Understanding the foreign policy agenda and behaviour of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a critical challenge for the world. But where do the principal Iranian regime actors come from in terms of political background, experiences and interests? Which types of ambitions or policy conflicts have dominated and shaped foreign policy debates since 1979?
In his book, The Battle of the Ayatollahs in Iran: The United States, Foreign Policy, and Political Rivalry since 1979, Alex Vatanka explains the internal policy process in Tehran by following two of the regime’s most influential personalities, Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who before his death in January 2017 held some of the most powerful political positions in Iran.
In this webinar, the author and discussants will explore the book’s findings and consider how the domestic policy contest between these key actors has shaped Tehran’s actions on the regional and international stage, and, crucially, Iran’s relationship with the United States.
This event will be held on the record and will be livestreamed on the MENA Programme’s Facebook page.
Chair: Sanam Vakil, Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow, MENA Programme, Chatham House
Discussant: Ali Ansari, Professor in Modern History, University of St Andrews
Alex Vatanka, Director of Iran Program and Senior Fellow, Frontier Europe Initiative, Middle East Institute