Sunday, July 6, 2008

Iran: Cohort Perspective

Fact: 70% of the population in Iran is under the age of 30.

Reality: American leaders who are interacting with Iran are at least a generation or two older.

The American leaders come from a time when they witnessed as adults and had to work on the hostage crisis and other problems with Iran.

The Iranians are in a young and fresh cohort.

There is an asymetry here - in that Americans may pride themselves on remembering and learning from past problems - when

the Iranian population wasn't old enough or even born - to be able to remember most of them.

This young cohort in Iran over time could put more and more pressure on the government there and shift the policies.

I think Iran is an easier out than we may have anticipated.

Conclusion: The young cohort in Iran will have a capacity for new directions, flexibility, and changes of leadership - not possible if it was an older more rooted population.

Consider: The population is not filled with old - hard -liner Yassar Arafats - who have 60 years of war under their belt.

The potential for change exists.

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