is insecurity, economic failure and profound unhappiness.

Crane Brinton, author of the popular book, Anatomy of the Revolution, argues that most revolutions go through a radical, “period of terror,” before normalcy finally begins. head. , partly because of interests entrenched in the status quo.

The goal of Mr Khamenei and his revolutionary colleagues – the remaining true believers – is to avoid a normalized Iran and normalize with the United States, which would deprive the Islamic Republic of its external enemies. helped maintain the cohesion of the security forces. , the asabiyyah which Ibn Khaldun wrote about. While this is a failed strategy in the long run, Khamenei’s time in October is limited. Khamenei’s priority has never been Iran’s national interest, but keeping his regime united and the international community divided.

If the Islamic Republic’s four-decade history is any guide, Mr Khamenei may not want or be able to unite internally to restore the nuclear deal with the United States unless he feels united. The end of the regime is diminishing, and social exhaustion is beginning to occur. fuel a new generation of power seekers. The paradox of the Islamic Republic is that it tends to compromise only under severe pressure, but it is that external pressure and isolation that help keep it alive.

It’s a game Khamenei has been perfecting for decades.

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