The U.S. Sanctions and the Collapse of the Iranian Reformist Movement

Feb 23, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm
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Event Description

US sanctions on Iran have weakened the country’s middle class, and with that have dramatically undercut the voices of political moderation and change.  Today, Iran’s middle class has lost its appetite for political development as it struggles to maintain any semblance of economic security and a return to normalcy.  The growing fear of political instability and the loss of economic security have relegated this group’s desire for political development to a lower priority, significantly diminishing political demands for reform.  Putting political aspirations for reform on the backburner, Iran’s middle class seeks a viable path toward living a dignified life of self-sustenance amid a period of economic drought.  While US sanctions are not the direct cause of this political reorientation, they have contributed greatly to such submissive attitudes.  While the campaign for political reform has faded away, its message is particularly germane as the country’s middle class struggles to make ends meet.

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Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies