Realpolitik and Iran's post-Saddam strategy for Iraq
Gutzwiller, Ryan R.
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Throughout history, threats emerging from Iran's frontiers have significantly influenced its security policies towards Iraq. Given Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, Iran's security environment has changed a great deal. Does Iran have a strategy for post-Saddam Iraq and, if so, what is it? With few exceptions, Kenneth Waltz's Realpolitik and balance-of-power theories have guided Iran's security policy decisions. The combined effects of Iran's formative history, individual and institutional agendas, and national interests form the foundation for a Realpolitik strategy aimed at preventing a resurgent "anti-Teheran" government in Iraq. Pragmatism, consensus, influence, and competition appear to be the watchwords for an assertive strategy built upon military prudence and cross-border, multi-disciplined engagement. Iran is putting its internal political and economic house in order so as to achieve greater effectiveness in the pursuit of its national interests vis-a-vis Iraq and the United States. While an alliance is unlikely, there is alignment with the U.S.-led coalition's strategic interests in Iraq.
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