Rebecca Barlow, Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Rebecca Barlow: ‘Beyond Repair: Ruptures in the Foundations of the Islamic Republic of Iran,’ NCEIS Research Papers, Vol. 5, No. 9 (2013), pp. 1-23.
Publication year: 2013

A complex set of political and economic challenges have placed the Islamic Republic on the shakiest ground since its inception in 1979. Growing rifts amongst Iran’s top clerics and political elite have revealed the regime’s inability to pursue a coherent policy and project an image of unity on both the domestic and international stage. To make matters worse, the regime has been unable to provide social and economic security for its citizens in the face of harsh international sanctions and internal corruption. The Iranian Rial is severely inflated, unemployment is on the rise, and living standards are falling. At the same time, the state has shown worrying signs of militarisation, with the government increasingly relying on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, and its paramilitary wing, the Basij militia, to ensure political compliance and silence voices of dissent. Yet many opposition voices within Iran, including the Green Movement, continue to call for fundamental political reforms.