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Monday, March 20, 2017

Evolution, Not a New Revolution, in Iran

Evolution, Not a New Revolution, in Iran

by Paul R. Pillar
Some hardline myths about Iran never seem to die.  One myth especially pertinent to U.S. policy is that revolutionary regime change in Iran is a significant possibility in the near future and that with a bit more of a push from the outside, the Islamic Republic will collapse and be replaced by something much more to our liking.  This illusion was prevalent in much of the George W. Bush administration, which accordingly adhered to a policy of refusing to deal with Iran and instead of trying to isolate it and to inflict economic pain through sanctions.  Several years of lack of results in the face of ever-increasing sanctions demonstrated the fecklessness of that policy.  The sanctions became useful only when the next U.S. administration began to negotiate with Iran and sanctions were used as a bargaining chip to conclude an agreement that blocks all possible paths to an Iranian nuclear weapon.

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