Iranian National-Security Debates: Factionalism and Lost Opportunities
Iran’s national-security policy is a victim of the factional debates and disagreements that characterize the Islamic Republic’s political system. ¬¬There are currently three main factions in Iran — the radicals, the traditionalist conservatives and the reformers — and each has its own approach and agenda in relation to the country’s national-security policy. Of the various national-security issues confronting Iranian policy makers, six tend to be more pressing than others. They include the war in Iraq, Iran’s regional standing, U.S. goals and agendas in relation to the Middle East in general and Iran in particular, relations with Hezbollah, Iranian-Hamas relations and the nuclear program. Because of the factions’ key differences in style and approach toward these issues, the “suspended equilibrium” that characterizes the larger political system often finds its way into Iranian national-security policy. The result is often “mixed signals” from Tehran or, worse yet, indecision and lost opportunities.
External LinkDOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4967.2007.00299.x
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Middle East Policy, 14(2).
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