Iran’s mass protests achieved four critical things this year

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Muhammad Sahimi

“First, although the government does not admit it, and is still trying to contain Iranian women’s rejection of mandatory hijab by imposing financial hardship and even jail sentences on them, the mandatory hijab is practically dead. … Second, Iran is now pursuing a relatively moderate foreign policy toward the Middle East. … Third, tentatively, cautiously, and in a limited way, the government has been opening up the political space, allowing open criticisms of the state. … Fourth, the reaction of the exiled opposition to the demonstrations helped the Iranian people to distinguish between the true opposition — those who reject the theocratic state, its repressive policies, economic corruption, and mismanagement of the national resources, but also oppose U.S. sanctions, threat of war, and small separatist groups that are supported by foreign power — and the fake opposition — those who support war and sanctions, and have allied themselves with the separatist groups.” (09/12/23)