Crisis of Authority: Iran's 2009 Presidential Election

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Chatham House, 2010 - Political Science - 113 pages
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Iran's tenth presidential election in 2009 has proved to be the most controversial and contentious in the 30-year history of the Islamic Republic. The popular anger which erupted in the aftermath of the election posed the most serious internal challenge to the stability of the Islamic Republic since its foundation. Although the street demonstrations have since subsided, the consequences of the election are likely to be felt for some time.

Ali Ansari argues that the crisis was not principally about electoral fraud, but rather that it was part of a far deeper malaise in the structure and ideology of the Islamic Republic. The 2009 election needs to be seen as part of a far longer political struggle. The size of the oppostion reflected the fact that this crisis extended to the future of Iran itself.

This book seeks to clarify the historical, political and social framework for the crisis. It also argues that a durable solution to the problem of Iran's international relations requires a better understanding of Iran and a settlement that provides for a stable future for the iranian state.

`All Ansari is rightly acclaimed as one of the most astute observers of modern Iranian society and politics. His combination of historical erudition and political savvy about the labyrinthine structure of power in Iran make his observations on the June 2009 contested election a must-read for anyone interested in the fate of that beleaguered nation and that pivotal event.' Professor Aboas Milani. Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies, Stanford University

`With a precise analytical scalpel, Ali Ansari cuts through the official myths of Iran's controversial 2009 presidential election. This indispensable guide gets to the heart of the most serious political crisis faced by the Islamic Republic, and puts the vote and its violent aftermath into critical historical context. Revolutionary Iran will never be the same, and Ansari---for many years among the most sophisticated observers of Iranian politics---tells us why.' Scott Peterson, author of Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran-A Journey Behind the Headlines (2010)

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About the author (2010)

Ali Ansari is a professor in modern history with reference to the Middle East at St. Andrews University, Scotland, where he is also the founding director of the Institute for Iranian Studies. He is an associate fellow at Chatham House.

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