After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy

By K. L. Afrasiabi | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Future of Iran's Foreign Policy:
Agendas for Adjustment

Introduction: Iran as an International Power

What can be said about Iran's status as an international power in the post-Cold War era? The question seems inappropriate from the perspective of international relations theorists who are used to assigning to Iran no more than a regional status. Yet, inside Iran there persists the belief that Iran, by virtue of its old civilization or the dynamism of its religious ideology, has been destined to play a crucial role in reshaping global politics. In fact, the ending of the Cold War has helped Iran project power beyond its immediate region and acquire a semblance of influence in international affairs. As stated in the previous chapter, the Cold War's finality may have reduced considerably Iran's strategic value but on the other hand it has equipped Iran with a new mystique and the potential as a global actor. Nowadays, the Iranian threat -- the image of a religious leviathan rampant -- looms large in the security calculus of many experts and politicians in the West. Iran has been building up its network of international solidarity, and its ideological appeal has picked up momentum instead of waning. In the wake of the Kuwait crisis, when the ideal of pan-Arabism suffered a lethal blow, Iran has displayed a dogged determination to enhance its religious identity in terms of Umma sovereignty and authenticity.

For Iran there is little room to compromise this identity because of the fusing of foreign and domestic issues. Almost all of the country's identity pivots around the definition of its special place in Muslim international politics. The founding of the Islamic Republic was attached to the realm, in Husserl's term, of a "world constituting subjectivity" that bespoke of Iran's emergence as an international power of a different kind, i.e., as a "moral superpower." Caught up in discursive battles over its


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 246

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?