We have all seen the images of women in cities across Iran burning their headscarves and cutting their hair in public to chants of “Death to the dictator.”.

The protests began after the September 13th death of 22-year-old Masha Amini. According to reports, Iranian morality police had accused Amini of violating laws mandating women cover their hair.

These events appear to have sparked a major public backlash against the Iranian regime. But how serious is the threat to the Iranian regime?

Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He was previously a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Earlier, he served as a Middle Eastern specialist at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. In that role, he was focused on Iran targets.

Among his many books, Reuel is the author of Know Thine Enemy: A Spy’s Journey into Revolutionary Iran and The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy. He has been a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, as well as a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Dispatch.

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