President Rouhani, for instance, said that “the United States will never be able to cut Iran’s oil revenues,” and that “it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region’s oil is exported.” More explicitly, he threatened to “stop [Iran’s] oil exports and see the results”, a threat praised by Qasem Soleimani in a rare public support of Rouhani by the IRGC commander. Later on, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Jafari said that Iran can make the enemy understand “what using the Strait of Hormuz for all or none means.”
Results for Category: Iran
For the hardliners, however, Trump’s decision has played into their hands. Sticking to the deal without allowing the dividends to fall on Tehran could have kept the Rouhani administration’s reputation above water. But withdrawing has cleared the way for an all-out political and media campaign against Rouhani and other moderates. Already under huge pressure, Rouhani is tasked with defending Iran’s rights in its negotiations with the E3, based on Khamenei’s rule book outlined in his Ramadan meeting with Iranian officials. With Trump’s withdrawal, Khamenei is directing the political scene in Iran and is having Rouhani’s team do what he deems necessary, without facing any challenge.
Although some other art forms such as cinema have found a way to survive and thrive since the Islamic Revolution, Iranian literature has been more exposed to the socio-political dynamics of the country. And while the passion for classical literature and the love of poetry have not changed, modern Iranian literature is facing yet another difficult phase.
The pressing economic problems, paralyzing air pollution and transnational identity politics have made Khuzestan an important challenge for the Islamic Republic. Although the Arab separatist movements are still weak, the status quo, if left unchanged, will provide a breeding ground for further politicization of ethnic Arab identity in Iran. Internal Arab grievances will lead to more racialization, which could be exploited by Iran’s regional rivals, notably Saudi Arabia.
Since the signing of the deal, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have arrested at least 30 dual nationals, mostly on spying charges. In the years before the deal, the number of dual nationals imprisoned at any given time was usually in single figures. However, in February 2018, at least 19 out of the 30 detainees had European citizenship.
Although the moderates and reformists are more open to change within a controlled environment, the hardliners see the disappearance of hijab as symbolic of the loss of their own power. Hence, hijab has become both a cultural war between the state and its citizens and a power play at the very heart of the political establishment. Indeed, by removing her headscarf in public, the ‘Girl from Revolution Street’ has not only become the latest symbol of this ongoing cultural war but has also underscored the increasing friction within Iranian factional politics.
A radical economic transformation requires serious compromise from every segment of the establishment – a compromise that those currently benefitting from the corrupt system are unlikely to make. What is certain is that the status quo, which has left many Iranians desperate, will pave the way for periodic outbreaks of dissent that could get out of control at any time.