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VI. Iranian foreign policy since the iranian islamic revolution: 1979–2006

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes Iranian foreign policy since the Iranian Islamic revolution of 1979. It discusses the history of Shi’ism in Iran and its impact on politics since the introduction of Islam as state religion in the beginning of the sixteenth century by the Safavid Empire. The chapter gives an introduction to power relations in Iran since the Iranian Islamic revolution and describes foreign policy orientation in Iran in four phases: (1) from 1979 to 1989, when Khomeini was the Supreme Leader; (2) from 1989–1997, during the presidency of Rafsanjani; (3) from 1997–2005, during the presidency of Khatami; and (4) since Ahmadinejad’s presidency began in 2005. The end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, the death of Khomeini in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the larger US military presence in the Persian Gulf since the Kuwaiti crisis, had a major impact on Iran’s basic strategic outlook.

Keywords: Ahmadinejad; Iran-Iraq War; Iranian foreign policy; Iranian Islamic revolution; Khatami; Khomeini; Persian Gulf; Rafsanjani; Shi’ism; Soviet Union



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