Iran’s middle class appears to be on the slippery slope, switching from its dream of political reform to the reality of economic security. This development is imbued with uncertainties and unintended consequences, including reinforcing the authoritarian impulses of the ruling elites. U.S. sanctions on Iran have weakened the country’s middle class and, with that, have dramatically undercut the voices of political moderation and change. Putting political aspirations for reform on the backburner, Iran’s middle
class seeks a viable path toward living a dignified life of self-sustenance amid a period of economic drought. While U.S. sanctions are not the direct cause of this political reorientation, they have contributed greatly to such submissive attitudes. This paper attempts to unlock the socio-economic and political dynamics of this trajectory in a country whose middle class once thrived on being an engine of change and moderation. While the campaign for political reform has faded away, its message is particularly germane as the country’s middle class struggles to make ends meet.