Sometimes conventional wisdom develops around a major issue of public policy and becomes firmly entrenched even though it is not fundamentally true. The first ingredient for this to happen is usually a grain of truth, around which the crystal of embellishment can grow.
Iran’s domestic and foreign policies seem to be undergoing important changes. On the domestic front, President Hassan Rouhani has stepped up a reform of fuel subsidies, which in the past has been a catalyst for major protests.
Kenneth Pollack, currently at the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution, is an academic with government experience. He is the author of several well-regarded books, including The Persian Puzzle and The Threatening Storm.