Finding a Path to a Post-Revolutionary Iran

By Matthew Bey – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Almost four decades after the toppling of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a revolutionary ideology continues to underpin the Iranian state. As the years have passed, the relevance of its governing philosophy risks being lost on the country’s younger generations, and the internal and external challenges to its government continue to mount. The recent spate of demonstrations that quickly spread across the country highlighted one of the revolutionary state’s largest shortcomings: It is a 40-year-old revolution that has not arrived at a sustainable economic model.

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When the Protests Die Down, Iran’s Economic Problems Will Live On

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • Some of the grievances behind the recent wave of protests in Iran, such as disappointment with the nuclear deal and low oil prices, will remain beyond the government’s power to change.
  • Unstable food prices, decreasing purchasing power and high rates of unemployment and underemployment will continue to pose problems for everyday citizens across the country.
  • The sensitive reform measures necessary to overhaul subsidy systems, labor laws and business contracts, which are as much political as they are economic, will probably set off more unrest in the future. 

Students at the University of Tehran run for cover as tear gas is lobbed at demonstrators on Dec. 30, 2017.(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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Iranian Protesters Attack Police Stations, Raise Stakes in Unrest

By Michael Georgy – Re-Blogged From Reuters

Iranian protesters attacked police stations late into the night on Monday, news agency and social media reports said, as security forces struggled to contain the boldest challenge to the clerical leadership since unrest in 2009.

Videos on social media showed an intense clash in the central town of Qahderijan between security forces and protesters who were trying to occupy a police station, which was partially set ablaze. There were unconfirmed reports of several casualties among demonstrators.

In the western city of Kermanshah, protesters set fire to a traffic police post, but no one was hurt in the incident, Mehr news agency said.

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In the Middle East, Russia Seems to Be Everywhere

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Russia’s growing prominence in the Middle East was on full display Dec. 11 when Vladimir Putin visited three key Middle Eastern countries in one day. The Russian president followed a surprise trip to Syria with a quick stop in Egypt before ending his day’s travels in Turkey. He met with his presidential counterparts in all three countries, and the economic deals, military agreements and political settlements he discussed highlighted Russia’s role in the region. While Russia has its own reasons for bolstering its relationships with Syria, Egypt and Turkey, it also benefits from being visible where its regional rival, the United States, is not.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #296

By Ken Haapala, President,The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week.“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain [H/t WUWT]

Number of the Week: $56.60

Warming and Cooling? S. Fred Singer, our founder and newly elected Chairman Emeritus, is busily working on an interesting question: can carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, cause a cooling as well as a warming? The answer is YES, depending on subsidiary conditions.

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In the Middle East, Strange Times Make for Strange Bedfellows

Re-Blogged From worldview.stratfor.com

Highlights

  • The Iranian threat is pulling the once-clandestine relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia into the public eye.
  • But there are other factors encouraging the two countries to work more closely with each other, including their legitimacy at home and abroad.
  • As Israel and Saudi Arabia move into uncharted territory, both risk exposing themselves to pushback and new dangers.  

A map of Saudi Arabia and Israel

(OMERSUKRUGOKSU/iStock)

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In Lebanon, Saudi Arabia Attempts the Impossible

Re-Blogged From https://worldview.stratfor.com

Highlights

  • In the regional competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Lebanon is the most recent proxy battleground.
  • Iran’s political and security connections in Lebanon mean Saudi Arabia will have a hard time countering its influence there.
  • Saudi Arabia can wield some financial tools to try to pressure Lebanon, but Iran has the means to cushion some of the impact.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

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