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. (Full CV) Email: [email protected]

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.


Conflicting Interests: Tehran and the National Aspirations of the Iraqi Kurds

| December 14, 2017

The national aspirations of the Kurdish minority in Iraq pose a challenge to the four countries that have a large Kurdish population. It is not by chance that the decision to hold a referendum provoked furious reactions among the leaders of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. According to the received wisdom, the success of Iraq’s Kurdish minority in realizing its national self-determination will serve as a catalyst for separatist tendencies among the Iranian Kurds.


Iran and the Kurdish Challenge

| September 30, 2017

The national aspirations of the Kurdish minority in Iraq pose considerable challenges to all four countries that contain large Kurdish populations. It is not surprising that the decision to hold a referendum on Kurdish independence sparked angry reactions among the leaders of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. However, Tehran’s staunch opposition does not stem solely from fear that the referendum’s passage will kindle separatist tendencies among the Kurds of Iran. The Iranians have other geopolitical and geostrategic concerns that can be affected should Kurdistan become independent.