Eternal Iran pp 115-138 | Cite as

The Second Islamic Republic, 1989–2005

  • Patrick Clawson
  • Michael Rubin
Part of the The Middle East in Focus book series (MEF)


The decade-long reign of supreme religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini and the eight-year Iraq war in many ways defined the “first Islamic Republic.” With the end of the war in 1988 and Khomeini’s death the next year, Iran entered into a “second Islamic Republic” whose leaders have fine-tuned the system in one way after another in a vain effort to restore popular support for the Islamic Revolution. Khomeini’s successors have lacked his charisma and authority. Leading politicians often depict themselves next to Khomeini on the huge, building-size murals that dot Iranian cities, but his legitimacy has not rubbed off on them. Iranians increasingly resented the sociocultural restrictions imposed by the Islamic Revolution, and they are not prepared to sacrifice for a revolutionary foreign policy.


Foreign Policy Foreign Debt Islamic Republic Terror Attack Iranian Government 
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Copyright information

© Patrick Clawson and Michael Rubin 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Clawson
  • Michael Rubin

There are no affiliations available

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