Protests Underline Iran's Systemic Vulnerabilities

Mona Alami

In April 2016, professor of economics Djavad Salehi-Isfahani predicted, in a telling piece published by Al-Monitor, that rising inequality in Iran could bring challenges to the government of President Hassan Rouhani. Nearly a year and half later, the Islamic Republic was shaken by unexpected government protests, despite a sharp improvement in the economic situation in 2017. These protests exposed the systemic weaknesses in the Iranian system, which, despite its bold projection of regional influence, suffers from shortages in line with other countries in the region, many of which are facing or threatened by intrastate war.