March 2, 2013

Debunking Iran's Religious Myths

The Economist, The Economist

AP Photo

“SLEEP easily, Cyrus, for we are awake,” assured Iran’s last shah, Muhammad-Reza Pahlavi, speaking at the tomb of his imperial ancestor in 1971. This staged event helped forge the myth that the Pahlavis were an adored monarchy stretching back millennia to the Achaemenid empire, a claim to which the shah clung dearly. Yet in less than a decade his embittered people had delivered his throne into the hands of an obscure Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. James Buchan’s elegant “Days of God”, which came out last November, focused on how all this came to pass. Now Michael Axworthy, a former diplomat and director of the Centre for Persian and Iranian Studies at Exeter University, goes over much of the same ground and explains how the Islamic...

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Iran

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

February 27, 2013
Is Obama About to Flip on Arming Syria Rebels?
Walter Russell Mead, TAI
You don't need to embrace Richard Nixon’s madman theory and try to make other countries so afraid of you that they give in because you might do something crazy. You don’t need to do a George W. Bush and invade a country... more ››
February 27, 2013
Gridlock, Tehran-Style
Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Don't shoot for big, splashy agreements with Tehran -- that just gives opponents on both sides something to shoot at. Besides, the idea of a grand bargain with the United States appears to make Khamenei nervous. more ››
The military option, which still "remains on the table," may ultimately be the only effective way of halting the Iranians’ stubborn march toward their goal of nuclear weapons. more ››
February 26, 2013
How Entrenched in Syria is Iran?
Masih Alinejad & Azadeh Moaveni, Time
The killing last week of a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander near the Lebanon-Syria border has rekindled speculation about Iran’s activities in Syria, particularly its ties to the militia groups fighting... more ››
February 26, 2013
Why Iran Says No
Hussein Banai, Los Angeles Times
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sees the nuclear issue in terms of his political survival. more ››