How Rafsanjani Became the Pragmatic Voice of Iran’s Revolution

Front pages of Iranian newspapers announce the death of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran, Jan. 9, 2017 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).
Front pages of Iranian newspapers announce the death of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran, Jan. 9, 2017 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

Revolutions, by their intrinsic idealism, generate ideological extremism and destructive policies. Like the lava of an active volcano that indiscriminately burns everything in its path, revolutionary extremism devours what stands in its way. The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran was no exception. It brought to power idealistic and self-righteous revolutionaries with the mission to establish an Islamic order in Iran and beyond. Opponents of this agenda, many of whom operated outside of the new system, have been brutally suppressed. Individuals within the governing elite have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to soften this revolutionary extremism and gradually reform the […]

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