An operational code analysis of İran’s supreme leadership— Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei
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The psychological approach employed in Leadership Studies asserts that understanding a leader’s characteristics is of paramount importance in understanding the role of that leader in foreign policy decisions. As the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and Khomeini before him, has ultimate veto power over Iran’s foreign policy, and as such, an analysis of his political beliefs is warranted. Utilizing Operational Code Analysis, this research aims to identify patterns in the political belief systems of Khomeini and Khamenei. Three main hypotheses have been posited in this thesis: (1) The political beliefs of Supreme Leaders Khomeini and Khamenei will reveal significant differences from the average world leader (i.e. norming group). (2) Supreme Leader Khamenei’s foreign policy decisions will be more cooperative than his predecessor (Khomeini). (3) The Supreme Leaders’ political belief systems have evolved throughout their tenure as Iran’s leaders due to the experience gained in office. The results reveal that the supreme leaders of Iran demonstrate several significant differences in their political belief system in contrast with the average leader, that Khamenei is indeed more cooperative than Khomeini, and that both leaders’ political belief systems have changed over time. Furthermore, the findings show that Supreme Leader Khamenei is particularly invested in the nuclear program and highly wary of the ‘other’ in the political universe when it comes to this issue.
Foreign Policy Analysis
Operational Code Analysis (opcode)