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This year sees the 30th anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran. It was in January that year that demonstrations began and the Shah fled the country, while on 1st February the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran, finally proclaiming an Islamic republic on 1st April. The rest is both history and an increasingly troubled present: which is why, in his lead essay for our 30th anniversary special feature, Christopher de Bellaigue explores the increasingly brittle confidence of an Iranian regime…

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