Iran – More Soul Searching: Iran’s Reformists following the Presidential Elections (INSS)

Raz Zimmt writes for INSS: The victory of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran’s presidential elections has reawakened the internal debate among Iranian reformists concerning the state and future of the reform movement. A number of leading reformists are blaming the movement’s failure on mistaken strategy, and are calling for change, return to the movement’s fundamental principles, and restoration of its base of public support. On the other hand, others are blaming the failure on circumstances beyond the reformists’ control, and continue to support a strategy based on participation in elections and willingness to work with pragmatic conservatives. It is very doubtful, however, whether the reformists will be able to take advantage of the renewed takeover by the hardliners and chart a way out of the impasse that they have reached, given the ongoing political repression and the loss of public confidence in the two main political camps. The lack of an attractive alternative to conservative hegemony, combined with the continued failure of the authorities to provide solutions popular grievances, is liable to further erode public confidence in the political system, strengthen the radical movements advocating revolutionary change, and jeopardize the regime’s long-term stability.

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