Mullahs, Guards, and Bonyads: An Exploration of Iranian Leadership Dynamics

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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.