The Best of Enemies?

Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment looks at the future of Iranian-American relations, Iran's vulnerabilities, and whether we might one day see liberals ruling in Tehran.

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That said, there is currently no alternative whatsoever to the Islamic Republic. Having experienced a revolution that brought disillusionment, followed by the eight-year war with Iraq, the unmet expectations of the Khatami era, and the horrors of what is currently taking place in Iraq, people are increasingly depoliticized and wary of political agitation.

Reason: Is a liberal Iran possible in the next decade?

Karim Sadjadpour: I think a more liberal Iran is certainly possible, even probable. The most important external factor is U.S.-Iran relations. When and if Iran opens up to the U.S., it will be much more difficult to hold back the tremendous popular will to live in a more liberal society. The Islamic Republic in its current form can only persist in isolation.

Reason contributing editor Michael Young is opinion editor of the Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon.

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