نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
دانشیار، گروه روابط بینالملل، دانشکدۀ حقوق و علوم سیاسی، دانشگاه یزد
عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: How to interact with Russia as one of the great and influential powers of the international system has always been one of the important issues of Iran's foreign policy, which has various political, security and economic aspects. In this way, as much as the West and the United States became the "other" in the form of enemy in Iran's foreign policy, the policy of looking to the East and being close to states like China and Russia became more prominent in the form of East-oriented friendship patterns and regional friendship patterns. In general, Iran's relations with Russia can be analyzed at three levels of analysis: "bilateral relations", "regional relations" and "international relations". In this regard, the main aim of this research is to deal with the main reason of Iran's tendency towards Russia from the perspective of a theoretical narrative.
Research Question: The main question of this research is that which of the theories of alliance and coalition in international relations literature can better explain why Iran is tending towards Russia?
Research Hypothesis: In this research, our assumption is that among the various theoretical narratives of alliance and coalition between states, neorealist narratives such as the theory of "Balance of Threat" or "Bandwagoning Policy" provide a better perspective of Iran-Russia relations. Because due to the lack of economic interdependence between Iran and Russia, as well as the lack of a common identity between them, the “economic interdependence theory” or “identity-oriented theories” cannot correctly explain the tendency of Iran to be closer to Russia.
Methodology (and theoretical framework if there are): In terms of method, this research is based on a case study in a theoretical framework (adaptation of the theory to the case) as one of the qualitative research methods. The method of collecting data is document study and use of virtual resources.
Results and Discussion: To answer the main question of this research in the first part of this research, we will discuss the nature of relations between Iran and Russia and the indicators of cooperation between them. In this topic, we will understand that according to Russian national security documents, Iran is only an important partner of Russia in some areas and regional issues. But on the other hand, Iran wants a strong alliance with Russia beyond a regional cooperation. In this regard, this claim can be proved by mentioning some cases at the level of "speech acts" and also "practical actions" of Iran's officials.
In the second section, we examine Iran's policy towards Russia in the form of creating a balance of threats, a balance against the common threats of the United States for both states. Based on this assumption, Iran, as a security-seeking actor who has an understanding of the threat from the united states, tends to form a security alliance with Russia in order to contain its threat. Therefore, common identity factors have no role in the tendency to unite with Russia. According to this assumption, Iran is only looking for security ties with Russia, and economic ties and making profits have no place or are not the first priority in Iran's policy of proximity.
In the fourth section, we will examine the orientation of Iran towards Russia in the form of " Bandwagoning Policy". According to this theory, the main reason for Iran's tendency to unite with Russia is not to contain the threat of the unites states and maintain security, but the main reason is to increase the country's power and development, in fact, the union with Russia is an opportunity to gain benefits and results. According to this theory, Iran as a rebellious revisionist state with unlimited aims that has limited resources and ability to change the order (revolutionary change), with the Russia as a revisionist state with limited goals that has the necessary resources and ability to change the status quo (gradual change) is accompanied in order to benefit from the capabilities of this state in changing the existing situation and to have a share in the victory. So, in adopting a follow-up policy, two factors are very important: The amount of state power that is followed, the amount of benefits that can be obtained from the following policy, and according to the variables of Russia's power, Iran can gain political, security and economic benefits from following that policy.
The research findings show that in the "Balance of Threat" theory factors such as containing the threatening states, the importance of the US threat as a common threat to both states, considering Iran as a security actor, considering the alliance as a security alliance against a common threat, the elites' perception of the threat factor and the aggressive intentions of the threatening state are very important. In contrast in the " Bandwagoning Policy" theory factors such as gaining profits, the unimportance of the common threat of the US, considering Iran as an opportunistic and profit-seeking actor, considering the alliance as an extended alliance for profit, the importance of Russia's power compared to Iran, the importance of the perceptions of the elites and their calculation from profits and losses that results of the " Bandwagoning Policy" are very important.
Conclusion: Finally, we conclude that both narratives can be useful, although in each of these two theoretical perspectives, the "causes, motivations and results" of Iran's policy towards Russia are interpreted quite differently from each other. On the other hand, in the second theoretical narrative, we should distinguish between Walt's and Schweller's narratives about "Bandwagoning Policy". Because Schweller's narrative is a suitable narrative for explaining Iran's policy towards Russia.