Revolution or realism? United States-Iran relations in the post-Cold War era
Woodyard, Bruce Leroy
Magnus, Ralph H.
Said, Kamil T.
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The end of the Cold War has caused the emergence of regional conflicts and a lack of focus in United States foreign policy. This situation, has resulted in a newly confrontational stance with Tehran, manifested by an American policy of containment of the Islamic Republic. However, this portrayal of Iran as a pervasive threat to American interests is a mistake. This study offers an historical analysis of Iran's foreign policy interests and strategic outlook, a discussion of the dynamics of the Islamic Republic, and a history of United States-Iran relations. Strategic concerns have always dominated this relationship, and this continues to be so today. With the Soviet collapse and the defeat of Iraq, an altered and delicate balance of power exists in Southwest Asia. Iran's strategic importance has thus increased. Furthermore, Tehran must pursue moderation for a variety of reasons. The author concludes that the United States and Iran share both strategic and economic interests. America should pursue these shared interests from its current position of strength and gain Iran's cooperation on important issues. United States engagement with Iran would strengthen the pragmatic elements in the government, foster economic development and improve the security and stability of the region. Iran, Persian/Arabian Gulf, Middle East, Iranian revolution, Islamic ideology, Foreign policy
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