Heritage Foundation analyst Jim Phillips, who wrote this week about Iran’s missile tests and proliferation concerns, notes that the doctored photographs that apparently were used to conceal the misfiring of one of the missiles is an example of taqiyya (concealment or dissimulation), a Shia religious doctrine that permits believers to hide certain truths from members of a different faith. According to one definition, taqiyya is:
Concealing or disguising one’s beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury.
This concept is important to keep in mind when considering many aspects of Iranian diplomacy.
For more information and useful links on Iran-related issues, visit the Iran Briefing Room.