Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Editor's Note

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

At the beginning of the year, we at The Middle East Journal addressed the question of how, if at all, we should address the fact that 2004 marked the 25th Anniversary of one of the major turning points of the contemporary Middle East, the Iranian Revolution. Rather than devote a special issue to the subject, it was decided that each issue during 2004 would include at least one article on an Iranian theme. We began the year with something different from our normal run of articles, an oral history with Henry Precht, who had been desk officer at the time of the Revolution. The spring issue featured Anoushiravan Ehteshami on Iran's international posture after the Iraq war; the summer issue, Abbas William Samii's treatment of the recent elections. To conclude the year we have two articles on Iranian themes.

The first is a particular pleasure to publish for several reasons. Professor Rouhollah K. Ramazani needs little introduction to readers of the Journal', the Edward R. Stettinius Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia marks 50 years of publications with this article and a new book cited in the notes to his article; he has been publishing articles in the Journal since 1958, is a Member Emeritus of the Middle East Institute's Board of Governors, and still serves on the Board of Advisory Editors of this Journal. One of the recognized authorities on Iran's foreign policy provides us with a remarkable synthesis of continuities in Iranian Foreign Policy, not just in recent years or even in the Islamic era, but since the Achaemenids. Although the Journal devotes itself to the period since World War II, Professor Ramazani's article aims to define the continuities (the balance between pragmatism and ideology) that have been constants in Iranian history and that continue to be evident today. This article is revised from a presentation Professor Ramazani made in honor of yet another of the giants of Iranian studies, Richard N. Frye.

The issue also contains another contribution to the history of Iran's foreign relations: a look at US-Iranian relations during the Kennedy Administration, by Professor April R. Summitt of Andrews University. It is a useful addition to the documentation of the US' long relationship with the late Shah of Iran, and thus a contribution to the history that led to the Revolution. …

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