Alireza Shomali is Associate Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College. He is the author of Politics and the Criteria of Truth.
Despotism in Iran
Translated by M. Reza Abrishamchian
Written by Hassan Ghazi
To realize just why it is necessary to understand despotism in Iran you only have to remember that despotism has a 2500 year history. To believe that it can be quickly abolished is nothing but a naïve dream.
In Despotism in Iran the “how” of despotic rule is dissected, rather than the “why.” The “why” is related to the history of Iran and is not a concern in our time. In modern times there is no historical necessity for this type of government to rely on.Many of the assertions in Despotism in Iran apply to other nations and countries with similar backgrounds who have suffered or currently suffer under despotic regimes.
Aimed at the general reader, it follows and assesses the role of Saddam Hussein who became president of Iraq in 1979. Dilip Hiro, an experienced journalist who has written extensively on the region, provides a historical and accessible perspective to the relationship between Iraq and Iran and examines the consequences of internationally significant events such as the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran a year after the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein.
Providing a full account and analysis of events in Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War, he contrasts the long totalitarianism under Hussein with the evolution of the political-religious system in Iran and the development of its internal politics.
This is an essential overview to the conflicts in the Gulf, and should be read by anyone with an interest in the region, its politics and its interactions with the US and UN.