Country Research | The Islamic Republic of Iran

Can we compare Iran in 2013 to China in 1971?  James Fallows offered this holiday wish with an explanation of a possible alternative future based on U.S. reengagement with the PRC. It is a good starting point as we try to understand this complex, important regional power.
Let’s start with a solid history of Iran:  Sandra Mackey’s The Iranians or Ray Takeyh’s Hidden Iran are two suggestions.  You may also want to read beyond the excerpt from The Shia Revival by Vali Nasr’s  (included on the course Dropbox research folder) to learn more about how Shia is playing a key role in Middle Eastern affairs. (His book is worth reading in full.)
Other starting points (articles):
  • Julie Ershadi, “Understanding Iran: Reading the Shahnameh in New York. How a Three-Thousand-Year-Old Epic Can Help Solve the Iranian Nuclear Crisis.”
  • Jerold D. Green, Frederic Wehrey, Charles Wolf, Jr., Understanding Iran. RAND 2009.
  • Moshen M. Milani, Tehran’s Take: Understanding Iran’s U.S. Policy.  Foreign Affairs, July/Aug 2009.
  • Vali Nasr, The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future. (introduction, see note above)
  • Paul Pillar, “Reading Iranian Minds.” The National Interest, 2 Feb 2014.
  • Laura Secor, From Shah to Supreme Leader: What the Iranian Revolution Revealed. Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb 2014.
Longer works explore Iranian negotiation behavior, but you can learn a good amount of information from a lone PowerPoint on Brown Univesrity’s Anthropology Department called“How Iranian Interpersonal Interaction Styles Affect Negotiations”–even though we can’t seem to find the source.

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