Iran after Khomeini

Iran after Khomeini

Iran after Khomeini

Iran after Khomeini

Synopsis

Three years after the departure of the Ayatollah Rouhallah Khomeini, Iran's political future remains uncertain. This volume explores the directions the Islamic regime and, more importantly, the Iranian society and nation are likely to take in the 1990s. The study begins with a brief historical survey of Iran's political institutions, its sociocultural traits, and its economic and military conditions, as well as its foreign policy orientation at the time of the revolution. It follows with a summary of the political, social, and economic changes the Islamic revolution introduced. These serve as benchmarks against which to measure the changes and reforms of the last three years and provide a basis for sketching the potential future directions of Iran's domestic evolution and foreign relations.

Excerpt

For the United States, the revolution in Iran in 1979 represented both trauma and challenge. Through its sponsorship of hostage-taking and terrorism, the new leadership in Tehran became a hated symbol for much of the U.S. public. Yet Washington, with its global reach, could not -- and cannot -- ignore Iran, lying as it does in a central position on the southern Asian land mass. In Asia, only China is contiguous with more states. Today, with the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Iran has common borders with seven countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, and Iraq. Five more nations of special interest to the United States lie in close proximity across the Gulf: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

In varying degrees, Iranian cultural and religious influence has spread and affected not only each of its neighbors, but nations of the Islamic world beyond. Although significant differences exist between Shi'a Iran and the predominantly Sunni nations of the rest of the Muslim world, the revolutionary message of the Ayatollah Khomeini -- includ-

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