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Iran's Foreign Policy - Research Proposal Example

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The Middles Eastern country of Iran is a major producer of the world's oil and is capable of exerting significant influence of the United States' foreign policy. When the Iranian Revolution concluded with the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, Iran began an 8 year war with neighboring Iraq…
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Irans Foreign Policy
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Download file to see previous pages The election of President George Bush in 2000 dampened these hopes as he left moderate Iranians puzzled by his demonizing of Iran and the inclusion of the country in the 'axis of evil' along with North Korea (Katz, 2005, p.59). This set the stage for the election of the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an Islamic nationalist that is suspicious of the US and capitalist countries, and has increased the tensions between the countries and elevated the risk of direct confrontation (Pirouz & Reed, 2005). The possibility that Iran may have a nuclear weapons program has made them a threat to the national security of the US.
Iran poses a significant threat to the US national security from Islamic extremists that have considerable influence on the Iranian government. This has placed the advocates of a 'Holy War' against the United States in a position to disrupt trade or Iran's vital supply of petroleum. Regional disputes could spill over into Iran and involve a nation that may have nuclear capability. The current administration has professed the belief that Iran is going to get a nuclear weapon or the necessary resources to build one sometime in the near future (Sagan, 2006). If the US administration believes that Iran poses a significant economic or military threat there is a risk of the US taking preemptive action to prevent Iran from destabilizing the region or the world economy.
The last 60 years have seen considerable swings in our relations with Iran. In 1951 Iranian Premier Ali Razmara, who was open to trade and favorable relations with the West, was assassinated and replaced by Mohammad Mossadeq. Mossadeq was a hardliner that planned to nationalize the country's oil reserves and limit the power of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a pro-western Shah (Chronology US-Iran relations, 2005). In 1953 a joint operation between the CIA and British intelligence overthrew the Mossadeq regime in a military coup that put the Shah into power (Chronology US-Iran relations, 2005). This began a period of favorable relations with Iran that lasted until the Shah's removal in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
The Iranian Revolution was accompanied by the taking of the American embassy and the kidnapping of its occupants in Tehran. This resulted in the Carter administration implementing sanctions against Iran and an embargo on Iranian oil. In 1995, Clinton banned all trade with Iran. These tough sanctions were temporarily eased as companies were allowed to sell food and medical supplies in 1999 (Chronology US-Iran relations, 2005). The current US policy has labeled Iran a terrorist nation and in 2002 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated that Iran was responsible for, " inspiring and financing a culture of political murder and suicide bombing" (as cited in Chronology US-Iran relations, 2005). This policy has continued with tougher sanctions and a policy of non-negotiations. The Bush administration has continued to escalate the rhetoric against Iran and Iran has responded by taking provocative military actions against the US and British interests in the region. This has led to the current policy of economically and politically isolating Iran in an effort to get them to curb their nuclear ambitions (Katzman, 2007, p.2).
Faced with a hostile nation that may possess a nuclear weapon in the near future highlights the importance of having an effective policy in regards to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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