The metamorphosis of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps into an expeditionary force as a result of the Syrian war bodes ill for the United States and its allies in the Middle East, who will likely encounter a more confrontational Islamic Republic in the future.
Ali Alfoneh is a senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He is the author of Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards are Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship, published by AEI Press in April 2013.
Alfoneh grew up in Tehran but moved to Denmark with his family in 1988. He served as an elected member of the Herlev City Council from 1994-98 (Social Democrats). His professional experience includes various positions at the Press and Information Office of Federation of Danish Industries, the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party of Denmark, a lectureship in political economy at the University of Southern Denmark from 2003-04, and a research fellowship at the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College from 2004-06. Alfoneh worked as a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute from 2007-13 and as a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies from 2013-16. Since 2016, Alfoneh has worked as the main Iran analyst for The Arab Weekly, and is a nonresident senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council.
Alfoneh is a political scientist by training and holds a BA and an MA from the University of Copenhagen. He speaks Persian, Danish, English, and reads German.
Alfoneh’s current research on political succession in contemporary Iran is generously funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation.
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