The Roots of Iranian Foreign Policy
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Iranian foreign policy, like any states foreign policy, is the product of various pressures originating in domestic, international, cultural, historical, institutional, and even individual factors. However, the greatest amount of understanding and potential for prediction can be obtained using the historical institutional method, focusing on Irans history of foreign domination, the role of Twelver Shia Islam, and the particular institutions of the Islamic Republic. These three factors both drive and constrain foreign policy decisions in every case. They can be used to understand the prospect for rapprochement between the United States and Iran in the present circumstances, as well as guide future U.S.-Iranian relations. As a major producer of oil and natural gas, Irans foreign policy is relevant to U.S. interests. Furthermore, Irans location as the bridge between the Middle East and Central and South Asia, as well as its long Persian Gulf coastline make it a strategic state. Lastly, Irans foreign policies have a dramatic impact on U.S. interests such as Israel, stability in the Persian Gulf region, and access to Central Asian resources.
- Government and Political Science