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One of the most extraordinary things about the current protests in Iran – the largest since the Green Movement in 2009 – is that the very people that they are directed against may well have been the people who started them.After all, Rouhani is the supposedly moderate administrator of a state whose constitution is not, in the eyes of the clerical elite, derived from this earthly realm. If protecting their government's religious purity – and their own ill-gotten gains – required brutally repressing their own people and returning Iran to the dark ages, the extremists who would be left in charge would eagerly do it.Rouhani has been unwilling or unable to use the power of the presidency to reform Iran.Amid the current protests, however, the West has an opportunity to push Iran to suspend its regional ambitions and focus on its desperate domestic situation.If Rouhani retains the presidency – or another moderate takes his place – there is a chance that such pressure would provide sufficient cover to scale back Iran's foreign adventurism and reform the domestic economy.
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