عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: The concept of strategic culture has been used in the field of international relations, foreign policy and national security. There are several definitions of strategic culture but there is still no agreement on a definition that is universally accepted by researchers and policy makers. However, in most definitions, it is agreed that strategic culture is the product of a country's geography, history and shared narratives that shape its dominant worldview and guide its response to challenges and threats.
Strategic culture has emerged as an alternative perspective in international relations due to the inability of realism and neorealism theories to explain the behavior of governments during the Cold War. In its development, there are three generations of strategic culture thinkers that have different understanding of this concept. In the first generation, strategic culture is a perspective to analyze how a state behaves in the face of threats. In the second generation, strategic decisions are based on the attitudes and beliefs of leaders whereas the third generation, strategic decisions are based on the system of symbols that develop in a state. The perspective of strategic culture believes that internal factors such as geopolitical situation, historical experiences, political culture and ideology determine the performance of a government and response to challenges. Although it is closely related to the military aspect, the perspective of strategic culture explains the government's behavior in response to the new nature of threats that have arisen because of globalization, including terrorism and cultural conflicts. The purpose of this article is to analyze the strategic culture of Iran and Russia and its effect on the relations between the two countries.
Russia's strategic culture comes from the intersection of political, military and economic culture. It is rooted in the geographic and spiritual parameters of Russian history. Geopolitics, authoritarianism, pragmatism and global responsibility are sources of Russia's strategic culture. Political behavior and military strategy of Iran is shaped by its strategic culture which is influenced by that country’s religious and political ideology, geography, historical roots and international / regional environment. Specifically, Shi’ism is an important component in Iran’s foreign policy decisions. Historical experiences dating back to centuries ago left a legacy of a deep sense of strategic isolation and foreigners had repeatedly invaded insecurity for Iranians, as their land. The final strategic goals of Iran are to maintain national sovereignty, achieve long-term cultural, political, economic and military development and strengthening its role and influence as a regional and global power considering Iran's size, capabilities and historical experience.
Research Question: What effect has strategic culture had on bilateral and regional relations between Iran and Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Research Hypothesis: The strategic culture has prevented the creation of a model of stable interaction and strategic relations between Iran and Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Methodology (and Theoretical Framework if there are): This article examines Iran-Russia relations in the framework of theoretical foundations of strategic culture with Qualitative method and in-depth analytical approach.
Results and Discussion: A key element of Russia's strategic culture is its long history of war and troubled relations with the West. The revivals of Eurasianism, near abroad policy and increasing its military power have been a response to its perceived vulnerability in the world and towards the West in particular. Strategic ambiguity, deterrence and pragmatism are the basis of Iran's actions in the framework of strategic culture. Geopolitics, pragmatism, historical experiences and deterrence against the West are common components of the strategic culture of Iran and Russia. In order to understand the strategic culture of the two countries, military and foreign policy doctrines, as well as the attitude of their leaders and officials should be taken into consideration. Analyzing the relations between Iran and Russia in the framework of strategic culture provides the possibility of pathology of relations and formulation of a comprehensive strategy and regulation of neighborhood policy to ensure national interests and security.
Conclusion: According to the strategic culture components of Iran and Russia, the two countries have different perceptions of strategic relations. Relations between Iran and Russia have been described as a rapprochement based on cautious partnership. Contrary to Iran’s strategic culture, Russia's strategic culture is aggressive in nature. The threat of the West has provided the basis for the rapprochement of the positions of Iran and Russia, but the anti-American positions do not create a basis for the cooperation of the two countries. According to the discourse of the Islamic Revolution, establishing strategic relations with Iran creates a challenge for Russia's interests in the Middle East. Russia's priority is relations with countries that take advantage of their geopolitical position and political and military capacity to interact with the West. Therefore, Iran and Russia consider each other as temporary allies in order to achieve their goals, interests and repel threats. Realism and separation of interests is a prerequisite for creating a model of sustainable interaction between the two countries.