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What Washington Can Learn From the Iran Protests

Moving Past American Myths

What Washington Can Learn From the Iran Protests

Behnam Ben Taleblu
5th February 2018 - Foreign Affairs

More than a month has passed since protests in Iran’s northeast metastasized into anti-regime demonstrations across the entire country. This outpouring of discontent, which took the United States almost completely by surprise, should help lay to rest a range of tenuous assumptions about Iranian politics that had become conventional wisdom in Washington—namely, an underestimation of the Iranian people’s willingness to oppose the regime and an overestimation of Iran’s reformers. Now, as Washington weighs how to address the multitude of challenges emanating from Iran, it must also reconsider the foundations of its knowledge about the country.

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Behnam Ben Taleblu is a senior Iran analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

Follow the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Twitter @FDD. FDD is a Washington-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.