Understanding the Islamic Republic of Iran presents complex challenges. It requires knowledge of Islam, Shi'ism, and the peculiar interpretation of Shi'ism that Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini developed to legitimize the formation of an Islamic state. It also requires an exploration of the complex and overlapping structures that together comprise the Iranian regime, as well as the individuals who control those structures and their relationships. The guides in this section are designed to provide basic descriptions of key ideas, organizations, and individuals. Although each guide stands alone, they also form a number of series that address major aspects of the regime and its ideology, including:

Islam, Shi'ism, and the Islamic Republic of Iran
Political Structures in the Iranian Government
Security Structures in the Iranian Government

In this section

Islamic Republic of Iran

Understand the founding and basis of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Political Structures of Iran

Understand the key institutions and power centers within the Iranian regime.