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Post Iranian FP

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Political Science
POLI 342
Imad Mansour

Foreign Policy ME Imad Mansour March 17, 2010 Post-Iranian Foreign Policy ●50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, Iran maintained a desire to play a significant role in the region ●what changed was Iran’s ability to do that and the tools it had to play ●pre-79 era, able to play a more clear role on who was the leader on the waterway issues, who was controlling the water passages External Influences ●Influence of the System ● Cold War rivalry ●pre-1979: superpower tension dictated that Iran choose a side, Iran chose the US, ●1953 coup: any semblance that Iran might be adopting socialist policies was confronted by a direct militarized attack from the US- - US tried to dictate the nature of Iranian FP and Iranian domestic politics ●70s: US involved in Vietnam, US occupied in SE Asia, retreated focus on the ME and pursuing allies in the region, Brits were also withdrawing from the region ● very important for Iran to occupy the position of regional power, opportunity arose b/c of retreat in superpowers ●end of the Cold War did not really translate into a significant change in FP, it had become antagonistic to the US, did not rely on Superpower power, no loss of patronage/provider ●(goes along with the critique of empirical anomalies facing neo-realist perspectives) ● Influence of the various sub-systems ●withdrawal of Brits from the Gulf by early 1970s allowed Iran to play a leadership role ●instability in the ME ●to counter this, Iran tried to enhance its relationship w/the US in search for military assistance in an attempt to diffuse any negative repercussions on Iran ● in essence: strong relationship w/US building over time ●war with Iraq ●1980: Iraq invaded Iran, protracted war continued for 8 years ●conclusion: Iran emerged as a regional leader, its power allowed it a variety of opportunities to act, tried to play a strong role in the region, made use of its power position (To understand changes, it’s important to look at the domestic sphere especially in relation to the war w/Iraq. Because Iran did not rely on the Foreign Policy ME Imad Mansour superpowers for military support, the shift to unipolarity did not make a significant change. Saw an interest in playing a leadership role in the region- - no shift in regional polarity in the 70s. Therefore, something w/in the state must indicate why there was no shift at that pivotal moment. Why was there a shift from pro-US to anti-US? if the system remained the same, then there must be a neo-realist explanation. Does this mean that relative power differences) (lizz is drunk 1:51 pm) Domestic Influences ●2 dimensions in domestic politics: societal actors and regime change; Iran has one of the most dynamic societies in the region ●Important Societal Actors ●Bazaar ●group of economic actors-- trades people/merchant groups ●market place provides social services to their families and workers ●also acts as a social safety net ●has historically be
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