History, Deception, and Repression: Khamenei’s Grand Strategy

International Relations

History, Deception, and Repression: Khamenei’s Grand Strategy

Abstract:

This paper seeks to explain the three primary strategies used by the Islamic Republic of Iran to consolidate power and silence opposition: (1) using a religio-historical narrative to defame opposition leaders, (2) promoting a revisionist history to create external threats to the regime, and (3) censorship and repression of dissenting views. An analysis of these strategies shows that Ayatollah Khamenei has become the most powerful figure in Iran and is the key decision maker. Understanding these strategies and the importance of Khamenei can help to formulate better policymaking. I suggest a change in U.S. policy towards Iran that focuses on fighting censorship and raising international awareness of the domestic situation rather than focusing on the nuclear issue.

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