The wave of demonstrations in Tehran over the last few days, sparked by the plummeting value of the Iranian rial and the consequent rise in the price of staple products, has significantly changed the nature of the international discourse on Iran. The harsh international sanctions that took effect in July are now being felt with increasing force. Thus the question of whether continued economic pressure could bring about regime change in Iran has once again become legitimate.
Israel, which for months downplayed the impact of sanctions, has recently done an about-face and become a significant contributor to the new discourse. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has spoken publicly about the possibility that the ayatollahs’ regime could collapse in 2013, and his ministry has been stressing the impact of sanctions. There has also been much speculation that June’s presidential election in Iran could prompt a repeat of the Green Revolution: the massive - but ultimately unsuccessful - demonstrations that followed the 2009 election.
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