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The Soviet Union and the Iranian Revolution: The Role of Soviet Bureaucratic Culture in Foreign Policy Decision-Making

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

This talk presents a brief overview of Soviet-Iranian relations during the 1978-79 Iranian revolution and in the first years of the Islamic republic. It will concentrate on three major dimensions of Soviet reaction to the revolution in Iran: the role of ideology including a brief discussion of how to define ideology in Soviet foreign policy; the special place of religion in the Soviet reaction; and the role of the expert community formulating the Soviet position. The last point also serves as a gate towards discussing the functioning of the Soviet bureaucracy, using the example of the analytical notes and other materials submitted by experts to the Politburo we will look into how the specificity of Soviet bureaucratic process defined the importance or non-importance of one or another such document.

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