The Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics

Author: Bayram Sinkaya
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317525647
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been dubbed the ‘kingmaker’ in recent studies of Iranian politics, precipitating heated debates surrounding the potential militarization of the Iranian regime and giving rise to paradoxical understandings of the IRGC; whether as a military institution entering politics, or a political institution with a military history. Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics offers a way out of this paradox by showing that the IRGC is not a recently politicized institution, but has instead been highly politicized since its inception. It identifies the ways in which the IRGC relates to national political dynamics, examines the factors contributing to this relationship, and its implications on Iranian politics from the revolution up to the present day. The book examines the three decades following the revolution, uncovering the reasons behind the rise of the Revolutionary Guards and tracking the organization’s evolving relationship with politics. Establishing a theoretical framework from revolution and civil-military relations theories, this book provides new perspectives on the relationship between the IRGC and Iranian politics. This book would be of interest to students and scholars of Middle East Studies and Iranian Studies, in particular Iranian Politics.

The Rise of the Pasdaran

Author: Frederic M. Wehrey
Publisher: Rand Corporation
ISBN: 0833046209
Format: PDF
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Examines the broad-ranging domestic roles of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, assessing its influence over Iran's political culture, economy, and society and its ability to shape the political future of the Islamic Republic of Iran.--Publisher description.

Guardians of the Revolution

Author: Ray Takeyh
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199754101
Format: PDF
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For over a quarter century, Iran has been one of America's chief nemeses. Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah in 1979, the relationship between the two nations has been antagonistic: revolutionary guards chanting against the Great Satan, Bush fulminating against the Axis of Evil, Iranian support for Hezbollah, and President Ahmadinejad blaming the U.S. for the world's ills. The unending war of words suggests an intractable divide between Iran and the West, one that may very well lead to a shooting war in the near future. But as Ray Takeyh shows in this accessible and authoritative history of Iran's relations with the world since the revolution, behind the famous personalities and extremist slogans is a nation that is far more pragmatic--and complex--than many in the West have been led to believe. Takeyh explodes many of our simplistic myths of Iran as an intransigently Islamist foe of the West. Tracing the course of Iranian policy since the 1979 revolution, Takeyh identifies four distinct periods: the revolutionary era of the 1980s, the tempered gradualism following the death of Khomeini and the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1989, the "reformist" period from 1997-2005 under President Khatami, and the shift toward confrontation and radicalism since the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005. Takeyh shows that three powerful forces--Islamism, pragmatism, and great power pretensions--have competed in each of these periods, and that Iran's often paradoxical policies are in reality a series of compromises between the hardliners and the moderates, often with wild oscillations between pragmatism and ideological dogmatism. The U.S.'s task, Takeyh argues, is to find strategies that address Iran's objectionable behavior without demonizing this key player in an increasingly vital and volatile region. With its clear-sighted grasp of both nuance and historical sweep, Guardians of the Revolution will stand as the standard work on this controversial--and central--actor in world politics for years to come.

Iranian Culture

Author: Nasrin Rahimieh
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317429354
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Throughout modern Iranian history, culture has served as a means of imposing unity and cohesion onto society. The Pahlavi monarchs used it to project an image of Iran as an ancient civilisation, re-emerging as an equal to Western nations, while the revolutionaries deployed it to remake the country into an Islamic nation. Just as Iranian culture has been continually re-interpreted, the representations and avocations of Iranian identity vary amongst Iranians across the world. Iranian Culture: Representation and Identity demonstrates these fissures and the incompatibilities that refuse to be written out of national culture, analysing works of literature, popular music, graphic art and film, as well as oral narratives. Using works produced before and after the 1979 revolution, created both inside and outside of Iran, this study reveals neglected complexities and contradictions in the field of Iranian cultural production. It considers how contested claims to culture, whether they originated in Iran or the Iranian diaspora, shape our understanding of this culture and what spaces they create for new articulations of it, and in doing so offers an important re-examination of our collective concept of culture. This book would be an excellent resource for students and scholars of Middle East Studies and Iranian Studies, specifically Iranian culture including film and contemporary literature and the Iranian diaspora.

Iran and Russian Imperialism

Author: Moritz Deutschmann
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317385314
Format: PDF, Docs
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Rather than a centralized state, Iran in the nineteenth century was a delicate balance between tribal groups, urban merchant communities, religious elites, and an autocratic monarchy. While Russia gained an increasingly dominant political role in Iran over the course of this century, Russian influence was often challenged by banditry on the roads, riots in the cities, and the seeming arbitrariness of the Shah. Iran and Russian Imperialism develops a comprehensive picture of Russia’s historical entanglements with one of its most important neighbours in Asia. It recounts how the Russian Empire strived to gain political influence at the Persian court, promote Russian trade, and secure the enormous southern borders of the empire. Using hitherto often neglected documents from archives in Russia and Georgia and reading them against the grain, this book reveals the complex reactions of different groups in Iranian society to Russian imperialism. As it turns out, the Iranians were, in the words of the Russian orientalist Konstantin Smirnov, "ideal anarchists," whose resistance to imperial domination, as well as to centralized state institutions more generally, impacted developments in the region in the century to come. Iran’s troubled relationship with the wider world continues to be a topic of considerable interest to historians, yet little focus has been given to Russia’s historical connections to Iran. This book thus represents a valuable contribution to Iranian and Russian History, as well as International Relations.

Iranian Music and Popular Entertainment

Author: GJ Breyley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317336801
Format: PDF, Docs
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The word motreb finds its roots in the Arabic verb taraba, meaning ‘to make happy.’ Originally denoting all musicians in Iran, motrebi came to be associated, pejoratively, with the cheerful vulgarity of the lowbrow entertainer. In Iranian Music and Popular Entertainment, GJ Breyley and Sasan Fatemi examine the historically overlooked motrebi milieu, with its marginalized characters, from luti to gardan koloft and mashti, as well as the tenacity of motreb who continued their careers against all odds. They then turn to losanjelesi, the most pervasive form of Iranian popular music that developed as motrebi declined, and related musical forms in Iran and its diasporic popular cultural centre, Los Angeles. For the first time in English, the book makes available musical transcriptions, analysis and lyrics that illustrate the complexities of this history. As it presents the findings of the authors’ years of ethnographic work with the history’s protagonists, from senior motreb to pop-rock stars, the book reveals parallels between the decline of motrebi and the rise of ‘modernity.’ In the twentieth century, the fate of Tehran’s motrebi music was shaped by the social and urban polarization that ensued from the modern market economy, and losanjelesi would be similarly affected by transnational relations, revolution, war and migration. Through its detailed and informed examination of Iranian popular music, this study reveals much about the values and anxieties of Iranian society, and is a valuable resource for students and scholars of Iranian society and history.

Vanguard of the Imam

Author: Afshon Ostovar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019049171X
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Iran's Revolutionary Guards are one of the most important forces in the Middle East today. As the appointed defender of Iran's revolution, the Guards have evolved into a pillar of the Islamic Republic and the spearhead of its influence. Their sway has spread across the Middle East, where the Guards have overseen loyalist support to Bashar al-Assad in Syria and been a staunch backer in Iraq's war against ISIS-bringing its own troops, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and Shiite militias to the fight. Links to terrorism, human rights abuses, and the suppression of popular democracy have shrouded the Revolutionary Guards in controversy. In spite of their prominence, the Guards remain poorly understood to outside observers. In Vanguard of the Imam, Afshon Ostovar has written the first comprehensive history of the organization. Situating the rise of the Guards in the larger contexts of Shiite Islam, modern Iranian history, and international affairs, Ostovar takes a multifaceted approach in demystifying the organization and detailing its evolution since 1979. Politics, power, and religion collide in this story, wherein the Revolutionary Guards transform from a rag-tag militia established in the midst of revolutionary upheaval into a military and covert force with a global reach. The Guards have been fundamental to the success of the Islamic revolution. The symbiotic relationship between them and Iran's clerical rulers underpins the regime's nearly unshakeable system of power. The Guards have used their privileged position at home to export Iran's revolution beyond its borders, establishing client armies in their image and extending Iran's strategic footprint in the process. Ostovar tenaciously documents the Guards' transformation into a power-player and explores why the group matters now more than ever to regional and global affairs. The book simultaneously serves as a history of modern Iran, and provides a crucial and engrossing entryway into the complex world of war, politics, and identity in the Middle East.

The Iranian Military in Revolution and War Rle Iran D

Author: Sepehr Zabir
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415617855
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book is a fascinating critical examination of the characteristics and development of the armed forces in Iran, their role under the Shah and their re-creation in the war against Iraq as the fighting forces of Islam. The author examines the contradictory accounts, including the Shahâe(tm)s own Answer to History, as well as newly available accounts by highly placed ex-officials, and interviews with exiled army officers. He examines in detail the apparent shift of allegiance within the forces from the Shah to Imam and the ways in which this was accomplished. Major Iranian offensives, changing strategies from human wave assault to the Tankers War, and the delicate balance between the regular Army and the Revolutionary Guards, are also extensively examined. The book concludes with an analysis of the potential role of the armed forces in a succession crisis.

Religious Statecraft

Author: Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231545061
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Since the 1979 revolution, scholars and policy makers alike have tended to see Iranian political actors as religiously driven—dedicated to overturning the international order in line with a theologically prescribed outlook. In Religious Statecraft, Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar argues that such views have the link between religious ideology and political order backwards. This provocative book examines the politics of Islam rather than political Islam—demonstrating that religious narratives can change rapidly, frequently, and dramatically in accordance with elites’ threat perceptions. Tabaar traces half a century of shifting Islamist doctrines against the backdrop of Iran’s factional and international politics. He argues that the Islamists’ gambit to capture the state depended on attaining a monopoly over the use of religion. Tabaar explains how competing political actors strategically construct and deploy Shia-inspired ideologies to gain credibility and raise mass support. Based on micro-level analysis of original material and documents recently released in the Persian media as well as theological journals and political memoirs, Religious Statecraft constructs a new picture of Iranian politics and revises our understanding of the revolution, the U.S. embassy hostage crisis, the Iran-Iraq War, the Green Movement, nuclear politics, and U.S.-Iran relations.

The Military in Post Revolutionary Iran

Author: Hesam Forozan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317430735
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, also known as the 'Sepah', has wielded considerable and increasing power in Iran in recent decades. Established in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini as a paramilitary organisation charged with protecting the nascent Islamic regime and countering the untrustworthy Imperial army (or 'Artesh'), the Sepah has evolved into one of the most powerful political, ideological, military and economic players in Iran over recent years. The Sepah is entrusted with a diverse set of indoctrination apparatus, training programmes and system welfare provisions intended to broaden support for the regime. Although established as a paramilitary organisation, the Sepah developed to have its own ministry, complex bureaucracy and diversified functions, alongside its own network and personnel. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the Sepah and its role. It examines the position of the Sepah in Iranian state and society, explores the nature of the Sepah's involvement in politics, and discusses the impact of the Sepah's political rise on Iran's economy and foreign policy. Contemporary Iran can only be fully understood by an awareness of the ongoing in-fighting among regime factions and increasing popular demands for social change – knowing about the Sepah is central to all this.