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Russia and Iran: strategic partners or provisional counterweights?

Tazmini, Ghoncheh (2022) Russia and Iran: strategic partners or provisional counterweights? In: Kozhanov, Nikolay, (ed.) Russian Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East: New Trends, Old Traditions. Oxford University Press / World Bank, 117 - 140. ISBN 9780197656556

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Identification Number: 10.1093/oso/9780197656556.003.0005


This study argues for the need to consider the interplay of cultural-ideational dynamics and strategic preferences in post-Soviet Russia and post-1979 Iran. It has shifted attention to the role of ideas, perceptions, culture, and identity in defining the parameters of Russian–Iranian relations. While these two states may clash on issues relating to national interest, both countries share a similar worldview, which is defined by some lasting features, including geographic realities, civilizational peculiarities, historical experiences, normative values, and cultural orientations. As noted in this study, the theoretical inclination of most research is grounded in realism and realpolitik, with its emphasis on national interest and great-power politics, with- out factoring in the role of ideas and identities, and how they manifest in foreign policy choices. A deeper analysis of the aforementioned "foundational level" explains why, despite colliding geostrategic and realpolitik interests, Russian and Iranian relations are enduring.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Editor and Contributors
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2023 14:12
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2023 14:12

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