Iran's Geopolitical Status of Metaphorically Language, Looking at the Energy Sphere

Document Type : Original Article


1 - Associate Professor of International Relations, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran

2 - Ph.D Student of International Relations, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran


   Iran’s Geopolitics Position has discussed by various Theories. In addition, policymakers in many countries, especially in great powers, have considered that position for articulating their policies and decisions. This article explores position and situation of Iran in Geopolitical world, with focus on energy domain.     
We use imagination and representation applied in discourse analysis. We use metaphor language for understanding Iran’s position within scientific texts, policymakers’ doctrines and geopolitics theories. In fact, metaphor is a concept that is used to understand unfamiliar phenomena. Metaphors could improve science via increasing knowledge about similarity between phenomena thought different before. Metaphors not only increase understanding from phenomena and players, but also can contribute to construct them. Therefore, they are parts of incurring interaction between us and outside realities.
By seeking various texts, it is possible to summarize metaphors used for explaining Iran's position into three sentences: Iran is a unique and exceptional, Iran is central country in the world/region/Islamic world, and Iran is a bridge country. Some authors call Iran as a unique country compared with other countries, because Iran has an exceptional situation. For example, not only Iran is a continental, but also maritime and passageway country. Although this situation is conformed to external reality, it not excludes only Iran, but there are other countries those possess that quality. Some people nominate Iran as a part of world heartland, center of world, center of Islamic civilization, an axis of Shiite crescent, or member of axis of evil. If we regard carriers of above discourses, it clears often there are types of Iran phobia articulated within. In addition, it is said that Iran is a bridge country. Iran's situation within Silk Road, north-south corridor and Victory Bridge are indicatives. Last metaphor was used during World War II by allied states. Although bridge country is an important to move goods, troops, or strategic manufactures but only has temporal function. For this reason, winners of World War II did not open Iran's hands and Iran became a part of U.S. containment strategy against Soviet Union during the cold war.
Of course, there are applied metaphors to describe position of Iran in energy field. Some strategists define Iran as a center of energy eclipse that extends from Caspian Sea region to the Middle East. Energy eclipse contains countries with huge energy resources and Iran has special position within these countries. Furthermore, Iran is a crossroad that attaches energy suppliers to consumer countries. Therefore, Iran has most significant role for the world energy security. Besides metaphors mentioned, there is another concept that used in recent years. Few authors say that Iran is an energy hub. If we scrutinize this concept, we find that energy hub is a place that not only could help to transport energy physically but facilitate finance exchanges in that market. Therefore, energy hub can create spot markets; operate reserve infrastructures and LNG facilities and so on. Although Iran has capacities but it needs long time, investments and policy developments for achieving this position.
Result and Conclusion
Metaphors aren't nonsense word. They increasingly become more important within geopolitics literature. In fact, any metaphor, that used to describe Iran's geopolitics position, has different implications for Iran itself and other countries and if we look at history, Iran enjoyed little those nominations, because major metaphors rooted in west discourses and interests. Within energy field, Iran could become energy hub but it needs many conditions and tools to retain this goal.