A series of events in mid-February, including the anniversary of the revolution which brought the Islamic Republic into being, have served to highlight many of the problems facing Iran but also to underscore the divisions among its opponents
Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a long statement on 13 February, the day of the anniversary, in which he said Iran “is always flexible and ready to correct its mistakes”. The Islamic Republic was now “entering the second phase of self-development”. It was a defiant message in which the rahbar – whose own longevity and succession was the focus of speculation as analysts reflected on post-revolutionary Iran – insisted Tehran was not about to change course.
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