“Khamenei’s remarks are without precedent in the Islamic Republic: He acknowledged for the first time that there is a domestic opposition to his rule. The Supreme Leader also implicitly recognizes that the opposition, contrary to the regime’s own propaganda, is composed of Iranian patriots, and not “counterrevolutionaries,” “velvet revolutionaries,” “lackeys of global arrogance and world imperialism,” or “foreign agents.” Khamenei’s choice of the word “country” too is remarkable: He no longer urges the public to vote as an expression of their commitment to Shia Islam, but he appeals to their sense of Iranian nationalism.”

It’s too early to feel optimistic that the regime will reform itself.

Read it all: Iran Has a Presidential Selection, Not an Election

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