Understanding Iran [electronic resource] /
Jerrold D. Green, Frederic Wehrey, Charles Wolf, Jr.
Santa Monica, CA : RAND, c2009.
xxi, 143 p. : col. ill. ; 23 cm.
083304558X (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780833045584 (pbk. : alk. paper)
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added author
Santa Monica, CA : RAND, c2009.
083304558X (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780833045584 (pbk. : alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction -- Features of the Iranian system -- Conclusion: Iran is unlike other countries but hardly beyond understanding -- Appendixes: A. Workshop agenda -- B. Workshop papers -- Decisionmaking for national security: the nuclear case / Shahram Chubin -- Negotiating with Iran: a case study / James Dobbins -- Iran's defense establishment / Anoush Ehteshami -- Negotiating with Iran / Jerrold D. Green -- Understanding Ayatollah Khameini: the leader's thoughts on Israel, the U.S., and the nuclear program / Karim Sadjadpour -- The politics of factionalism in Iran / Koichiro Tanaka -- Economic decisionmaking in Iran / Koichiro Tanaka -- Iran in the Arab spere: debating legitimacy, sovereignty, and regional order / Fred Wehrey -- Iran's oil sector: questions, puzzles, explanations / Charles Wolf, Jr. -- C. Biographies of workshop participants.
"Over the years, there have been numerous efforts to locate the roots of the Islamic Republic's intentions and motivations in the distinctiveness of its political culture and history. A rich and ancient nation, Iran has always beguiled outsiders. This complexity, combined with America's lack of access to Iran since 1979, has produced a peculiar view of the Islamic Republic, a view defined by mystique and a superficial reading that places too much emphasis on Iran's 'abnormal' and 'exceptional' characteristics. This document is a short, accessible guide intended to help U.S. policymakers understand the Islamic Republic. It offers a set of short analytic observations about the processes, institutions, networks, and actors that define Iran's politics, strategy, economic policy, and diplomacy. From these, it sets out an argument for appreciating the challenges and fundamentals of negotiating with Iran."--Summary, p. ix.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 141-143).
A Look Inside
Main Description
Iran remains among the most poorly understood countries in the world and, for most Americans, terra incognita. A small community of American analysts in the government, academia, and the country's think tanks is, of course, working on Iran, but the overwhelming majority of them have never been to Iran or have visited only briefly. The consequences of this unfamiliarity have been distinctly negative for American policy, pushing most analyses toward a highly reductionist view. This monograph, the result of a workshop and the authors' own experience and analysis, is a concise, accessible handbook on the Islamic Republic for U.S. policymakers. As an aid to understanding current-day Iran, it synthesizes the existing analyses on the Islamic Republic and, most important, draws from non-American experts who can offer a different interpretive lens for viewing the seemingly opaque Iranian system. It offers a set of short analytic observations about the processes, institutions, networks, and actors that define Iran's politics, strategy, economic policy, and diplomacy. From these, it provides a guide for negotiating with Iran, about which the National Security Council's 2006 National Security Strategy warned, "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran." Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. iii
Figures and Tablesp. vii
Summaryp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Abbreviationsp. xix
Introductionp. 1
Birth of the Projectp. 1
Backgroundp. 2
Contents of This Documentp. 3
Features of the Iranian Systemp. 5
Iran's Political Landscape: Individuals and Institutionsp. 6
The Supreme Leader: Influence and Worldviewp. 7
The National Security Establishment and the Rise of the Revolutionary Guardsp. 10
The Iranian Economy: Oil Dependency, Key Actors, and Policiesp. 15
Oil Export Dependency and Its Pathologiesp. 16
Economic Policies and Institutions: Complexity and Redundancyp. 21
Disarray and Dysfunction in Economic Policy Executionp. 23
The Elite's Political Culture: Factionalism and Informalityp. 25
Factional Dynamics at Work: The Nuclear Case Studyp. 28
Iran's Approach to Its Arab Neighbors: Implications for Iranian Behavior and U.S. Policyp. 33
Iran's Outreach to Arab Publicsp. 34
Iran and Anti-Shiismp. 36
Iran's Negotiating Stylep. 39
Conclusion: Iran Is Unlike Other Countries but Hardly Beyond Understandingp. 47
Workshop Agendap. 49
Workshop Papersp. 51
Decisionmaking for National Security: The Nuclear Casep. 52
Negotiating with Iran: A Case Studyp. 66
Iran's Defense Establishmentp. 71
Negotiating with Iranp. 79
Understanding Ayatollah Khamenei: The Leader's Thoughts on Israel, the U.S., and the Nuclear Programp. 87
The Politics of Factionalism in Iranp. 96
Economic Decisionmaking in Iranp. 105
Iran in the Arab Sphere: Debating Legitimacy, Sovereignty, and Regional Orderp. 113
Iran's Oil Sector: Questions, Puzzles, Explanationsp. 123
Biographies of Workshop Participantsp. 129
Referencesp. 141
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