E. V. DUNAEVA, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
IRI Keywords:. conservatives, reformers, political system, M. Ahmadinejad, protest movement, parliamentary elections
Socio-political processes in the Middle East have undergone dramatic changes over the past year, which have added negative dynamics to their content and significantly affected the overall situation in the region, which has a pronounced geopolitical significance. Serious progress, which owes its origin to the strong desire of the Arab peoples for social justice and democratic reforms, one way or another leads to increased tension and instability throughout the region and increased external interference.
Against this background, it is especially necessary to highlight Iran, which is going through a difficult period in its history, both due to specific domestic political circumstances and under the influence of the nuclear factor. It is attracting additional attention to the region from the world's leading powers, who are hell-bent on preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear State, even though the country's ability to reach the threshold level is still completely unclear.
In Iran itself, a complex struggle is being waged between different social forces, political elites, institutions and parties, which in its highest manifestation boils down to the rivalry of conservatives and progressives for power, but in fact is much deeper and sharper than it may seem from the outside.
The "Arab Spring", the maneuvers of the United States, Israel's intentions, the Syrian dynamics, the Shiite factor and the escapades of regional competitors-all this can not but affect the internal political situation of Iran. Meanwhile, the country and its religious and political establishment are already engaged in a struggle with many unknown and highly uncertain moves and decisions that could ensure Iran's proper place in the regional hierarchy.
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