The Iranian Deep State: Understanding The Politics Of Transition In The Islamic Republic

by Sanam Vakil, Hossein Rassam
Monday, October 12, 2020
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istock

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An analysis of the deep state is essential to understanding the current and future trajectory of politics in Iran. The Iranian deep state is composed of an intricate security, intelligence, and economic superstructure whose goal is to preserve the fundamental revolutionary nature, vision, and security of the Islamic Republic. This paper traces the history of the deep state, identifies its ideological and economic goals, and maps its institutional dominance, revealing the its influence in the Iranian system. For policy makers, understanding the nature, composition, and goals of the deep state reveals the Islamic Republic’s resilience, economic and regional ambitions, and potential accommodation in future negotiations. 

The Iranian Deep State: Und... by Hoover Institution

About the Authors

Sanam Vakil is the deputy director of the Middle East North Africa Programme, Chatham House, where she leads the Future Dynamics in the Gulf project and the Iran Forum. She is also the James Anderson professorial lecturer in the Middle East Studies department at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS Europe) in Bologna, Italy.  
 

Hossein Rassam is director of programming at Iran International and has observed Iran’s domestic politics and foreign policy for two decades, advising governments and companies. Before leaving Iran, he was the senior political analyst at the British Embassy in Tehran. In 2009, he was arrested by Iranian authorities, charged with espionage and made to appear in a show trial.

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