Forecasting a Hurricane: Israeli and American Estimations of the Khomeini Revolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The surprising 'Arab Spring' raises the question as to what would enable national intelligence to provide high quality warnings prior to the eruption of popular revolutions. This article uses new sources of evidence to trace and explain Israel's success in comparison to US failure at correctly estimating the course of the Iranian Revolution in 1977-79. In explaining this variance, the article shows that it was mainly the result of the intimate acquaintance of Israel's representatives in Iran with the local language, history and culture, as well as the ability to communicate with locals - tools which the Americans completely lacked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-742
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Estimate
  • Intelligence
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Khomeini
  • Revolution
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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