Hudson Institute: In recent months, the Islamic Republic has suffered several unprecedented challenges. In October, anti-corruption protest movements erupted in Iraq and Lebanon. In both cases, demonstrators called for an end to the privileged status that Iran’s proxies have come to enjoy.  In Iraq, where the anti-Iranian demands are most explicit, militias loyal to Tehran have attempted, unsuccessfully, to suppress the demonstrations with extreme violence.

But the greatest blow to the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic came inside Iran itself.  In November, a wave of protests against the regime swept the country, engulfing every major town and city.  Representatives of every ethnic group and social class took part in the demonstrations.  While the protests displayed remarkable depth and breadth, the opposition movement has no clear leadership. Nevertheless, throughout the country, protestors were heard to chant the same slogans in favor of the former crown prince, Reza Pahlavi, the son of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

Mr. Pahlavi is the most prominent Iranian opposition figure and, increasingly, a unifying symbol among Iranians who seek to replace the current regime with a secular liberal democracy.  On January 15, join Hudson us for a conversation with him about the current situation, the nature and prospects of the protest movement, and how the United States should respond.