It is a truism that the era of neoliberal globalization has been witnessing an important transformation in the role of the state. But the state continues to have a vital role in international relations. This paper uses recent U.S. “foreign policy” toward Iran in the context of the Persian Gulf and, more broadly, the Greater Middle East and South Asia as a point of departure to explore this issue. It will be argued that the current U.S. policy toward Iran is based on hostility short of over warfare and is taking the particular form of a “containment doctrine” that attempts to enroll members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in a unified front against Iran. The Iranian reaction to this is based on a “regional diplomacy” that is dedicated to the protection of the energy and security interests of the Iranian state. The problems posed by the nuclear dispute, sanctions, U.S. military aid to regional allies, U.S.-supported civilian nuclear programs, and Iranian relations with neighboring countries will be addressed. Also addressed is the issue of privatization in Iran. Each case supports the notion that both continuity and change are integral to international relations.
|Keywords:||Globalization, United States, Iran, Containment, Regional Diplomacy|
Assistant Professor of History, Social Sciences Division, Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
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