The Domestic Determinants of Iranian Foreign Policy: Challenges to Consensus

Mahan Abedin is Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for details profile
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  • July 2011

    The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is widely misunderstood. On the one hand many experts regard the Iranian foreign policy as being essentially ideology driven while on the other hand a significant body of opinion believes that ideology is a convenient smokescreen for Iran's pursuit of its national interests. This paper examines the role of ideological, political and institutional actors in the context of the Islamic Republic's quest for consensus and cohesion. The purpose is to delve into the relationship between these factors with a view to understanding how this complex interaction impacts on foreign policy formulation and implementation. It is proposed that any improvement to the current system requires a more transparent strategic direction.