Actors, Strategies and Structures
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This chapter is concerned with the strategies and modus operandi of the principal political protagonists on the scene inside Iran. Focus on the veteran oppositionist Mehdi Bazargan allows new insights into the evolution of his role from an independent-minded Muslim constitutionalist leader with a road map of his own, into an adjunct to Khomeini. The quiescent pole, Ayatollah Kazem Shariatmadari, with little or no influence over the radical camp had to play a make-believe game that misled the Shah into overreliance on his moderating influence. The chapter delves into the creation of the redoubtable “mosque network,” its key actors and methodology. Separately, the Shah’s approach to crisis management and the mind of the beleaguered sick ruler, imbued with vague suspicions of disloyalty by Western allies, are examined from all angles.