Research Paper: U.S. Iran Diplomatic Relations and Military Cooperation Before and After the Revolution

Pages: 12 (3532 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Government  ·  Buy This Paper

U.S. Iran Diplomatic

Pre- and Post-1979 Revolution in Iran: Comparative Study of the U.S. Diplomatic Relations and military cooperation with Iran in the 1919-79 and 1979-2011 periods.

In this assignment we are seeking to understand the changing relationship between Iran and the U.S. This is accomplished through looking at the events from: 1919 to 1979 and 1979 to 2011. Once this occurs, is when we can offer specific insights that will highlight the future of the current issues facing both nations.

Over the last 90 years, the relationship between Iran and the United States has been one that is based on tremendous amounts of ups and downs. As the country, would go from being a brutal dictatorship that was backed by the Shah to becoming an Islamic republic in 1979. This is significant, because it is showing how this is affecting their relationship with the United States. As the U.S., was once considered to be a staunch ally of the Shah and the policies that were implemented. At which point, a transformation occurred with a backlash (leading to a revolution) that affected Iranian society. This is when a fundamentalist government would emerge in the aftermath of the coup. Once this happened, it meant that the relationship between the two countries had become strained. This is significant, because it is illustrating how this would lead to increased amounts of tensions in the Middle East.

To fully understand what was taking place requires comparing diplomatic and military cooperation from 1919 to 1979. We will then focus on how this has been continually changing from 1979 to 2011. The way that this will be accomplished is through examining a number of different factors to include: providing a basic definition of diplomatic relations, examining major events that were considered to be turning points in the relationship, understanding how U.S. foreign policy has changed, concentrating on time periods before / after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, comparing military cooperation, looking at the complexity of this relationship, analyzing the current foreign policy strategy and studying the comparative foreign policy network. These different elements are important, because they are showing how this relationship has been continually changing over the years.

The definition of foreign policy- "Diplomatic relations" will be clarified. Be sure to include the scholarly literature on comparative foreign policy

To determine the definition of foreign policy we will look at four different scholarly sources and their views about its underlying meanings. According to Herman (1991), foreign policy is those actions that nations will engage in to achieve objectives that are geared towards their own self-interest.

However, Segal (1994) believes that foreign policy involves an intermingling of international and regional objectives of a particular nation.

While Levy (1994), believes that foreign policy is when leaders are learning from historical and real world experiences to create strategy that will deal with issues affecting a county's interests in the region.

Moreover, Rose (1988) found that foreign policy is the combining of different objectives into one single strategy.

Yet, when you look further beneath the surface, Waltz (1979) thinks that foreign policy is a series of: parts, principals and ideas that are structured to support the overall strategy of a particular nation state.

While Ray (2001) believes, that the actions of different actors on the international stage are divided into levels. Under this basic approach, each nation will utilize their foreign policy to achieve different goals. During this process, is when each state will utilize a particular level of influence to affect outcome of a situation. In some cases, these actions could be based on diplomacy. While at other times, some countries are choosing to use more aggressive tactics in an effort to affect the end results. The interaction of the various nations on the world stage is what creates comparative foreign policy by looking at select strategies.

Furthermore, Hogan (2001) found that foreign policy is based upon the decisions that are being made and the strategies that are being utilized. This can have an effect on the outcome of a situation by deciding how aggressive everyone is in dealing with these issues. These different elements are important, because they are showing how the definition of foreign policy is continually changing based on shifting objectives. Over the course of time, this means that the strategy, tools and tactics will be consistently evolving to keep up with these transformations.

Major events that caused a turn point in the U.S. diplomatic relations toward Iran will be considered.

In 1925, the Reza Khan (the Shah) overthrew the traditional monarchy in Iran. Once in power, he began a massive program of building / updating the roads, railroads, electric grid and he introduced a national education system. However, the close ties that the Shah had with Nazi Germany made the allies nervous. Once World War II began, is when the Soviet Union and the Great Britain would invade the country. This was a part of an effort to prevent the Nazi's from having access to the Iran's oil reserves. When this occurred, the Shah was forced to advocate power in favor of his son.

Then, in 1951 there were democratically held elections that took place. What happened was the heavy presence of British troops meant that the nation began to embrace the Westminster Parliamentary system. This led to election of Dr. Mohammed Mosodallagh as the Prime Minister. He engaged in a number of actives that were considered to be popular with the public such as the nationalization of all Iranian oil fields. However, these actions angered many British politicians, who worked out an arrangement with the United States to overthrow the current government using the Shah.

On August 19, 1953; the U.S. And Great Britain conducted Operation Ajax. This was coup that was orchestrated by the CIA to openly overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran. Once this occurred, the West was able to have access to the various oil fields throughout the region. These different elements are important, because the open support for the Shah is causing the U.S. To look like it is endorsing his policies. Once he returned to power, is when the Shah would use brutality to control the activities of the general public. This created a sense of anger inside Iran, as they believed that the U.S. is supporting his activities.

Over the course of time, this allowed a situation where the Shah would use his secret police to be able to effectively control the population. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than the SAVAK. This was a special arm of the Shah's intelligence service that was known for their brutality. As, they had three major objectives to include:

The suppression of the press, books and film.

The wide spread use of torture during interrogations.

The monitoring of political opponents.

These different elements are important, because they are showing how this allowed the Shah to effectively control the population. As a result, many of the different techniques on torture were taught to SAVAK officers by CIA officials. Over the course of time, this helped them to increase the overall scope of their brutality by murdering and brutalizing hundreds of thousands of political opponents. Once this occurred, many Iranians became angry with the West. As they felt, that they were using the Shah and his institutions to control Iranian oil. Anyone who was standing in their way was considered to be an enemy (which increased the total amounts of fear and resentment).

As a result, these events are a turning point that led to tremendous amounts of anger and animosity that were imposed on the Iranian people by the Shah.

The research will explore how the rationale behind the U.S. foreign policy has changed.

The rationale behind foreign policy has been continually shifting. The way that this is taking place, is with the changing events that have caused these transformations. This designed to address the short-term issues facing the country. In these kinds of situations there are some short-term military objectives that were achieved, which resulted in many government officials looking the other way when it came to human rights abuses. Over the course of time, this kind of approach allowed the Shah to be able to engage in actions that are direct contradictions against the basic philosophy of the United States. This is troubling, because when these tactics are used, the U.S. is considered to be a bully. Once this occurred, is the point that the Iranian people became upset about what was happening.

This is problematic, because this approach makes the U.S. appear to be hypocritical. Where, government officials are helping to orchestrate the use of torture through the SAVAK. Once this takes place, it means that most people believe that Iran is under the direct control of the United States. This is when they will begin to resent the different activities that they are involved in.

At the same time, the election of Jimmy Carter to the White House meant that there was a… [END OF PREVIEW]

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U.S. Iran Diplomatic Relations and Military Cooperation Before and After the Revolution.  (2011, December 6).  Retrieved September 16, 2019, from

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"U.S. Iran Diplomatic Relations and Military Cooperation Before and After the Revolution."  December 6, 2011.  Accessed September 16, 2019.