The Role and Status of the Shiite Values in Public Diplomacy; Case Study: Iran and Iraq Shiites

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.A of Political Sciences, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D Student of Political Sciences, Research Institute for Social and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran

3 Ph.D Student of Political Sciences, Trarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Islamic values in general and Shiite values in particular have unique capacity for Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy. Thus, in this article the main question is “what is the role and position of Shiite values in increasing the influence and power of I.R.I in Iraq through public diplomacy?” the research hypothesis is that “Shiite values as a common cultural background between Iran and Iraq have significant positive impact on Iran’s increasing public diplomacy success in Iraq.” In conclusion, by the approval of this hypothesis, some suggestions and strategies of utilization of this capacity will be provided.
Theoretical Framework & Methodology
Constructivism as a new approach and with an interesting philosophy, by emphasizing on subjectivity and identity, formulates new knowledge of the issues and solutions in international relations. In this context, public diplomacy with emphasis on value opens new and wide arena of foreign policy that no longer confined to formal activities. So, constructivism can show the role of values in shaping the character and identity and provides the base of the concept for public diplomacy. Accordingly, this paper chaises this approach as its theoretical framework. This study will also attempt to examine the issue by descriptive- analytic method and in order to collect the data, while taking advantage of library resources and due to lack of written resources in this field, this paper will use interviews with political experts. The article is an applied research and will use qualitative analysis method.
Research Findings
In this part of the research, theoretical and practical achievements in the form of findings will be explained. It has two parts: in the first part the Islamic Republic of Iran's goals in Iraq will be discussed. Because operational suggestions cannot be proposed for Iran's diplomacy in Iraq provided that these objectives are known. The next part of the research findings, will give more specific proposals to promote Iran’s public diplomacy in Iraq based on four main Shiite values. The goals of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iraq are: to maintain democracy in Iraq; participation of all Iraqi parties in politics; the management of evolutions in Iraq. Four main Shiite values are: justice; fight against tyranny; defending the oppressed and Imamat.
Shiite values as a common cultural background between Iran and Iraq could be applied as a factor in increasing success of Iran’s public diplomacy in Iraq. Shiite values as an independent variable can play an important role in promoting public diplomacy as the dependent variable. In other words, there is a significant correlation between the two variables. This means that the more Shiite values bring the more capacity of public diplomacy of I.R.I in Iraq.
Iran should help Iraq move quickly towards consolidation and establish its territorial integrity amongst all groups as an accepted principle. In this way, foreign policy based on public diplomacy and the benefit of common Islamic and Shiite values can maximize Iran's national interests. Since Iran is known as a symbol of a Shiite country in the region, promotion of Iran's position among regional countries will promote the status of the dignity of Shi'ism. Accordingly, any proposal to upgrade the status of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be accounted for the promotion of Shi'ism.


Volume 12, Issue 42
July 2016
Pages 124-150
  • Receive Date: 15 January 2016
  • Revise Date: 15 April 2016
  • Accept Date: 09 June 2016
  • First Publish Date: 21 June 2016