analysis

Khamene'i's Balancing Act

This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of Middle East Quarterly.

Seventeen months after the fraudulent June 12, 2009 presidential election, which threw the Islamic Republic into its worst political crisis since the 1979 revolution, and five months into the latest round of international sanctions against Iran,[1] Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i is desperate to demonstrate that he is the legitimate supreme authority in Iran.

Internal Divisions Mask External Unity

Highway into Tehran (photo available at Wikimedia Commons)
 

Ahmadinejad in West Africa: What Iranian Outreach to the Region Reveals about Tehran’s Foreign Policy

Sign denoting Iranian agricultural aid project in Ghana, December 2007 (photo by hiyori13, available on Flickr).

 

Iran's nuclear and foreign policies rely upon a worldview that takes confidence from the support lent Tehran by allies in the developing world. In a new report examining Iranian outreach to West Africa, the Critical Threats Project examines how Iran executes its foreign policy and the priorities it values in its partners.

 

Iranian Influence in Afghanistan: Imam Khomeini Relief Committee

Border crossing between Iran and Afghanistan (Photo by Alpenmilch, available at wikimedia commons)
 

This is the first in a series of AEI Middle Eastern Outlooks documenting Iran's growing influence in Afghanistan.

Iran-Turkey Economic Relations: What Their Rapid Growth Means for Iran’s Nuclear Program

Recep Erdogan speaking at the 2009 World Economic Forum (photo by the World Economic Forum, available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/3488049591/sizes/l/)

 

Key Points

Deterrence Misapplied: Challenges in Containing a Nuclear Iran

In this working paper for the Council on Foreign Relations, Frederick W. Kagan examines the deterrence model from a theoretical and historical perspective and assesses whether a nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran would be deterrable. The full text of the paper can be downloaded below or accessed here.

Iran Has Designs on Iraq

 Vice President Joe Biden recently told Larry King that Iraq "could be one of the great achievements of this administration." Mr. Biden's transparent attempt to take credit for Bush administration policies aside, it's worth asking how exactly does the Obama administration define success in Iraq?