New Hoover Press Book Examines U.S. Policy Toward Iran

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Image credit: 
Hoover Press

Image credit: 
Hoover Press

In the new Hoover Institution Press book, Revolution and Aftermath: Forging a New Strategy toward Iran, Eric Edelman and Ray Takeyh examine one of the most underappreciated forces that has shaped modern US foreign policy: American-Iranian relations.

They authors argue that America’s mistaken analysis of Iran’s domestic politics has hamstrung decades of US diplomacy, resulting in humiliations and setbacks ranging from the 1979–81 hostage crisis to Barack Obama’s concession-laden nuclear weapons deal. What presidents and diplomats have repeatedly failed to grasp, they write, is that “the Islamic Republic is a revolutionary state whose entire identity is invested in its hostility toward the West.”

To illuminate a path forward for American-Iranian relations, the authors address some of the most persistent myths about Iran, its ruling elite, and its people. They discuss the ways Iran played a vital role in US grand strategy after World War II.

Edelman and Takeyh discuss the Ayatollah Khomeini’s worldview—including his view of the United States as “the Great Satan”—and his remarkably durable legacy, which has animated decades of Iranian policies even when such policies are detrimental to the country’s other stated national interests.

Finally, they highlight lessons leaders can learn from America’s many missteps since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

What people are saying

“In this short but important book, one of America’s leading Iran experts and a deeply experienced national security practitioner explain why Iran has been such a daunting and persistent challenge for policymakers, the historical role it has played in US grand strategy, and what a realistic policy to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon might look like. If you are looking for a cogent and concise introduction to this vital topic—this is it.”

Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States

“Eric Edelman and Ray Takeyh cut through the wishful thinking that so often passes for analysis to deliver a needed warning: Iran’s imperial aggression against us and our allies isn’t a drain on the ayatollahs’ power; it’s the lifeblood of the regime. Anyone who wants to understand the true nature of the Iranian regime—and the threat it poses—should read this book.”

Tom Cotton, United States Senator from Arkansas


Ambassador Eric S. Edelman is the Roger Hertog Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University–SAIS and Counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He was US ambassador to Finland in the Clinton administration and ambassador to Turkey in the George W. Bush administration.

Ray Takeyh is Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and previously served as a Senior Advisor on Iran at the State Department.

For more information on Revolution & Aftermath, visit this page on Hoover Press.  For more information on the Hoover Institution, visit or find us on FacebookTwitter, and Scribd (keyword: Hoover Institution). 

Media Contacts

Clifton B. Parker, Hoover Institution: 650-498-5205, cbparker [at]