A generation after it seized power, Iran's revolutionary regime is deeply troubled: fractured by intense political divisions, endangered by economic disorder, discredited by rampant corruption, and smothered in social restrictions no longer acceptable to large sectors of its changing population. To the outside world the Islamic Republic of Iran often appears to be at a precipice, its unique theocratic government on the verge of imploding from internal tensions. Over the past year, its domestic drama has played out visibly, and sometimes violently, in killings by a rogue death squad, newspaper closures, student unrest, political trials, local elections, charges of espionage against the Jewish minority, and as always, relations with the United States.
Yet Iran, often in spite of the theocrats, has begun to achieve one of the revolution's original goals: empowering the people. New social and political movements are blossoming defiantly in ways that put Iran on the
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