opinion | What does America do wrong about Iran?

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CIA Director William J. Burns and one of the diplomatic architects of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, wrote The agreement was supported by “tough-minded diplomacy, economic leverage of sanctions, political leverage of international consensus and military leverage of potential use of force.” Today diplomacy has not been harsh, sanctions have not been fully enforced, international consensus is more difficult to achieve, and Tehran appears to be convinced that President Biden is not interested in another military conflict in the Middle East.

the clerical regime that has ruled Iran Illness has been around for more than four decades, yet it continues to endure, partly because of the lack of viable alternatives. It cannot make a meaningful correction from the well-founded fear that doing so would hasten his death. The four horsemen of Iran’s economy—inflation, corruption, mismanagement and brain drain—are endemic. The common denominator between Iran and its regional areas of influence – Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq – is insecurity, economic failure and deep unhappiness.

Crane Brinton, author of the seminal book “The Anatomy of Revolutions”, argued that most revolutions experience a radical period, the “reign of terror”, before the end of normalcy. Although revolutionary enthusiasm long ago waned in Iran, normalcy has remained elusive, partly due to powerful vested interests in the status quo.

The goal of Mr. Khamenei and his revolutionary comrades – remaining true believers – is to avoid a normal Iran, and normalize with the United States, which would deprive the Islamic Republic of the external adversary that helped maintain the cohesion of the security forces. Is. , Were Asabiyah: About which Ibn Khaldun wrote. While this is a losing strategy in the long run, Mr Khamenei’s time horizon of eighty years is limited. Mr Khamenei’s priority has never been about Iran’s national interest, but it is to keep his regime united and the international community divided.

If the Islamic Republic’s four-decade history is any guide, Mr Khamenei may be reluctant or unable to forge an internal consensus to revive the nuclear deal with the United States unless he feels the regime’s solidarity falters. and social exhaustion is beginning. Fuel a new generation of power seekers. The paradox of the Islamic Republic is that it only compromises under severe pressure, yet the same external pressure and isolation helps it survive.

It’s a game that Mr. Khamenei has been perfecting for decades.

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