By Ray Takeyh

For over 1 / 4 century, Iran has been certainly one of America's leader nemeses. Ever when you consider that Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah in 1979, the connection among the 2 international locations has been hostile: innovative guards chanting opposed to the nice devil, Bush fulminating opposed to the Axis of Evil, Iranian help for Hezbollah, and President Ahmadinejad blaming the U.S. for the world's ills.

The endless confrontation indicates an intractable divide among Iran and the West, one who may actually result in a taking pictures conflict within the close to destiny. yet as Ray Takeyh exhibits during this obtainable and authoritative heritage of Iran's family with the realm because the revolution, in the back of the well-known personalities and extremist slogans is a country that's way more pragmatic--and complex--than many within the West were ended in think. Takeyh explodes a lot of our simplistic myths of Iran as an intransigently Islamist foe of the West. Tracing the process Iranian coverage because the 1979 revolution, Takeyh identifies 4 specific classes: the progressive period of the Eighties, the tempered gradualism following the loss of life of Khomeini and the top of the Iran-Iraq warfare in 1989, the "reformist" interval from 1997-2005 below President Khatami, and the shift towards disagreement and radicalism because the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005.

Takeyh indicates that 3 strong forces--Islamism, pragmatism, and nice energy pretensions--have competed in every one of those sessions, and that Iran's frequently paradoxical guidelines are in fact a sequence of compromises among the hardliners and the moderates, usually with wild oscillations among pragmatism and ideological dogmatism. The U.S.'s job, Takeyh argues, is to discover suggestions that deal with Iran's objectionable habit with no demonizing this key participant in an more and more important and unstable zone. With its clear-sighted clutch of either nuance and ancient sweep, Guardians of the Revolution will stand because the common paintings in this controversial--and central--actor in global politics for years to come.

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