عنوان مقاله [English]
In recent years, many countries have been publishing documents with different names to advance their domestic and foreign policies which like a codified plan, performs as a facilitator for them in various fields especially in domestic and international arenas. Russia is also one of the countries in this respect. After the collapse of the Soviet Union various strategic documents under the heading “National Security Documents” were published. These documents were divided into four general sections under the concept of “Russian foreign policy”, “Russia’s military doctrine”, “Russia’s national security strategy” and “Russian Maritime Doctrine”. These concepts have been developed and approved by Russia’s National Security Council.
Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to examine how to show the “other” in Russia’s national security documents with the emphasis on the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the periods between 2000 to 2018. Based on this goal, the main question of this research is how Russia defines and represents other countries of the world and based on this representation, shapes its foreign policy towards them? In answer to this question, at the beginning of the article and in the conceptual framework, we defined representation in international relations and stated that in international relations, the process of representing the boundary between the “self” and the “other”, is defined. Thus, the system of power in any political system, through the process of representing and giving meaning to the external reality, which is the same as the issues or other political actors, has identified “insiders and outsiders” and portrays other actors in different formats such as “friend”, “enemy” or “rival”. How this representation has a direct impact on the type of foreign policy relationship that government has with other actors? Therefore, in the representation process, “other” is defined and limited.
In the second part of the article, by examining Russia’s national security documents from 2000 to 2018, we came to the conclusion that different countries are represented and defined for Russia in six different situations (allied, strategic partner, economic partner, important partner, dual status and threat). These six types of representations are:
- Russia’s representation of members of the “Collective Security Treaty Organization” and “the Commonwealth of Independent States” as “allies”;
- Russia’s representation of China and India as a “strategic partner’;
- Russia’s representation of EU members as a “trading partner”;
- Russia’s representation of the Islamic Republic of Iran as an “important partner”;
- Russia’s representation of countries such as the United States as “dual status”;
-Russia’s representation of extremist currents and ISIS as “other threatening elements”.
In the third part of the article, we discussed how Russia is represented by Iran and we stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran is defined for Russia as an “important partner” in some areas and not as an “ally” or “strategic partner’ in other. Because out of a total of 12 documents published from 2000 to 2018, only four documents directly mentioned Iran. This shows that the Islamic Republic of Iran has not been very important for Russia and among various representations, Russia represents Iran as a partner that has common goals with it only in some limited areas.
By studying these documents, it can be stated that in the documents of the concept of Russian foreign policy in 2000 and 2008, this country has requested the expansion of cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Also, for the first time in the concept of foreign policy in 2016, the comprehensive development of cooperation with Iran is emphasized, so in these documents, the Islamic Republic of Iran is considered as an important partner for Russia. But in the 2013 document, due to Iran’s nuclear dispute with the west, some clauses on Iran were merely aimed at resolving the issue peacefully which emphasized Russia’s mediating role. In addition to these clauses, which explicitly refer to the Islamic Republic of Iran, some cases implicitly mention cooperation and interaction with this country. These areas include cooperation in the field of energy, the issue of Syria and the division of the Caspian Sea, and the determination of its legal regime.
The results of this study in relation to Russia-Iran relations and Iran’s position for Russia include the following:
Iran is defined only by the Russian government as an “important partner” in some areas. In other words, the Russian government does not view the Iranian government as an ally or strategic partner in its representation of other actors in the international system. This representation is very influential in the type of relations and the nature of Russia’s relations with Iran. The degree of concentration or dilution of Russia’s support for Iran in various issues, such as sanctions on Iran or the nuclear issue, Russia’s view of Iran should be measured and understood following its strategic documents.
Russia’s areas of cooperation with Iran, under its national security documents, have included energy, the Syrian crisis, and the determination of the legal regime of the Caspian Sea.
One of the important findings that can be mentioned is that in the national security documents of Russia there is no mention of the country’s arms cooperation with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but in practice, military and defense cooperation has been an important part of the overall relationship between the two countries since 2000. In this regard, there can be such things as the sale of Russian missile defense system to Iran in 2005; the signing of a military agreement between the two countries in 2015, the purchase of Iranian military weapons from Russia in 2015, the lifting of the ban on the sale of the S-300 system to Iran by Putin in 2015, objection of Russia to the anti-Iranian resolution of the Security Council on February 26, 2018. The practical result of vetoing the resolutions is the failure to pass new missile sanctions and it was to prevent the security of Iran’s missile case.
The final finding is that Russia’s position on the nuclear issue of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to play a mediating role to strengthen its leadership status. In resolving regional disputes and problems, of course, playing this mediating role has been accompanied by a dichotomy in the government’s foreign policy on the nuclear issue.
This research is descriptive-analytical research and the method of data collection is through the study of documents.