The nuclear deal with Iran could lead to desecuritization domestically.

Most opponents of the nuclear agreement with Iran cite its great potential to strengthen the hand of a revisionist autocracy. According to them, an Iran deal and the consequent lifting of sanctions will provide the Islamic Republic with much-needed resources to promote its expansionist agenda abroad on the one hand and suppress the democratic aspirations of its people at home on the other. In their grand narrative, Iran is basically portrayed as a revolutionary misfit run by extremists, an inherently reform-proof regime that must either be uprooted once and for all by force or be consistently incapacitated into conformity.

This is a flawed argument, stemming from a partial and decontextualized understanding of Iran as a nation-state, particularly its domestic politics and society. It is no wonder, therefore, that some opponents of the accord go as far as misrepresenting, if not deliberately distorting, realities on the ground to square the circle. “Two years into Rouhani’s tenure, his government stands as one of the most repressive in the post-revolutionary period,” wrote Ray Takeyh, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, in The Washington Post on June 28.

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Maysam Behravesh is a PhD candidate in the department of political science at Lund university, Sweden, and editorial assistant of the academic journal Cooperation and Conflict