Will the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran fall by the end of 2024?

Protests have been going on for several days around the country now, following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, and at least some involved in the protests are calling for regime change. However, large-scale protests have happened before and have not resulted in regime change. Will this time be different?

This question will resolve as YES if the collapse of the regime is reported by a reputable news source such as AP or Reuters by 11:59 pm on December 31, 2024. Otherwise, it will resolve as NO.

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Close date updated to 2024-12-31 11:59 pm

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belikewater avatar
belikewaterbought Ṁ20 of YES

I think it will happen quite suddenly. I think Iran's government is almost but not quite a house of cards waiting for some incident to trigger its collapse. The recent demonstrations haven't done it, but even IRGC members are unhappy. The government holds onto political power in part by holding onto economic power; 60% of the economy is centrally planned. A lot of people still have a lot to lose if the government collapses. And foreign trade is growing with Russia and China, both of which strengthen the government's power as well. But GDP per capita was US$4,091.21 in 2021 (World Bank), and inflation was at 43.4% for 2021 (World Bank) and has been >30.0% from 2019 onward (World Bank). Inflation was at 53.4% in Feb 2023 and rising. Even Iraq is doing better, with GDP per capita at US$4775 in 2021, inflation at 6.4% in Feb 2023, inflation close to zero for most of the past decade, and peak inflation during the pandemic at just over 8%. Meanwhile, however, inflation is pushing more people from the middle class into the lower class, and this may have the paradoxical effect of reducing opposition to the regime, as dissatisfied members of middle class are most likely to push for political change, whereas the poor tend to be more concerned with survival and may increasingly support populist and conservative forces. So, while the economy suffers and many are dissatisfied with the government, a shrinking middle class, government hold on the economy, and growing economic ties with Russia and China may help prop up the regime for some more time to come.

But eventually, I do think some sort of popular movement will topple the current regime; the only question in my mind is when. I have a relatively small bet on "yes" on this question because I think it's possible that the end could be relatively near. The recent demonstrations about women's dress rules showed the depth of popular discontent. The Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has had several major health problems, and if he were to die or become incapacitated, there would be a window of uncertainty that could lead to mass demonstrations. Some new issue could spark new demonstrations. I think the situation is just waiting for a big enough trigger for the government to be toppled. Maybe it won't happen by the end of 2024, but I do think it'll likely happen in <5 years. And I think it will happen over a small number of months to a year once the collapse starts.


ScottLawrence avatar
Scott Lawrencebought Ṁ20 of NO

As I write this, the probability for "by the end of 2023" is 18%, and the probability for "by the end of 2024" is 33%. So the implied odds for "during 2024" is 15%. But I know nothing about 2024; 2024 should be at the base rate, and since Iran's government isn't actually overthrown more than once a decade...

(Part of this is that it's biased high due to the possibility of early resolution, I guess?)

1 reply
QueenWithANRPG avatar
QueenWithAnRPGpredicts NO

@ScottLawrence Exactly this tbh