US Policy towards Iran under President Barack Obama's Administration

By Milczanowski, Maciej | Hemispheres, October 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

US Policy towards Iran under President Barack Obama's Administration


Milczanowski, Maciej, Hemispheres


Introduction

The first aim of this article is to conduct analyses of the new approach to Iran by president Obama's administration from the beginning of 2009. The second but probably most crucially will consider US-Iran relations in the future, and the problem of Iranian opposition groups and their support from the US and Europe. The third issue analyzed in this paper is concentrated on the potential conflict or the potential convergence of interests between US and Iran in the Middle East. And finally it will, focus on the real nature of the Iranian nuclear program negotiations under the so called moderate regime of Hassan Rouhani.

Writing about such complicated matters clearly determines considered literature analyses, because depending on which commentator wrote a given book or article, the versions will very much differ. The opposition groups to the Iranian regime will require in depth research and investigation. The various sides and actors will have strong, influential scientific bodies and think tanks with connections to western governments and media sources. This paper is a result of not only literature inquiry, but is also based on extensive discussion, exchanges of views and opinions between the author and every party involved in the ongoing dialogue concerning Iran and it's relations with the US. The discussions included radically opposing sides like the supporters of the recent government of Iran, MeK (Mujahcdeen-e-Khalq), the Green Movement, Reza Pahlavi and NIAC.1

To achieve the aims of the paper, a basic method was employed using analysis of all four issues specified as topics forming each part of the paper. Also in the final section there is an attempt to fashion some kind of approach to Iran, from a US perspective. To achieve this constructivist methodology was employed. The article argues that the binder for this construction regarding the US approach to Iran should be appropriately perceived as a Smart Power concept. It also has to be predated by an independent, detailed analysis of all the parties and actors involved regarding the respective standpoints of Iranian policy as well as opposition groups. While geopolitical and regional contexts are crucial for US-Iran relations, the complications of the Iranian issue could cause misinterpretations of the situation which could n additionally complicate the situation from the US administration perspective.

The fundaments of US primacy in the world have been, and still are military force, as well as the world's largest economy.2 For the George W. Bush administration preparing for the war against Iraq in 2003, the economy was shaped as a tool for military use which in advance was meant to bring further economical benefits. The effect of 9/11 provoked direct military action against the most likely source of threat from the Middle East, according to US analysts.3 Because of this, the Bush administration led and held direct talks with Syria and Iran.4 President Bush used all diplomatic means, but mainly to facilitate alliances in order to build a coalition for the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. So George W. Bush, after 09/11, founded his doctrine mostly on 'Hard Power'. President Barack Obama tried, and was expected to employ a compromising 'middle way' between the apparent 'hard' and 'soft' powers at his disposal. He presented the opinion that, "...the USA has to increasingly (...) view our (US) security in terms of a common security and a common prosperity with other peoples and other countries".5

The Obama Doctrine and Iran

The newly elected president of the USA, Barack Obama, introduced a policy amounting to a fresh start in international relations. The two traditional opposing countries to which this offer was directed were Russia and Iran. Both reacted with deep suspicion as relations between them and US, as well as between Iran and Russia, are very complex. The offer issued simultaneously to both, created even more suspicions and could not be perceived any other way than just simple provocation or merely a game being played by the American president. …

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