Since Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013, there’s been an incessant buzz about “moderates” in Iran. Is Iran on its way to becoming more moderate? Is Rouhani the agent of moderateness that Iranians can bet on? Is he really a moderate or only a “faux-moderate” who understands that being moderate can make you popular? Will the regime, which is much stronger than the presidency ever allow itself to become more moderate? Should the global community which would welcome a more moderate Iran support Rouhani?
The answers to these questions are “probably not”, “he might have been”, “defenitely not” and “perhaps not”. The reason for the evasiveness in answering the question is that there are two big factors which nobody can even get close to predicting: will the moderate-seeking Iranian population rise up to demand change and how will the regime react to such an uprising?
Rouhani, the “moderate”
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