Iran and its region
A supreme leader at bayhttp://www.economist.com/
As recently as a few months ago, few Tehranis would have dared whisper “Death to Khamenei”. Now that slogan has become a commonplace.
None of this means that the ayatollah is about to fall. Strikes, which ended the shah’s regime, are so far confined to students boycotting exams. No one in the opposition expects quick results. In their manifesto, the five exiles foresee a lengthy period of dissent. But many Iranians remain convinced less by democracy than by traditional notions of a just ruler, empowered by divine grace and legitimised as much by his ability to keep the country together as by his innate justice. This summer, that mantle started to slip from Mr Khamanei’s shoulders. It will take uncommon skill for him to stop it falling.