Unbalanced Détente in Iran’s Foreign Policy (1988-2009)

Document Type : Original Article


- Ph.D Graduated of International Relations, Azad-e Islami University, North Tehran Branch


Iran actually began détente in foreign policy since 1988. At that period, Iran’s foreign policy made some changes in its “policymaking” and “national role”. The very changes were made upon economic, strategic and security requirements. Upon the necessities of the new period we observed changes in Iran’s foreign policy and economic priorities. The first wave of détente reconstructed Iran’s relations with the Persian Gulf littoral states and the Middle East nations. The second wave of détente began in 1997, when the condition was ripe for broadening ties with the European states. The second wave of détente focused on “confidence building” and as a result, Iran’s economic and strategic relations with the European states grew substantially. At that period, Iran made extensive efforts for “effective partnership” with other world countries in economic and strategic fields. The détente trend showed sign of reversibility in 2000s as a result of lack of balance in détente procedures. In the new period Iran’s political and strategic priorities underwent changes. Signs of unbalance in foreign policy and security issues appeared. On the other hand, Iran’s national role in foreign policy was drastically changed. As a result, multilateral cooperation gave way to expanding oppositions. This showed signs of unbalance in Iran’s foreign policy had appeared and impressed many other areas. There are many reasons for the emergence of unbalance in détente foreign policy. This study hypothesizes that “structural factors” along with sub-national components such as “the role of the elite” were responsible for the change in foreign policy and the emergence of unbalanced components.
This “structure & agent” research work highlights the role of international forces along with the change in political elite.


Volume 6, Issue 19
September 2010
Pages 102-120
  • Receive Date: 26 January 2010
  • Revise Date: 26 March 2010
  • Accept Date: 26 May 2010
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2010