The impact of U.S. foreign policy on the structure of Iran's government
Chase, Gary Michael
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The potential for reform in the Iranian government appears to be very high, but the aggressive foreign policy position taken by the United States is actually helping the mullahs retain power. The United States has had an anti-Iranian foreign policy since 53 hostages were held by Iranian students for 444 days from 1979-1981. The election of Mohammed Khatami as President has signaled that the Iranian people desire a change in how their government operates; however, the office of the President does not have any significant power in Iran because the constitution makes that position subordinate to the unelected position of the Supreme Leader. According to Jack Snyder, liberal regimes, like Khatami's presidency, lose domestic political strength when their country is under international pressure to change. Since the United States is the sole source of international pressure against Iran's government, then United States that can help guide Iran's future. Relaxing the unilateral economic sanctions is one of many actions that start the process of reform in Iran.
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