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The Iran Policy Trap - U.S. Relations with Iran

Foreign Policy
September 22, 1994
By: Edward G. Shirley
The growing volume of discussion in Iran about widespread public anomie, particularly in conservative clerical circles, reveals the urgent fear that the moral fiber of Iranian society is under severe stress. The
allure of the ever-present, ever-corrupting West is usually cited as the primary culprit in society's slide. But not too far beneath the accusation of Western culpability lies profound self-doubt, an anxiety
that clerics simply cannot manage what they have won and inspire the people. The writings of Abdolkarim Soroush, a revolutionary intellectual of impeccable credentials, and Mehdi Bazargan, a liberal
Islamic reformer and the first prime minister of the Islamic Republic, are increasingly popular because their visions of Islam place mullahs in mosques, not in government.


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