Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age by Ray Takeyh

By Ray Takeyh

Innovative guards chanting opposed to the good devil, Bush fulminating opposed to the Axis of Evil, Iranian aid for Hezbollah, and President Ahmadinejad blaming the U.S. for the world's ills--the endless disagreement indicates an intractable divide among Iran and the West. yet as Ray Takeyh indicates during this obtainable and authoritative historical past of Iran's relatives with the realm because the revolution, at the back of the well-known personalities and extremist slogans is a kingdom that's way more pragmatic--and complex--than many within the West were ended in think. Takeyh explodes a lot of our simplistic myths of Iran as an intransigently Islamist foe of the West. He exhibits that 3 robust forces--Islamism, pragmatism, and nice energy pretensions--war opposed to each other in Iran, and that Iran's frequently paradoxical regulations are in fact a chain of compromises among the hardliners and the moderates, usually with wild oscillations among pragmatism and ideological dogmatism. The U.S.'s job, Takeyh argues, is to discover techniques that deal with Iran's objectionable habit with no demonizing this key participant in an more and more important and risky area. up-to-date with an afterword that covers the momentous protests following the 2009 Iranian elections, Guardians of the Revolution will stand because the typical paintings in this controversial--and central--actor in global politics for future years. Praise for the hardcover: ''Superb...anyone wishing to appreciate why restored American-Iranian ties are so elusive, but in addition so severe, should still flip to this significant paintings, a riveting and regularly insightful research of progressive Iran and its nonetheless stricken position within the world.'' --New York Times ''[An] first-class historical past of Iran's international and safety regulations within the 3 a long time because the revolution.... A hugely winning balancing act among breadth and depth.... a firstclass book.'' --Middle East Journal ''An first-class solution to take the degree of progressive Iran at the present time is to learn this up to date, well-researched, and perceptive heritage of its overseas coverage on account that 1979.'' --Foreign Affairs

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Extra info for Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs

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An entirely new structure of government and a new, dedicated, religious cadre came into existence with a determination to ensure the perpetuation of Khomeini’s vision. In a perverse manner, Khomeini’s totalitarian aspirations would be undermined by the structure and norms of the very religion in whose name he professed to rule. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, with its strict hierarchy and notions of papal infallibility, Shiite ulema—Muslim scholars—were always loosely organized. The fact that most of the traditional clergy were dismissive of Khomeini’s theological improvisations ensured that a body of ayatollahs remained in a state of perpetual dissent.

However, two other factors must also be taken into consideration, namely, the clerics’ quest to usher in a militant foreign policy and a desire to strike a psychological blow against the United States. As we have seen, Bazargan’s approach to international relations was strict nonalignment but with a relations with the “great satan” 41 willingness to have normal relations with the United States. Such modest objectives found no audience among the newly empowered militants, however. The long-time commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Yahya Rahim Safavi, recalls, “The policy of the provisional government was not acceptable to the revolutionary forces and the line of the imam.

By exploiting factional divisions, the ruthless employment of terror, and the adroit use of foreign crises, Khomeini not only displaced his rivals but also created an Islamic Republic that could not easily escape the burden of his legacy. God’s Way On a crisp morning in February 1979 Khomeini made his triumphant return to Iran. Approximately three million people were on hand to greet the imam and celebrate his momentous achievement. However, Khomeini and his clerical disciples understood that the success of their mission was by no means inevitable since the revolution had featured a powerful and diverse coalition of forces with their own claims and constituents.

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