Reda, Latife. “Origins of the Islamic Republic’s Strategic Approaches to Power and Regional Politics: The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in Khomeini’s Discourse.” Middle East Critique (early view; online first).
The article discusses Ruhollah Khomeini’s strategic endorsement of the Palestinian cause and his challenging stance vis-à-vis Israel as revealed by his discourse. It argues that Khomeini constructed an alternative definition of power based on opposition to the United States and, by extension, to Israel as exemplified by his statements on the Palestinian-Israel conflict in order to legitimize Iran’s Islamic leadership in a matter that historically had been infused with Arab nationalism and widely supported by Arab leaders. The article analyzes Khomeini’s discursive stance against Israel and his support for Palestinian liberation, which he portrayed as a position of moral superiority and an ‘Islamic duty.’ It shows also how adopting a stance of both confrontation with Israel and radical support of the Palestinian cause was used as a powerful propaganda tool before the 1979 Iranian revolution, and later was transformed into a central component of the Islamic Republic’s regional agenda. The article deals with Khomeini’s views on Israel and Palestine as one defining element of the Islamic Republic’s post-revolutionary foreign policy.