THE CAIRO REVIEW OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS
BY NADER HASHEMI
Most of the debate in the West on the Iran nuclear deal has focused on questions related to Western security interests in the Middle East. Will a deal ultimately prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? Will it significantly inhibit a nuclear arms race in the region? How will Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Countries be affected, and to what extent will Iran be able to expand its regional influence after the lifting of sanctions? Almost ignored in this discussion, however, are the effects that a nuclear accord might have on internal Iranian politics and society. Specifically, how might a final nuclear agreement between Iran and the West influence the prospects for democracy and democratization within the Islamic Republic?