The Death Spiral of the Islamic Republic

Things fall apart.

One day in 1891, Nasser Eddin Shah, who ruled Iran for half of the 19th century, woke from a deep slumber in his grand bedchamber and sent for his customary morning tobacco, only to be informed that there was none to be found in the palace. The tobacco boycott that was afoot on the streets of Persia had reached the Peacock Throne, the seat of his power. We might imagine the grimace that crossed the shah’s walrus-like countenance before he exploded into a fit of anger, striking his servants, wives, and children with his cane as he rampaged through the palace.

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The Death Spiral of the Islamic Republic

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