The Islamic Republic of Iran has been in the eyes of the storm ever since its foundation four decades ago. Initially, some analysts could not have confidence in its durability, but it has endured many domestic and foreign policy challenges. Despite being at loggerheads with the United States and some of its regional allies for most of its life, it has remained defiant and resilient. However, in the era of President Donald Trump, who has withdrawn the US from the July 2015 multi-lateral nuclear agreement and has imposed the harshest sanctions ever, the Republic is in the grip of serious economic difficulties, with political implications. Yet, Trump’s policy actions are unlikely to bring the Republic’s Islamic regime to its knees, just as sanctions could not cause the demise of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. However, the same cannot be said about the Iranian society, which is bearing the brunt of Trump’s actions.
Amin Saikal AM, FASSA is University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East and Central Asia) at the Australian National University.
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