Dr. Doron Itzchakov

Dr. Doron Itzchakov

Dr. Doron Itzchakov

(Ph.D. Tel Aviv University) Specializes in the history and politics of modern Iran, Iran-Israel relations, Iranian foreign policy. Email: [email protected]

Iran’s Unwavering Israel-Hatred

| March 6, 2019

Four decades ago, the revolutionary movement led by Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty and established the Islamic Republic of Iran on its ruins. Since then, significant changes have taken place in the discourse and concepts of its leaders. However, the Iranian political establishment has never wavered in its relentless hostility towards Israel. Once a friend to Israel, Tehran overnight became an archenemy dedicated to its destruction.


The Implications of Sanctions for the Iranian Oil Market

| November 25, 2018

Senior officials in the Trump administration have indicated that the sanctions recently imposed on the Islamic Republic were intended to significantly change its behavior. This declaration is inconsistent with its granting of an exemption to the eight countries – particularly China and India – that make up the bulk of Iranian oil exports. The administration’s decision reflects, among other things, the desire to avoid a shake-up in global oil prices and a pragmatic approach that allows room for maneuver for countries that are not ready to immediately halt their purchases of Iranian oil. However, the decision is being interpreted by Tehran as a sign of weakness and an achievement for Iranian foreign policy.


The Tehran Summit and Iran’s Regional Ambitions

| September 20, 2018

The recent Russian-Turkish-Iranian summit in Tehran underscored the Islamic Republic’s determination to take an active and central part in the future reconstruction of Syria so as to promote a range of civilian and security interests that are bound to work to Israel’s detriment.


Iran’s Quds Day: Ideology or Interests?

| June 27, 2018

On June 8, the Islamic Republic of Iran held its annual “Quds Day” to express the nation’s support for the Palestinian struggle. Iran invests a great deal of effort into commemorating this event and mobilizes its citizens to flood the streets in solidarity. Is the hostility towards Israel on display on Quds Day a reflection of pure ideology, or is it a product of Tehran’s desire to elevate its status as regional hegemon and leader of the Muslim world?


Between Kazerun and Tehran: Iranian Protests in Peripheral Cities

| June 5, 2018

A number of protests took place recently in Iran that received almost no attention anywhere other than inside the country itself. These events occurred in peripheral cities that suffer from rising unemployment, lack of infrastructure, increases in the cost of living, extreme climatic conditions, and air pollution. These cities are marginalized in Iran’s public discourse, which is reflected in an allocation of resources that is not commensurate with the needs of the residents – most of whom are classified as “ethnic minorities”. In those residents’ eyes, government policy is negligent and inattentive to their distress.


Iran Faces Economic Challenges as Its Currency Plunges

| May 1, 2018

The sharp decline in the value of the Iranian currency is causing upheaval in the Iranian economy and challenging the government and the banking sector. The local currency’s plunge to a rate of 6,000 tomans to the dollar, despite the high level of oil and gas revenues, reflects a lack of trust between the citizens and the banking system. A consideration of Iran’s economic policy sheds light on the limitations of the “dual economy” practiced by the Islamic Republic since its inception.


Iran and Bahrain: Ancient Ambitions, New Tactics

| March 7, 2018

The Bahraini government has long claimed that Iran is encouraging the Shiite opposition, which is fighting for recognition and political change. This is not an empty fear. Tehran’s  push for hegemony in the archipelago is not a new phenomenon. However, unlike monarchic Iran, whose hegemonic drive focused on the international political-diplomatic arena, the Islamic Republic is working for change from within and is using both soft power and subversion.


Iran’s New Anti-Israel “Resistance Axis”

| February 20, 2018

The recent infiltration of the Israeli airspace by an Iranian drone, and the chain of events that followed, occurred in the context of a process of transition in the Iranian strategic approach: from covert intervention by proxy to direct pursuit of the anti-Israeli “resistance axis.”


39 Years Since the Establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran

| February 1, 2018

Thirty-nine years have passed since Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile and established the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under his leadership, Iran has undergone significant changes that have left a mark on the basic concepts and worldview of its leaders. That process can be divided into five periods distinguishable by the effects they had on the discourse of the Republic. The signal achievement of the theocratic regime that emerged from the revolution is its ability to maintain its power. However, Tehran’s quest for regional hegemony has created a wave of social protest that arose from the gap between the foreign ambitions of the Islamic leadership and the people’s desire for a better life.


Protests in Iran: Social Challenges vs. Foreign Policy Ambitions

| January 3, 2018

The social protests now sweeping across Iran reflect the deep tension between the Islamic regime’s commitment of vast resources to the assertion of Tehran’s regional hegemony and the yearning of middle class Iranians for an improvement in their economic wellbeing. And while the Islamist establishment that took power in the 1979 revolution is keenly aware of the perils of popular restiveness, history teaches that prolonged retention of power often makes regimes oblivious to the needs and yearnings of their subjects. This could upset the delicate balance between state and society.