At 40, Iran’s decaying Islamic Republic is showing its age

Iran was the first country in the modern era to embark on a unique experiment: a system of governance supposedly rooted in Islam and mechanisms of democracy. Judging by current circumstances, Iran could also become the first country to see that experiment’s compete failure and demise. But when?

The people of Iran saw through theocratic rule long ago. Yet it remains unclear when the reign of the mullahs will expire.

Iranians want a freer, secular future that’s integrated into the world order, specifically the global economy, but foreign adversaries and the regime’s domestic partners — a network of mini-oligarchs, essentially — are standing in the way.

These 40 years have not been easy on Iranians. Current circumstances — including tough sanctions from the United States, misadventures in the region and the obstinance of the country’s leaders — suggest that the next few years could be even harder.