Russian-Iranian Ties: Strategic Alliance, Strategic Coalition, or Strategic Alignment (Partnership)

In: Russian Politics
Ali Omidi Department of Political Science, Faculty of Administrative Sciences and Economics, University of Isfahan Isfahan Iran

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One of the most critical foreign policy issues of middle – power states is how to mold attitudes towards major powers. Since 1979, Iran has changed the nature of its relations with major powers. Although the Iranian Revolution adopted the ‘Neither East, Nor West’ motto as a macro guide to its foreign policy, since the late 1980s Iran and the Soviet Union – now Russia, have advanced their bilateral relations. Despite Iran and Russia sharing convergent views on many international issues, they have not promoted their ties to a strategic alliance. The present paper addresses the question of what conceptual model represents Iran-Russia relations and what challenges the two countries face in expanding their strategic partnership in the 2020s. This research addresses these problems at three levels: inter-state, regional, and global, and was conducted through a descriptive-analytical method. It is hypothesized that current Iran-Russia relations could be referred to as a ‘strategic alignment’.

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