Islamic Realpolitik: Two-level Iranian Foreign Policy
Department or Administrative Unit
This essay examines the evolution of Iranian foreign policy on the 30th anniversary of the revolution. Iranian foreign policy operates on two levels: domestic politics and international politics. Statements offered for domestic consumption can be given less attention than those remarks and actions at the international level. While religious rhetoric often billowed from Friday sermons, pragmatic policies driven by a basic understanding of realism generally determined foreign policy over the last thirty years. The United States and other countries dealing with Iran should understand Iran's national interests and find some common interests upon which to cooperate and reduce tensions, or they will face continued hostilities and failed policies. Any calls for a grand bargain should be rejected because this would be inconsistent with Iran's approach to foreign policy.
Rieffer-Flanagan, B. (2009). Islamic Realpolitik: Two-level Iranian Foreign Policy. International Journal on World Peace, 26(4), 7-35.
International Journal on World Peace