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The Organization of Iranian American Communities holds a demonstration across from the White House in solidarity with protesters in Iran, Washington, Jan. 6, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

The Foreign Policy Aftermath of the Iran Protests, in Tehran and Washington

Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018

The momentum has tapered off in the remarkable weeklong protests across Iran. But if it seems that the regime has prevailed, despite its legitimacy eroding a bit, do the demonstrations have a deeper meaning and long-term foreign policy consequences? Will policies in Tehran and Washington change?

Most outside observers, even those at opposite sides of the ideological spectrum on Iran, agree on the basic facts. These protests, which broke out in the northeastern city of Mashad on Dec. 28, were triggered by economic distress. But as they spread to dozens of locales across the country, they took on a direct political challenge to Iran’s clerical leadership and its ambitions for the country. ...

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