Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Profile: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

K. Sue Witmer sent a link to a Foreign Affairs article profiling the Iranian supreme leader. Great for teacher background. Take some time to read it before teaching about Iran.

It's too long for excerpts here. The link is to the article, but the summary paragraph below is from the introduction.

I'd add to the summary, that Khamenei not only has to be convinced that the US is not out to overthrow the Islamic Republic, but Ganji says that Khamenei has to be convinced that the US and capitalism are not about to implode (in Marxist terms) from their internal contradictions.

Who Is Ali Khamenei? The Worldview of Iran’s Supreme Leader
Khamenei meets an American hostage, 1980
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is not a crazy, irrational, or reckless zealot searching for opportunities for aggression, as this sweeping intellectual profile shows. That means there’s room for the United States and Iran to improve ties -- if Washington can convince Khamenei it’s not determined to overthrow the Islamic Republic.

The author is AKBAR GANJI, an Iranian journalist and dissident. He was imprisoned in Tehran from 2000 to 2006, and his writings are currently banned in Iran. This article was translated from the Farsi by Evan Siegel.

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