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The Islamic Revolution at 40

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BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA – The Islamic Republic of Iran marks its 40th anniversary this week. But, with the country beset by a severe economic crisis, the question on everyone’s lips –within Iran and the diaspora alike – seems to be whether the Islamic Revolution has actually improved Iranians’ lives.

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Since last May, when the United States withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – better known as the Iran nuclear deal – and re-imposed its toughest sanctions on Iran, the Iranian economy has taken a nosedive. The currency has lost 70% of its value, and prices are rising at a 40% annual rate, placing new strain on an already underperforming economy, in which one-third of university-educated young people are out of work.

US President Donald Trump’s administration seems to hope that, with a nudge from sanctions, ordinary Iranians will rise up and overthrow the Islamic Republic. In a major........

© Project Syndicate