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How Iran's protests could impact foreign policy

Critical comments from France and Germany about the Iranian protests could further accelerate the dismantling of the Iran nuclear deal.
People walk near a burnt bank, after protests against increased fuel prices, in Tehran, Iran November 20, 2019. Picture taken November 20, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY - RC2GGD9E7BEK

The Iranian administration’s controversial decision Nov. 15 to triple gasoline prices sparked protests across the country. Although the Iranian government has managed to contain the protests, discussions over various aspects of the recent events are still ongoing. However, much of the international attention has been so far directed toward domestic causes and consequences of the protests, while their possible implications for Iran’s foreign policy have remained underdiscussed.

Taking into account international reactions toward the protests, Iran’s relations with the West seem to be the most important area to be affected by the recent events. In the administration of US President Donald Trump, the protests were seen as a proof that Washington’s “maximum pressure” policy against the Islamic Republic is working, causing the Iranian people to turn against the political system. In an interview with BBC Persian on Nov. 21, the US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said Washington is “very pleased with the protests” in Iran, adding that the maximum pressure against Iran will continue. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also took to Twitter to express support for the protesters.

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