This is the book that exposes the workings of Iranian politics today. The authors penetrate the labyrinth of political relationships and family networks that is the Iranian ruling class, and reveal the forces which brought hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. They argue that the power base behind Ahmadinejad represents a kind of Iranian version of American neoconservativism. The Iranian neocons, like their Washington counterparts, have come in from the cold. Politicians and clerics exiled from influence under the reformist President Khatami have seized their chance to get back in to power, and to push an uncompromising foreign policy agenda.Aushiravan Ehteshami and Mahjoob Zweiri show how Ahmadinejad's surprise victory in the 2005 elections was just one facet of this group's strategy for regaining influence. In an analysis which has major implications for Western policymakers, the authors examine the group's agenda on issues like Iraq, Israel and nuclear enrichment, and assess how likely it is that they will be able to implement it. Iran and the Rise of its Neoconservatives is the essential guide to the politics of this turbulent nation, whose importance to world security has never been more keenly felt.
Anoushiravan Ehteshami is Professor of International Relations and Head of the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, where he is also Director of the Institute for Middle East and Islamic Studies. Mahjoob Zweiri is a Fellow in Modern Political History of the Middle East at Durham University, and Senior Researcher on Iran and Middle East Politics at the Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan.