After the recent elections and the brutal treatment of protestors and anyone opposed to the regime, the mullahs are no longer seen as legitimate by the Iranian people. The Revolutionary Guard Corps has carried out a bloodless coup with the blessings of a puppet supreme leader and president. Today Iran is, for all intents and purposes, a secular military dictatorship.
The country’s economy is also in dire straits. The regime has put off reforms for three decades, blaming sanctions for its self-inflicted failures. Inflation is running at an annual rate of 20-25 percent. Unemployment is around 20 percent and on the rise. Iran’s foreign exchange reserves have declined rapidly, to an estimated $40 billion. Tehran can no longer pay the bills, keep the regime’s corrupt sycophants satisfied, and deliver a minimum level of subsidies to poor Iranians to keep the lid on political dissent.