A widespread wave of protests has swept Iran over the past week. Originating mainly in the provinces, these events have been leaderless, similar in ways to the Arab Spring uprisings. Iranian reformists are a group that could have provided leadership but have so far decided to stay out of the action. Some have attributed reformists’ reluctance to their fear of Iran turning into Syria, their past support for Hassan Rouhani’s government or the incompatibility of reportedly aggressive tactics with peaceful reformist methods.
However, my research suggests this decision is actually rooted in the reformist strategic thinking formed during late 1990s.
Why would these protests need leaders?… Seguir leyendo »
In elections on Friday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won a second term and reform candidates gained seats in municipal councils across the country. A right-wing conservative in the 1980s, Rouhani ran as a moderate in 2013, and today reformists are celebrating his landslide victory. How does this shift illuminate Iran’s changing politics?
How electoral limitations constrain reformist voters
Pro-democracy voters in Iran have become increasingly pragmatic in recent years. To compete in elections, candidates must first be approved by the Guardian Council. In 2013, the reformists’ main presidential candidate, Hashemi Rafsanjani, was disqualified, and reformists decided to back Rouhani as an alternate.… Seguir leyendo »