What will happen after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's passing? How is the factional struggle for power in Iran over succession of Khamenei, between technocratic elites within the regime led by President Hassan Rouhani on the one side, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its allies on the other, likely to impact the trajectory of the Islamic Republic and future of U.S.-Iranian relations?
This book answers these questions, concluding that Khamenei's successor, whoever he may be, will, for all practical purposes, be beholden to the IRGC, which also will decide the fundamental tenet in U.S.-Iranian relations. Based on this scenario, U.S. policymakers involved in shaping policies toward Tehran must take into consideration the implications of succession rivalries in the Islamic Republic. U.S. policymakers must also strategically plan how to face the challenges of a future transformation of the Islamic Republic into a military dictatorship, albeit one with a clerical figurehead.