News & Updates

Is Iran on the Brink?

Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Though largely a figurehead for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and conservative hardliners in parliament, the president’s unexpected death underscores the regime’s fragility and fears of a future succession crisis. In the wake of the Woman, Life, Freedom mass protests, Iran’s clerical government does not want to appear vulnerable. The mullahs may become more repressive in the lead up to the next presidential election, now set for June 28. The following Journal of Democracy essays detail Iran’s most recent wave of unrest, and explore why it may “only [be] a matter of time before a new wave erupts.”

Is Iran on the Verge of Another Revolution?
There have been numerous waves of protest against the country’s corrupt theocracy. This time is different. It is a movement to reclaim life. Whatever happens, there is no going back.
Asef Bayat

Authoritarian Survival: Iran’s Republic of Repression
The Islamic Republic is in a volatile, even prerevolutionary situation, hammered by foreign opposition and sanctions from the outside, and the disillusionment and discontent of its own people from within. But a catalyst needs to appear.
Misagh Parsa

Why Women Are Leading the Fight in Iran
Iran’s women were the Islamic Republic’s first target for repression. This is the newest chapter in their struggle to win back their rights.
Ladan Boroumand

Iran Erupts
Iranians are once again flooding the streets in protest. How is this wave of demonstrations different?
Peyman Asadzade

Iranians Turn Away from the Islamic Republic
Iran is in the midst of an ideological crisis. Growing numbers of Iranians are rejecting the religious underpinnings of the Supreme Leader’s rule, and turning their backs on the Islamic Republic. The regime’s only response is harsher repression — a response that will deepen the anger that is bringing everyday Iranians out into the streets.
Ladan Boroumand

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Image Credit: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images