After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy

By K. L. Afrasiabi | Go to book overview

backlash as a result of perceived "overstretch" of Iranian power could materialize. A pre-emptive initiative to offset the negative side effects would most likely entail a shrinking relevance of pan-Islamicism, though even in the absence of the latter Iran could still engage in a bold initiative to upgrade its international stature following the parameters of pure national interests. In doing this, it would have to put to rest the Arabs' and other neighbors' fear of Iranian power, not reinforce them. The Iranian policymakers would be well-advised to ponder the relevance of Montesquieu's observation in The Spirit of Laws: "The real power of a prince does not consist so much in the facility he meets with in making conquests as in the difficulty an enemy finds in attacking him."


Notes
1.
On the concept "transforming leadership," see M. Burns, Leadership ( New York: Harper & Row, 1978).
2.
A minor example of this kind of revisionism can be found in a series of articles which I published in the government-controlled press during the period 1989-93. For example, see "The Islamic Republic and the Problem of Selection of Nationalist and Islamic Goals," in Kayhan Havai, 8 February, 1989, pp. 16-17. Also, "Why the Renewal of Relations With the United States is in Iran's Nationalist-Islamic Interests," in Kayhan Havai, 30 May, 1990, pp. 16-17.
3.
Quoted from Death to America in Thirteen Languages ( Tehran: Iran Television Publication, 1982), p. 3. Khomeini's view is reflected in Article 10 of the Constitution: "All Muslims form a single nation, and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has the duty of formulating its general policies with a view to the merging and union of all Muslim peoples, and it must constantly strive to bring about the political, economic, and cultural unity of the Islamic world." Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, translated by H. Algar ( Berkeley, CA: Mizan Press, 1980), pp. 11.
4.
Interestingly, the post-Khomeini regime's pluralist emphasis on "cooperation and brotherhood" among the Muslim nations has an important precedent in the modern Iranian history that dates back to the Constitutional Revolution of 1905, i.e., in the Program of the Ejtemaiyun-E'etedaliyun Party which simultaneously called for the "implementation of the principle of cooperation and brotherhood" and the "preservation of homeland and nationality." The Documents of the Political Parties of the Mashruteh Era (in Farsi), ( Tehran, n.p., n.d.), p. 106.

-211-

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After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 5
  • 1 - The Dynamics of Iran's Foreign Policy 9
  • Introduction: International Relations Theory and the Islamic Republic 9
  • Notes 41
  • 2 - Iran and the Kuwait Crisis 57
  • Introduction 57
  • Notes 77
  • 3 - The Making of a New Persian Gulf Policy 85
  • Introduction: A New Persian Gulf Configuration 85
  • Notes 108
  • 4 - The Making of Iran's Central Asia-Caucasus Policy 117
  • Introduction 117
  • Notes 145
  • 5 - Iran and the Passages to the Post-Cold War Era 153
  • Introduction 153
  • Notes 187
  • 6 - Future of Iran's Foreign Policy: Agendas for Adjustment 201
  • Introduction: Iran as an International Power 201
  • Notes 211
  • Selected Bibliography 219
  • About the Book and Author 233
  • Index 235
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