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Reform in Iran

December 18, 1998 • Volume 8, Issue 47
Are moderates changing the Islamic Republic?
By David Masci

Introduction

Outgoing Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani (right) meets with President-elect Mohammad Khatami in May 1997. (Photo Credit: Aladin Abdel, Reuters)
Outgoing Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani (right) meets with President-elect Mohammad Khatami in May 1997. (Photo Credit: Aladin Abdel, Reuters)

In 1979, religious dissidents deposed the shah of Iran, casting aside his attempts to Westernize the oil-rich nation. Twenty years later, some scholars say that Iran is once again on the verge of profound change. They point to the election of moderate Mohammad Khatami to the presidency as proof that most Iranians reject the conservatism of the Islamic Republic. But other Iran-watchers say that Khatami has no desire to reverse the changes brought by the 1979 revolution, nor could he. Meanwhile, there is growing disagreement over whether U.S. economic sanctions against Iran bolster Iranian moderates and discourage Iran from supporting terrorism or encourage hard-liners within Iran.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Iran
Feb. 07, 2012  Rising Tension Over Iran
Nov. 16, 2007  U.S. Policy on Iran
Dec. 18, 1998  Reform in Iran
Aug. 29, 1986  Iran's Revolt Within
Jan. 26, 1979  Iran Between East and West
Apr. 26, 1974  Resurgent Iran
Apr. 04, 1962  Iran: Reform or Revolt
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Global Issues
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia
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