Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett in the NYT make the case that it is not:
THE Islamic Republic of Iran is not about to implode. Nevertheless, the misguided idea that it may do so is becoming enshrined as conventional wisdom in Washington.
For President Obama, this misconception provides a bit of cover; it helps obscure his failure to follow up on his campaign promises about engaging Iran with any serious, strategically grounded proposals. Meanwhile, those who have never supported diplomatic engagement with Iran are now pushing the idea that the Tehran government might collapse to support their arguments for military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets and adopting “regime change” as the ultimate goal of America’s Iran policy.
Ahmad Alehossein makes the case that it is, in Open Democracy:
Iran is known for over three thousand years of despotism. However, it is also known as the land of surprising political changes. Just during the last hundred years of its modern history, the country witnessed a revolution every 25-30 years: (1) the 1906-1911 constitutional revolution; (2) the chaotic 1941-1951 period which began with the fall of Reza Shah and ended with the rise of oil nationalization movement; and, finally, (3) the 1979 ‘Islamic’ revolution. Each revolution has emerged out of period of failed ‘reform from above’ and successive bifurcations in power. We may ask, then, if this is the right historical moment for a forth cycle of revolutionary change?
Since the last presidential elections, the Iranian political system has entered into a route of successive bifurcations again, in which less and less options will be remained for major players to choose in dealing with the political crisis. A series of new events during the holiest Shi’ite month of mourning for the sacred martyrs have created deeper cracks in the regime’s capacity to deal with the growing resistance. Iranians’ historical mythologies have come to back up their resistance in such a very difficult time. Imam Hussein’s mythological-tragic narrative which was politicized through Ali Sharitai’s revolutionary interpretations of history during the 1970s against the Shah’s corrupt secular dictatorship has once again been revitalized. Hussein is resurrected in the political history of Iranian Shi’a, but this time against a corrupt theocratic regime.