PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

Defending Iran: From Revolutionary Guards to Ballistic Missiles, Gawdat Bahgat and Anoushiravan Ehteshami

Reviewed by Thomas Juneau
 

Much has been written on Iran’s domestic politics and foreign policies to help guide policymakers. Nevertheless, the country often remains poorly understood. This book by Gawdat Bahgat and Anoushiravan Ehteshami, both respected experts, offers a timely and relevant synthesis of what is known and not known about Iran’s defense policy; it should become essential reading for scholars, students, and practitioners.

The book covers extensive grounds. It dives into the domestic sources of Iran’s conduct, especially ideology and threat perceptions. It explains the structure of Iran’s security forces and, usefully, of its military-industrial complex—the target of much investment before and after the 1979 revolution. It also offers detailed chapters on the tools in Iran’s portfolio to deter its adversaries and project its power, especially its missile and space programs, its cyber capabilities, and its naval and drone forces.

Several themes emerge. Often neglected in public debates, one of these is the issue of continuity in Iranian foreign policy. Much changed after 1979; Iran suddenly went from close partner to adversary to the United States. But as Bahgat and Ehteshami clearly explain, it is possible to identify important elements of continuity because of the permanent impact of structural pressures; the authors show that

To continue reading, see options above.

More by This Author

About PSQ's Editor

ROBERT Y. SHAPIRO

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

Academy Forum | Human Rights Pragmatism
March 5, 2024
12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. ET
WEBINAR

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

Editor’s spotlight

Ukraine, Russia, and the West

Creating a Disaster: NATO's Open Door Policy
Robert J. Art

Engagement, Containment, and the International Politics of Eurasia
DAVID W. RIVERA

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

China in a World of Great Power Competition   CHINA IN A WORLD OF GREAT POWER COMPETITION

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS