The Iranian leadership has managed to contain the biggest protest wave since the 1979 revolution. De-escalation of geopolitical tensions with the US would help the protesters, making it harder to depict domestic dissent as the product of foreign interference.
Afshin Matin-Asgari is a history professor at California State University, Los Angeles and author of Both Eastern and Western: An Intellectual History of Iranian Modernity.
To understand today’s protests in Iran, we need to look at the history of the Islamic Republic since 1979. Iran has a tradition of popular mobilization with few parallels in the modern world, and that tradition underpins the current wave of discontent.