Accession Number:

ADA512872

Title:

Mullahs, Guards, and Bonyads: An Exploration of Iranian Leadership Dynamics

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA

Report Date:

2009-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

167.0

Abstract:

The Islamic Republic of Iran is now perceived by many as a rising power in the Middle East and a long-term challenge to U.S. regional interests. The fall of Irans archenemy, Saddam Hussein, has enabled it to expand its influence in Iraq and beyond. Its nuclear program continues relatively unabated, with the Islamic Republic defying international condemnation and sanction to pursue an ostensibly civilian nuclear program -- a program that could, technically, provide Tehran with a breakout capacity for nuclear arms, if it is not already a cover for a dedicated military effort. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fueled the fire through his inflammatory rhetoric about the United States, its allies in the Persian Gulf region, and his systematic denial of the Holocaust. The presidential election in June 2009 presents yet another cause for U.S. and Western concern. Yet the U.S. ability to gauge the extent and totality of the challenges posed by Iran is handicapped by the lack of official relations between the two states since 1980. Moreover, observers of the Iranian regime, both within Iran and abroad, often lament the opacity of Iranian decision making processes, which presents serious impediments to those observers trying to understand the Iranian system and the policies it produces. U.S. policy makers need both a more complete picture of the driving characteristics of the Iranian regime and a framework to formulate effective policies for securing U.S. interests vis-a-vis the Islamic Republic. The objective of this book is to offer a framework to help U.S. policy makers and analysts better understand existing and evolving leadership dynamics driving Iranian decision making. The research herein provides not only a basic primer on the structure, institutions, and personalities of the Iranian government and other influential power centers, but also a better understanding of the strategic culture underlying Iranian policy formulation and execution.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Psychology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE