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Description - Wither Iran? by Shahram Chubin

Iran's revolutionary regime has been a cause of considerable concern for its neighbours and the international community. Its original ambitions saw it embroiled in a long war and its immediate neighbourhood, notably the Gulf and Afghanistan, have seen considerable turmoil. As Iran's revolutionary enthusiasm has waned and a reformist movement has appeared, the question of whether it is in the process of a profound change has arisen. Specifically the question has been whether domestic reform in Iran might lead to changes in Iran's foreign and security policies that would make it a state no longer challenging the regional order but contributing to it. This monograph examines the nature of political change within Iran and assesses the degree to which it has and could affect that country's security policies. It makes specific reference to policies concerning the acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and terrorism, in particular in the context of the issue of Palestine. Broadly it concludes that while the reformist movement focuses most on domestic issues, they have also changed Iran's foreign and security policies. This is most evident in relation to the use of terrorism and possibly also in the areas of acquisition of nuclear weapons capability and the Middle East issue; it is least likely in relation to reliance on missiles for defence. In terms of policy the implication is that a reforming Iran is one that sees policy debated and issues ventilated and made more transparent. Western policy ought to be to encourage this trend, understanding that engagement and contacts are not rewards to be used as inducements but rather instruments of policy that can deepen and make irreversible the trend toward reform, debate and pluralism in Iran. Such an Iran, in turn, would pose fewer problems for the West.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780198516675
ISBN-10: 0198516673
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 7mm)
Pages: 120
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Apr-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Shahram Chubin

Shahram Chubin was born in Iran and educated in the West. He has taught at various universities including the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and was a Director of Regional Security Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is currently Director of Research at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

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