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Where are U.S.-Iran Relations Headed?

Reuel Marc Gerecht
22nd January 2018 - Quoted by Blake Franko - The National Interest

President Donald Trump indicated in mid-January that he’s extending sanctions relief to Iran for “the last time” and demanded extensive changes to the nuclear deal within the next four months. Will the deal be null and void by May? Or is there a path forward for America, Europe and an Iran that has been convulsed by protests?

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Today at the Center for the National Interest, Amb. Thomas Pickering, Vice Chair of Hills & Company who holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador—the highest in the U.S. foreign service—and Reuel Marc Gerecht, a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, addressed these important questions. They discussed the Iran deal, the roots of the protests in Iran and how America should respond. Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, moderated the event.

Gerecht offered a dire prognosis of the Iranian regime’s future. According to him, “the Islamic Republic has been dying since the death of Khomeini.” In his view, “the regime in Tehran has lost the college educated” who formed the backbone of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Today, however, the government has lost their support. Gerecht noted that the driving force behind the Green movement of 2009 was the college educated. In his view, it is of the utmost significance that the most recent protests came from the provincial towns, a development that indicates the regime may be losing the support of the blue collar classes. Resentment of the regime has become ubiquitous: “millions and millions of people are tired of theocracy.”

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