Western analysts and policymakers need to rethink their basic calculations about the Islamic Republic’s domestic politics. This rethinking should start with a recognition that the Green movement is not the future of Iranian politics; in fact, it’s not even the future of what at least used to be called the “reform movement”. By sticking with the “conventional wisdom” about Iranian politics in the West—which has been proved wrong at virtually every turn in recent years—Western analysts and policymakers are missing two critically important trends:
–First, the Green movement still cannot make up its mind about what it wants.
–Second, Iranian “principalists” have cultivated a younger generation of political leaders to take them through coming parliamentary and presidential election cycles; “reformists” have not done this.