go to top

World Citizen: Ethnic Divisions Are Iran's Other Achilles' Heel

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009

When mass protests erupted in Iran following charges of fraud in last June's presidential election, Western leaders -- particularly U.S. President Barack Obama -- took pains not to taint those domestic disturbances with foreign fingerprints. To foreigners concerned about Iran's nuclear aspirations, the sight of muscular internal dissent suddenly presented new and intriguing thoughts: International opposition to the Iranian nuclear program is not the only problem faced by the ruling powers in the Islamic Republic.

The disturbances revealed one of Iran's great weaknesses: widespread discontent with a regime of questionable legitimacy. Now that the regime has suppressed the protests, however, the problem of internal dissent has not ended. As it turns out, Iran has another Achilles' Heel, one just as debilitating as its political rifts: its deep ethnic divisions, which represent a growing threat to the country's stability and the regime's hold on power. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Get unlimited access to must-read news, analysis and opinion from top experts. Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 9,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.

YES, I want to subscribe now.