An understanding of the critical role and mind-set of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, is essential for anyone wishing to assess the prospects of a rapprochement between Tehran and Washington. It is important to note that the aims and policy choices espoused by the Supreme Leader have to be understood within the context of the immediate political circumstances at the time of his appointment as Supreme Leader and the evolution of global geopolitics since the end of the Cold War. Under the rule of the Shah of Iran, throughout most of the Cold War period, Iran’s role had been that of a client state under Western (U. S. ) hegemony. In fact, this had been Iran’s position in the world order for most of the last two centuries. This subservience was caused by its dependence on the rising Imperial powers of Great Britain and Russia and later the United States.
“Iranian Perceptions of U.S. Policy toward Iran: Ayatollah Khamenei’s Mind-Set,” Hossein Mousavian in A. Maleki & J. Tirman (Eds.). U.S.-Iran Misperceptions: A Dialogue (pp. 37–56). Published by Bloomsbury Academic (10/2014).