The Vienna nuclear agreement between Iran and the West was a major milestone for the geostrategic future of the Middle East, but it was also a breath of fresh air for Iranian civil society. There is now the possibility of Iranian civil society playing a different and more constructive role in the future of Iranian politics.
Khamenei's defeat bodes well for Iran. After the crippling sanctions and the shadow of a possible war with the U.S. are lifted, Iran's economy will begin to improve and Western investments will begin to flow into the country. With an improved economy and the absence of a threat to Iran's national security, democratic groups inside the country will be able to raise their voice and demand lifting of the security environment that has pervaded Iran since the Green Movement of 2009-2011.
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Iran Should Demonstrate It Is Ready to Join the International Community by Ending Religious Persecution
Everything depends on whether Tehran, and not just President Hassan Rouhani, is serious. No surprise, many analysts -- and more importantly, paladins of Capitol Hill -- remain skeptical. And that doubt has fueled efforts to impose new sanctions, which would impede if not kill efforts to reach a final accord.