Forty years on, the Islamic Republic is sticking to its worldview and the dichotomy of its original religious ideological and republican dimensions. The ability to be independent from international influence is something many Iranian officials and military commanders brag about. Still, this independence comes at a price, a price that Iranians feel on a daily basis with sanctions depriving many of them of a normal life. Much progress and development has been made in post-1979 Iran that continues to win the regime support. At the same time, there are areas that remain underdeveloped and for which the republic attracts regular criticism.
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Her clients were women who protested the obligatory dress code by taking off their hijab in public in 2018, an act that the authorities equate with treason. Sotoudeh was already well-known for having represented jailed opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 presidential elections as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors.
This course of events can lead to further escalation. Iran sees no other choice but to stick to its current options for deterrence. The U.S. wants to deprive Tehran of this capability that can cause trouble for Washington and its regional policy. But the Iranians look at the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA as a betrayal and do not want to repeat the same mistake with regards to their BMP. That’s why some argue that U.S. nuclear deal withdrawal works against its disarmament policy.
One of the first regionally significant missions was to help to establish Hezbollah in Lebanon in 1982 after Israeli invasion. The Quds Force provided essential assistance for the creation Hezbollah which developed into the most powerful organization in Lebanon and a powerful ally of Iran. In recent years, the Quds Force has operated in many other countries like Syria and worked with other sub-state actors such Houthis in Yemen and Hamas in Palestine.
His public position on these issues has had consequences for him. In recent years, he has been a victim of attacks by hardliners. Most notably, he was physically assaulted in the city of Shiraz in 2015. Although he has become the voice of moderation, when it comes to the cultural and social sphere, his views are conservative.
Besides those repercussions, taking into account that the attack took place in an overwhelmingly Shiite-majority province, IS’s success to attract and recruit the attackers, who seem to have converted to Wahhabism, is not only a sign of security breach but an indicator of how the Iranian society can become more vulnerable. Besides its efforts aimed at internal and external damage control and face-saving, the Islamic republic is facing a challenging threat: IS is infiltrating its territories, not only through the porous borders but also by winning its angry youth.
Alongside rivalries over the premiership, there lies a bigger truth: Iraq cannot choose between Iran and the US. If it does so, it will be losing more than it will gain. Taking internal reactions to Abadi’s comments into consideration, choosing one side would deepen Iraq’s political gaps, which can in turn lead to social turmoil. In addition, such a policy cannot help in the reconstruction process in Iraq, for Iran has the power to derail and destroy such an effort for Baghdad. It will also bring back heated regional rivalries to the country. Therefore, siding with Iran or the US will have ramifications on Iraq’s internal politics, regional position and international status. In all the three levels, there is no much for Iraq to win, but there is certainly a lot to lose.