chapter  7
16 Pages

Iran, Israel and the Middle East Conflict

The Islamic Revolution was a major turning point in the history of modern Iran, representing a dramatic change in its domestic landscape, as well as a momentous change in its foreign outlook and regional politics. Gradually, much like other ideological movements in history, upon assuming power and facing the complex demands of governance the new regime was forced to adapt itself to the newly emerging realities and adopt more pragmatic policies in a growing number of areas. Yet with respect to the specific areas of change and the appropriate degree of transformation, the various factions in Tehran differed considerably. This controversy soon became a major issue in domestic rifts, and greatly impacted the formulation of policy. Since the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in June 1989, such differences have become even more polarized as respective leaders have vied for ultimate authority to lead the country, according to their distinctive worldviews. The election of President Mohammad Khatami in May 1997, introduced yet another turning point, signalling greater support for reform among larger segments of society. All in all, these notable domestic and regional changes resulted in greater realism and more emphasis on national interests over the initial revolutionary dogma.