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Grand strategic adjustments in post-revolutionary Iran

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This monograph examines post-revolutionary Iran’s grand strategy by way of its adjustments at three key inflection points.

The first (1988-91) spans the end of the Iran-Iraq war, the collapse of the bipolar order and the First Gulf War, along with internal structural changes following Ayatollah Khomeini’s death. The second (2001-03) encompasses 9/11 and the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The third (2011-15) corresponds to the more recent Arab uprisings and the increasing internal and external pressures Iran faced over its nuclear programme.

The author concludes that while Iran’s leaders have over the decades proven their capacity to both reconcile ends and means and identify and respond to grand strategic threats and opportunities, they have ultimately yet to transcend the vicious circle of self-manufactured challenges.

This monograph was written by Open Briefing senior analyst Kevyn Lim for the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security at Tel Aviv University.

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