National security imperatives and the neorealist state: Iran and realpolitik
Grogan, Michael S.
Robinson, Glenn E.
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This thesis argues that pragmatic, neorealist interests-reducing Iran's international isolation, opening avenues for economic cooperation and commercial exchange, restoring religious and cultural links, and safeguarding the mutually advantageous relationships with influential powers in the region- are the true foundations of Iranian national security and foreign policy decisionmaking. Iran's imperative has been-and still is-focused on the pragmatic national security interests of the nation-state model vice the ideological potential for spreading its brand of Islamic revolution abroad. The causes of these Islamic revolutionary groups, no matter how noble in the Iranian leaderships' eye, do not outweigh the more classic nation-state decisionmaking process that the Iranian government undergoes when it determines the best course of action on an issue of foreign policy and/or national security) realpolitik. It is the neorealist approach which always wins out in national security matters of a state. Presented are four case studies of Iranian relations with Azerbaijan, Turkey, Israel, and four Persian Gulf States (the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia). What each reveals is an Islamic Iran's whose policy decisions and actions compelled by the rational, state model of neorealism and not ideology
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