Forecasting the Future of Iran

Implications for U.S. Strategy and Policy

by Eric Jesse

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Diplomatic relations between the US and Iran have been frozen since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The current overlaps in US and Iranian interests make the ongoing bilateral impasse ripe for reassessment, but while the potential to advance relations exists, progress will be measured by the development of several key political, economic, civil society, foreign policy, and national security issues in Iran. This study employs an expected utility model to predict how Iranian policy is developing on several of these key issues and explores US strategy and policy options for influencing their development.

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in August 2011 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Eric Larson (Chair), Jerrold Green, and Carolyn Wong.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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