Coronavirus underscores Iran's Internal Struggle over its Relationship with the World

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Mar 22, 2020 | Middle East Institute, Alex Vatanka,

It is unclear why officials in Tehran covered up the fact that the Corona virus had arrived in Iran from China in early January. Alex Vatanka suggests in his article for the Middle East Institute that Tehran’s proclivity to first deny the existence of a crisis, and then act in a disorganized fashion when it responds, speaks to two separate truths: A deep deficit in popular legitimacy seemingly obliges the regime to misinform the public to keep them placated, and political factions in the Islamic Republic continue to struggle over Iran’s proper relationship with the rest of the world. He suggests that the crisis may push the Islamic Republic toward a less schizophrenic approach as the notion that the Islamic Republic can be both a “normal” state and a “militant revolutionary” one is increasingly disputed.


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