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Reading Khamenei: The World View of Iran's Most Powerful Leader

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  • Reading Khamenei: The World View of Iran's Most Powerful Leader

    I believe this is worth browsing over. If not reading in full.

    Reading Khamenei: The World View of Iran's Most Powerful Leader - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    Reading Khamenei: The World View of Iran's Most Powerful Leader
    By Karim Sadjadpour
    Publisher: Carnegie Endowment
    Carnegie Endowment Report, March 2008

    There is perhaps no leader in the world more important to current world affairs but less known and understood than Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran. In a unique and timely new study Carnegie’s Karim Sadjadpour presents an in-depth political profile of Khamenei based on a careful reading of three decades' worth of his writings and speeches.

    Sadjadpour argues that “Iran’s Islamic government is more powerful than it has ever been vis-à-vis the United States, Khamenei is more powerful than he’s ever been within Iran, and in order to devise a more effective U.S. policy toward Iran a better understanding of Khamenei is essential.” Though Khamenei is sometimes dismissed as weak and indecisive, Sadjadpour writes, “his rhetoric depicts a resolute leader with a remarkably consistent and coherent—though highly cynical and conspiratorial—world view.”

    Given that the real political power of the Iranian Supreme Leader dwarfs that of the president, Sadjadpour argues, “It’s time for the world to focus less on Ahmadinejad and more on Khamenei. His speeches present arguably the most accurate reflection of Iranian domestic and foreign policy aims and actions over the last two decades.” He explores how Khamenei’s unexpected ascent to power is instructive in understanding his style of leadership, and unearths insightful quotes that provide deep insight into Khamenei’s thoughts on issues such as the United States, Israel, Iraq, President Ahmadinejad, and the nuclear issue.

    “Given Iran’s centrality to urgent U.S. and European foreign policy challenges—namely Iraq, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, energy security, Arab–Israeli peace, and Afghanistan,” Sadjadpour writes, “the United States does not have the luxury of shunning dialogue with Tehran until Khamenei’s death or the arrival of a more accessible Iranian leader. This could be a long time in coming.”

    Sadjadpour argues that any successful approach toward Iran must take into account Khamenei’s pivotal role in Iran’s decision-making process and his deeply held suspicions of the United States. “Trying to engage an Iran with Khamenei at the helm will no doubt be trying, require a great deal of nuance and patience, and offer no guaranteed chance of success. But an approach toward Iran that aims to ignore, bypass, or undermine Khamenei is guaranteed to fail.”

    Full Text (PDF):
    Last edited by 1980s; 19 Jul 08,, 23:02.

  • #2
    To be very honest. I really dont know whether Ayatollah Khamenei is either ignorant about a 'secret' nuclear weapons program, concealing that the Islamic Republic has one, or is stating the truth that Iran is not building nuclear weapons.

    I tend to think the latter, that Iran is not building nuclear weapon's technology. But with this regime often you just never know what to make of things.

    Last edited by 1980s; 19 Jul 08,, 23:13.


    • #3
      I read the whole thing and would like to thank you for posting it....very interesting summary!

      It paints a picture of complex yet contradictory character and reaching him in any meaningful way will be difficult.


      • #4
        No problem.

        Glad you took an interest to read through it.


        • #5
          Rather than make a new thread on Khamenei, i'll just post this here.

          Part 1: A Reuters investigation details a key to the supreme leader’s power: a little-known organization created to help the poor that morphed into a business juggernaut worth tens of billions of dollars:

          Reuters Investigates - Assets of the Ayatollah


          • #6
            If you read articles from the past, Khamenei was a nobody during the Islamist Revolution. More or less from what articles told he was just a vacuum filler by the hard liners. He held no prominence other then what they "inflated" him to be. These articles were written by those that were there during the Revolution and knew the conditions on the street.
            Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.


            • #7
              Part 2: An organization controlled by Iran’s supreme leader generates billions of dollars a year, helping to solidify his control over a country hobbled by sanctions:

              Reuters Investigates - Assets of the Ayatollah


              • #8
                Heh, you only have Khomeni to thank for this. He overturned centuries of Shia thought and decreed that clerics may rule.

                Turns out clerics are not very different to their more secular counterparts when it comes to power and the accumulation of wealth. This means they are rational and predictable.
                Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Nov 13,, 17:43.


                • #9
                  Part 3: On the supreme leader’s watch, Iran conducted a systematic campaign to legalize and safeguard the seizure of assets on which Setad’s wealth was built:

                  Reuters Investigates - Assets of the Ayatollah