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The partnership between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People's Republic of China presents a unique challenge to U.S. interests and objectives, including dissuading Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. This paper examines factors driving Chinese-Iranian cooperation, potential tensions in the Chinese-Iranian partnership, and U.S. policy options for influencing this partnership to meet U.S. objectives.
Some time in the coming decade, Iran will probably acquire nuclear weapons or the capacity to quickly produce them. This monograph provides a midterm strategy for dealing with Iran that neither begins nor ends at the point at which Tehran acquires a nuclear weapon capability. It proposes an approach that neither acquiesces to a nuclear-armed Iran nor refuses to admit the possibility--indeed, the likelihood--of this occurring.
This study explores how a nuclear-armed Iran would behave and what this would entail for the United States and its main regional allies. It analyzes the Islamic Republic's ideology, motivations, and national security doctrine; examines a nuclear-armed Iran's potential policies toward Saudi Arabia and the GCC; discusses its potential behavior toward Israel; explores its relations with terrorist groups; and presents key findings.
As Iran's nuclear program evolves, U.S. decisionmakers will confront a series of critical policy choices involving complex considerations and policy trade-offs. These policy choices could involve dissuading Iran from developing nuclear weapons; deterring Iran from using its nuclear weapons, if it were to acquire them; and reassuring U.S. regional partners. The U.S. Air Force will need to prepare to carry out whatever policies are chosen.
Israel and Iran have come to view each other as direct regional rivals. The two countries are not natural rivals; they have shared geopolitical interests, which led to years of cooperation both before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution. But their rivalry has intensified recently, particularly with the rise of fundamentalist leaders in Iran and the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran posing grave strategic and ideological challenges to Israel.
The U.S. ability to "read" the Iranian regime and formulate appropriate policies has been weakened by lack of access to the country and by the opacity of decisionmaking in Tehran. To improve understanding of Iran's political system, the authors describe Iranian strategic culture; investigate Iran's informal networks, formal government institutions, and personalities; assess the impact of elite behavior on Iranian policy; and summarize key trends.
As the commander in chief and highest political authority in Iran, the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has played a critical role in the direction of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This monograph identifies three key factors that will shape succession of the next Supreme Leader and outlines five alternative scenarios for the post-Khamenei era. It situates all of this within the context of the June 2009 election.
This book surveys how Saudi-Iranian relations have unfolded in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine since 2003, identifying the sources of rivalry and cooperation between the two powers. Understanding and leveraging this relationship will be a critical part of U.S. efforts to promote stability after the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq and to manage the regional impact of Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Turkey and Iran tend to be rivals rather than close partners, despite sharing certain economic and security interests. For instance, Turkey supports the opposition in Syria, while Iran supports the regime. Turkey is further concerned about a possible nuclear arms race in the Middle East. U. S. and Turkish interests in the region closely overlap, but the United States should not expect Turkey to follow its policy toward Iran unconditionally.
In the months after the contested Iranian presidential election in June 2009, Iranians spoke out about the election using Twitter--a social media service that allows users to send short text messages, called tweets, with relative anonymity. This research analyzed more than 2.5 million tweets discussing the Iran election that were sent in the nine months following it, drawing insights into Iranian public and mood in the post-election period.
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