Iran, argues Abbas Milani, is a nation of paradoxes. Seventy percent of the country’s citizens are younger than thirty-five years old, yet their political fate is in the hands of a cadre of septuagenarian-and-older religious leaders. The country’s leaders, Milani jokes, were already old men when he was jailed with them as a political prisoner in the 1970s. Four decades later, he maintains, they are finally losing their grip on power.

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