- International politics: a complex environment with a very fragile power balance;
- International political theories: tools for managing and controlling these relationships;
- Existence of multiple perspectives on managing political relationships;
Two foundational philosophies: Realism (Thucydides) and Liberalism (Immanuel Kant).
Realism: Definition and Key.
“a view of international politics that stresses its competitive and conflictual side” (“Political realism in international relations,” n.d.).
- Iran’s Foreign Policy: The Nagorno Karabakh Conflict
- International Policy Theory (IOT) and Iran’s political decision-making: a complex issue;
- Iran’s involvement in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict: considering a practical scenario;
- Decision to refrain from the involvement in the conflict: probable application of the Realism-based strategy;
- Key reason: Iran’s focus on retaining power as opposed to addressing the needs of minorities.
Political Realism in Iran
Political Realism in Iran’s decision on the Karabakh conflict:
- Unwillingness to be entangled in the conflict: refusal to support vulnerable groups and support the Azeri community;
- Decision to abstain from an appropriate response: attempt at avoiding being caught in a crossfire;
- Refusal to respond to the infringement upon Azeri people’s rights: unwillingness to support equity in the global community due to the possible repercussions.
- Rationale Behind the Policy
- Reasons for the Iranian government to focus on neutrality: strategic partnership with Armenia;
- Recent developments: Iranian government criticizing the effects of the peacemaking agreements (Mahmudlu & Abilov, 2018);
- Rationale: France and the US being disconnected from the events transpiring in Nagorno Karabakh (Mortazavian & Ghiacy, 2017);
- Result: Iran being subjected to strong criticism from the global community.
Alternative Interpretation of Irain’s Actions
- Alternative vision of the issue: Iran is willing to focus on peaceful resolution of the conflict;
- Rebuttal: the lack of concern for the rights of innocent people entangled in the conflict shows Iran’s basis for decision-making;
- Primary political interests: partnership between Iran and Armenia and positive economic and political outcomes that it entails;
- Consequently, Realism is the stance that the Iranian authorities are currently taking.
- Iran’s Actions from the Perspective of Realism
- Attempts at keeping the state’s economic and political security;
- Willingness to sacrifice the concepts of justice and equity for the sake of security;
- Focus on the current political institutions as the platform for keeping the state’s security rates high;
- Results: Iran’s current actions concerning the Nagorno Karabakh conflict show strong alignment with political Realism.
Iran’s current position toward the Nagorno Karabakh issue has shown the state’s propensity toward Realism in its foreign policy;
The specified issue reflects poorly on Iran’s political stance and its position in the global political environment;
However, changing the perspective will jeopardize Iran’s current economic and political ties;
Therefore, the Iranian authorities will have to make a difficult decision between upholding the principles of ethics and equity and keeping its current political allies.
Erendor, M. E., & Öztarsu, M. F. Iranian relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia: A comparative approach in the case of pragmatist politics. Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 19(1), 157-176. Web.
“Iran fears spillover from Nagorno-Karabakh.” (2020). Deutsche Welle. Web.
Mahmudlu, C., & Abilov, S. (2018). The peace-making process in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: why did Iran fail in its mediation effort? Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 26(1), 33-49.
Mortazavian, A., & Ghiacy, M. (2017). Regional and international cooperation to reduce Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 10, 136. Web.
Political realism in international relations. (n.d.).