Ali Alfoneh is a senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He is a political scientist by training and the originator of the theory of transformation of the Islamic Republic into a military dictatorship. Alfoneh first put forward the theory in the spring 2006 edition of Udenrigs, journal of The Danish Foreign Policy Society. In the United States since 2007, Alfoneh advanced the theory in a series of essays published by the American Enterprise Institute culminating in Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards are Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship published by AEI Press in April 2013. He is also the author of Political Succession in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Demise of the Clergy and the Rise of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (2020).
By narrowing the range of choice, Iran’s supreme leader and the Guardian Council effectively eliminate competition and reduce electoral participation, increasing the chances of their favorite candidate: Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi.
The lifting of the arms embargo is not likely to result in an Iranian buying spree. But, the Islamic Republic’s arms exports in the post-embargo era may prove as significant as its potential procurements.
Authors of articles published by Imam Hussein University of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps see the real challenges the regime is facing from the unprivileged slumdwellers and the politicized middle class and its grievances.