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ECPR Futures Lab 2020

A Comparative Analysis of Iranian Foreign Policy: The Sagas of Oil Nationalisation and the Nuclear Program

Anahita Arian
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Anahita Arian
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Foreign Policy Analysis has traditionally been dominated by empirical foreign policy studies of Western states. This paper redresses this imbalance through a comparative analysis of Iran’s foreign policy and seeks to establish to what extent the two domestic factors of the internal struggle for power and state-society relations similarly affected two temporally different Iranian foreign policy episodes: the oil nationalization foreign policy (1947-1953) and the nuclear foreign policy (2003-2013). In both cases, Iran adopted a defiant foreign policy strategy, marked by a reluctance to give up its “legitimate rights.” Considering this similarity, the question that has remained open is to what extent, in a comparative perspective, these domestic political factors equally affected in strength and intensity Iran’s adoption of a defiant foreign policy strategy. This paper’s aim is to answer this question, which will, in turn, contribute to a better understanding of Iran’s foreign policy in a comparative perspective.
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