Concept of National Interests in Foreign Policy of Islamic Republic of Iran; Case Study of Khatami’s Administration (1997-2005)

Document Type : Original Article


1 - Assistant Professor of Political Science, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin

2 - MA Student of International Relations, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin


The present paper is an attempt to study the concept of national interests in relation to Islamic exigencies in foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Given the fact that the concept of national interests is value-laden, it is not very useful to study it through a rational approach (neo-realism and neo-liberalism) in international relations. Hence attempts have been made to study Iran’s national interests during Khatami’s administration through structural approach. The main hypothesis of this paper is that redefinition of Iranian identity, Islamism, Islamic Revolution and religious democracy in Khatami’s thought led to the redefinition of national interests
The findings of the paper indicate that democratization of the Iranian society, providing room for people’s participation in domestic affairs and détente in foreign relations are helpful in protection of national interests of Iran.