Kevin Sullivan interviews Ali Alfoneh, an AEI research fellow:

Any student of political science and history knows that prediction of political revolutions is almost impossible, while social revolutions are more easily detectable. Iran has been going through a social revolution for the past one hundred years, which on two occasions led to political revolutions: The constitutional revolution of 1906 and the revolution of 1979. The ability of the Islamic Republic to suppress the democratic opposition in times of weakness in order to fend off regime collapse - and reversely to give considerable concessions such as political liberalization in more stable periods - could secure survival of the Islamic Republic. Unfortunately, the Iranian leadership does not seem to have learned many lessons from the past, it commits mistakes of His late Imperial Majesty the Shah and will therefore sooner or later suffer the destiny of the imperial regime.

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