Advancing a Free Society

The WikiLeaks documents could cause Iranian factions to create a united front

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

(Q&A with Abbas Milani)

Abbas Milani, the director of Iranian Studies at Stanford and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution, is an expert on the Iranian government.

At the request of Stanford Report, he offered some insight into what effect the WikiLeaks revelations might have in Tehran. The classified cables from U.S. embassies laid bare Arab anger at the Iranian government, including suggestions for military action.

There were noises about a possible impeachment in the last few weeks, with the WikiLeaks revelations following quickly afterward.  How might the WikiLeaks matter affect Iran's internal politics? 

Every time there is a foreign threat, factions within the regime tend to put aside their tensions and create a united front. These revelations, the reality of enmity from powerful Arab neighbors, and finally the assassination attempts on two of the country's top nuclear physicists, are likely to dampen the enthusiasm for impeaching Ahmadinejad. At the same time, the Iranian economy is in serious trouble, and sacrificing Ahmadinejad might well be a necessary price for regime survival.

Continue reading the Q&A at the Stanford Report