Iran's Influence

A Religious-Political State and Society in its Region

Elaheh Rostami-Povey


Offers an analysis of the role that Iran plays in regional and global politics. This book provides a perspective on one of the Middle East's most controversial and mis-understood countries. It presents not only an introduction to the country, but also the ideas to help the reader understand the Middle East.
There is a saying in Arabic, me and my brother against my cousin, and me and my cousin against the outsider.

Iran's Influence is the first comprehensive analysis of the role that Iran plays both in Middle Eastern and global politics. Expert Iranian author Elaheh Rostami Povey provides a much-needed account of one of the Middle East's most controversial and misunderstood countries. Based on several years of original research carried out in Iran and across the Middle East, this insightful guide presents not only a fascinating introduction to the country, but also essential new ideas to help the reader understand the Middle East.

Author Bio

Elaheh Rostami-Povey is a writer and researcher. She is affiliated to the London Middle East Institute and Centre for Gender Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is the author of Afghan Women (Zed 2013) and Women, Work and Islamism (Zed 2011) published under her pen name, Maryam Poya.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Legacy of a Revolution
  • 2. The Reformers, The Conservatives and the Struggle for Democracy
  • 3. The role of clergy in Iran
  • 4. Religio-Political relationship between Iran, Lebanon and Hezbollah
  • 5. Religio-political relationship between Iran and Iraq
  • 6. Religio-political relationship between, Iran, Palestine and Hamas
  • 7. Religio-political relationship between, Iran, and Egypt
  • 8. Conclusion: The global context of the Iranian religio-political state
  • Bibliography
  • Index


'This is a sharp, judicious, caring, and competent scholar activist who has consistently crossed borders to carve new territories of perception and responsibility.'
Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University

'As the crisis between Iran and the USA intensifies, Elaheh Rostami Povey's new book makes essential reading.'
Stephanie Cronin, University of Oxford

'This work challenges much of the current discourse on the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Western media. It places evolving Iranian foreign and regional policies since 1979 in their proper historical and intellectual context. It combines new scholarship on the popular perception in the Arab street of Iran’s foreign policies with an engaging style and makes an important contribution to our knowledge on regional dimensions of the Palestine-Israel conflict.'
Nur Masalha

'This book provides a clear-eyed, fascinating, and politically committed rebuttal to so much of the vacuous mainstream punditry about Iran's position and actions in the region.'
Laleh Khalili, SOAS

'This book provides a clear and concise overview of the recent history of Iran in terms of religion, national and international politics and internal alliances, divisions and oppositional movements.'
Baroness Afshar OBE, University of York

'A fascinating contribution to the debate. Rostami-Povey's extensive interviews in the region sheds valuable light on the continuing appeal of Iran on the Arab street, its causes, consequences and implications.'
Ali M Ansari, St. Andrew's University

'A fascinating study of the evolution of the Islamic Republican regime in Iran, of its complex and increasingly conflictual relationship with popular and social movements, and of its impact on the wider Middle East. This fine product of Elaheh Rostami-Povey's critical scholarship is essential reading for anyone who refuses to settle for mythological and demonizing representations of post-revolutionary Iran.'
Alex Callinicos, King's College London


Publication Date: 26 August 2010
280 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781848132207
Hardback: 9781848132191
eBook ePub: 9781848139176
eBook PDF: 9781848132214
eBook Kindle: 9781780328171

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