Ali Alfoneh: Political Succession in the Islamic Republic of Iran

What will happen after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s passing? During this event hosted by the Iran 1400 Project, Ali Alfoneh, an author and political scientist, answered this question and presented his book Political Succession in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Demise of the Clergy and the Rise of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Ali Alfoneh in his book imagines what leadership will look like in the Islamic Republic after the passing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. It looks back at the past, detailing the process of succession before and after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, as well as towards the future, concluding that whoever Khamenei’s successor may be, he will be beholden to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

In addition to the presentation of his book, this episode includes a lively Q&A session with Mr. Alfoneh. He addresses a variety of pressing points concerning the past, present, and future of Iran, from how a Raisi presidency will affect the transition of power, to the immense role of the IRGC today.


You can listen to the audio version of the event on your favorite podcast application.

Book description

What will happen after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s passing? How is the factional struggle for power in Iran over succession of Khamenei, between technocratic elites within the regime led by President Hassan Rouhani on the one side, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and its allies on the other, likely to impact the trajectory of the Islamic Republic and future of U.S.-Iranian relations? This book answers these questions.

About Ali Alfoneh

Ali Alfoneh is a political scientist by training and the originator of the theory of transformation of the Islamic Republic into a military dictatorship. Alfoneh first put forward the theory in the spring 2006 edition of Udenrigs, journal of The Danish Foreign Policy Society. In the United States since 2007, Alfoneh advanced the theory in a series of essays published by the American Enterprise Institute culminating in Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards are Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship published by AEI Press in April 2013.

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