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9 - The Deep State

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 August 2023

Mehran Kamrava
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Qatar
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Summary

Consistent with the broader institutional makeup of the system, Iran’s deep state is complex and has several components. The velayat-e faqih stands as the central critical core of the Iranian deep state. As such, the leader provides the institutional and doctrinal organizing principles around which the other components of the deep state rally. These include the state’s praetorian guards, namely the IRGC and the Basij, those institutions specifically designed for system maintenance – that is, the Guarding Council, the Expediency Council and the judiciary – and a series of other formal and informal institutions that also ensure the protection of the system’s interests as defined by them, and the continuity of those interests regardless of the changes that may occur through popular elections. These latter set of institutions include the country’s various intelligence agencies, the Qom-centered clerical establishment, the Friday Prayer Imams, the Special Court for the Clergy, and the state radio and television broadcaster – the IRIB. Impervious to outside demands and influences, each of these institutions report only to the velayat-e faqih, operating mostly outside of and independent from the formal institutions and procedures of the state.

Type
Chapter
Information
Righteous Politics
Power and Resilience in Iran
, pp. 227 - 265
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • The Deep State
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University, Qatar
  • Book: Righteous Politics
  • Online publication: 10 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009362023.010
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  • The Deep State
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University, Qatar
  • Book: Righteous Politics
  • Online publication: 10 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009362023.010
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Deep State
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University, Qatar
  • Book: Righteous Politics
  • Online publication: 10 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009362023.010
Available formats
×