This research project builds on my PhD thesis about the Soviet reaction to the Iranian revolution. In my dissertation I concentrated on three aspects of Soviet misreading of the revolution in Iran, and the Islamic regime: the ideological restraints, the inability to foresee the transformation of religion into a political ideology, and the role of the expert community in decision-making. In my proposed research I would like to elaborate on all of these dimensions but also add a new vision through the study of the bureaucratic culture of Soviet foreign policy – the very process of decision making. This became possible thanks to the mass declassifications of the CPSU Central Committee documents that are now at my disposal after a year of working in the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (RGANI). These documents will allow me to trace the decision-making process and will consolidate the arguments already formulated in the preceding research.