Indigenising ‘Modernisation’ in Iran
Thirty-eight years since the Iranian revolution, the debate over the trajectory of Iran’s path to reform remains widely contested. President Rouhani’s surprising victory in the June 2013 presidential elections, in which he ran as a moderate, securing 51 per cent of the popular vote, represented a significant shift in the Iranian political landscape. His re-election four years later, in which he garnered more than 70 per cent of Iran’s 56 million votes solidified Rouhani’s popular mandate calling for change and transformation. This chapter argues that measuring change in Iran using a ‘Western yardstick’ will prove futile and gauges the scope of change under Rouhani by surveying the four core principles that have guided various Iranian presidents since the 1979 revolution: republicanism, development, justice and independence.