Hunter has written a clear, timely and largely convincing analysis of post-Khomeini Iran. She sees the emergence of a synthesis of Iranian nationalism and Islam under relatively moderate leadership as the most promising path opening up for Iran. The need for political reform and economic revival is particularly acute after the costly war with Iraq and the ineffective economic policies to date. Some will see this account as too optimistic; others will wish for more information. For example, there is little to be found on the Iranian oil sector, which remains vital to the future of the country. There is no discussion of the possibility of Iran moving toward nuclear capabilities later in the decade. The temptation for Iran to try to export the revolution to the new Central Asian republics, if only to forestall their Turkification, is not discussed in depth. Still, for a clear picture of Iran as it confronts the challenges of the post-Khomeini era, this is a book to read and take seriously.
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