OVERRIDE

Hidden Iran

Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic

Ray Takeyh

Times Books

A leading expert explains why we fail to understand Iran and offers a new strategy for redefining this crucial relationship

For more than a quarter of a century, few countries have been as resistant to American influence or understanding as Iran. The United States and Iran have long eyed each other with suspicion, all too eager to jump to conclusions and slam the door. What gets lost along the way is a sense of what is actually happening inside Iran and why it matters. With a new hard-line Iranian president making incendiary pronouncements and pressing for nuclear developments, the consequences of not understanding Iran have never been higher.

Ray Takeyh, a leading expert on Iran's politics and history, has written a groundbreaking book that demystifies the Iranian regime and shows how the fault lines of Iran's domestic politics serve to explain its behavior. In Hidden Iran, he explains why this country has so often confounded American expectations and why its outward hostility does not necessarily preclude the normalization of relations. Through a clearer understanding of the competing claims of Muslim theology, republican pragmatism, and factional competition, he offers a new paradigm for managing our relations with this rising power.

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Introduction:
 
Getting Iran Wrong
 
In his State of the Union address on January 31, 2006, President George W. Bush turned his attention to Iran, describing it as a "nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people." The president went on to stress that the "Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons."1 The reaction from Tehran was predictably swift and uncompromising; President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced Bush as
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REVIEWS

Praise for Hidden Iran

"Savvy and accessible . . . Takeyh has written a shrewd, timely guide to Iran's schisms, interests and ambitions, as well as offering a bracing and often nicely acerbic look at U.S.-Iranian relations."
--Warren Bass, The Washington Post Book World
 
"Hidden Iran is a skillful policy brief, written in a smooth, graceful style that is accessible to nonspecialists. Takeyh does not underestimate how difficult it is for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America to find ways of dealing with each other, but he demonstrates persuasively that a policy of more of the same will only produce more of the same."
--Gary Sick, Foreign Affairs

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Ray Takeyh

  • Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he concentrates his work on Iran, Islamist movements, and Middle Eastern politics. He has held positions at the National Defense University, Yale, and Berkeley. His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, and the International Herald Tribune.
    He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Hidden Iran

Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic

Ray Takeyh

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Times Books

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