Iranian foreign policy in the 2000s : a neo-realist perspective

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2014
Gedikli, Gürsel Fırat
This thesis aims to analyze the foreign policy of Iran in a historical perspective in the 2000s. In this context, the details of the 9/11 attacks to the US, its foreign policy change as a response to the terrorist attacks and the region-wide uprisings called as Arab Spring were underlined and their effects towards the Iranian foreign policy were discussed. The thesis argues that Iranian foreign policy in the 2000s can best be explained via neo-realist theory by attaching highest importance on the country’s survival in the anarchic nature of the regional system and its national/regional interests in the regional balance of power considering the capabilities of the state and the structure of the regional and international systems. Despite the arguments claiming that Iran’s foreign policy was driven by ideological motives or based on a cycle of idealism and realism since its establishment, this thesis maintains that the calculation of opportunities and threats in each case and the positioning of Iran prioritizing state interests following this calculation are the dominant motives in Iran’s foreign policy behavior since 1979. This study also asserts that although the Arab Spring uprisings posed major threats while also offering great opportunities to Iran to follow an ideologically-motivated foreign policy, Iran did not change its neo-realist foreign policy outlook considering its capabilities and the limits of the regional and international political systems.

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Citation Formats
G. F. Gedikli, “Iranian foreign policy in the 2000s : a neo-realist perspective,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.