عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Relations between Iran and Russia have a long history. The relationship between the people living in the regions known today as the Russian Federation and the Iranians goes back thousands of years. But it was in the last two hundred years that the relations between the two sides reached their peak. In tsarist Russia, geopolitics and Russia's desire to develop its territory in the south was the most important factor in bilateral relations. With the rise of the Soviet Union, the ideological element was also added to this trend. The Soviet Union considered Iran as one of the countries leaning towards the West and based on this, it adjusted its foreign policy toward Iran. As a result of this historical relationship, different images of Russia have been constructed in the minds of Iranian elites and ordinary people. Many works have been written in Iran about the history of Iran and Soviet / Russian relations, and there is a lot of information about the image of Russians by Iranians. However, Iranian researchers have not paid much attention to the image and position of Iran in the Soviet Union/Russia. This is despite the fact that, according to constructivists, the identity of players of the international system has a vital role in their relations. They believe, identity is a relational phenomenon. This means that regardless of the image that each actor has of himself, the image of other actors will also be of great importance in determining bilateral relations.
There are different ways to identify the constructed image of a country in other countries. One of the best sources is to check educational resources. Especially in the Soviet Union, which had a very ideological view of education, examining educational sources can be very useful. Based on this and considering the significant identity changes that occurred with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is expected that the constructed image of Iran in the educational resources of the Soviet Union/ Russian Federation has faced significant changes.
Accordingly, in this article, we examine the image of Iran in the Soviet Union/Russian Federation and determine the impact of identity changes that occurred in Iran and Russia on this image. In this regard, in qualitative research, using the case study method, we examine the constructed image of Iran in history textbooks in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation.
Research Question: During the last one-hundred years, what image of Iran has been created in Russia and how have the developments of the two countries affected it?
Research Hypothesis: In the past one-hundred years, a marginal image of Iran has been constructed in Russia, and despite the identity changes that have occurred in Iran and Russia, there has been no change in this constructed image.
Methodology (and Theoretical Framework if there are): According to constructivists, the identity of players has a vital role in forming relationships between them. Constructivists consider identity a relational and variable phenomenon formed in different periods. Another essential characteristic of identity, according to them, is that it is relational. In this sense, regardless of each player's image of themselves, the image that other players make of them also plays a vital role in defining their identity. In this regard, by using the theory of constructivism, we will try to identify the constructed image of Iran in Russia and open a path to identify the effect of this constructed image on the relations between the two countries.
This article is the result of qualitative research. We use the case study method to conduct this research. A case study analyzes a specific research plan and examines a problem. Its purpose is to use the available information to predict future trends. Considering that the main sources of our research were the textbooks of the Soviet Union/Russian Federation, we have used the thematic analysis method to conduct our research.
Results and Discussion: Based on the information obtained, we concluded that the image of Iran in the Soviet Union/Russian Federation is marginal and unimportant. The identity changes in both countries have not changed this image.
Conclusion: The study of the history of relations between Iran and Russia highlights two important features: first, the disconnection and instability of bilateral relations; Second, the dependence of these relations on the position of two countries, especially Russia, in the international system. Another critical point revealed in this article's result is that despite the changes in both countries in the last 100 years, there has been no significant change in the mentality of Russians towards Iran. Based on the travelogues of Russian travelers and textbooks of the era of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, it can be said that relations with Iran were not very important for the Russians. In addition, the Russians' narrative of the relations between the two countries is distorted and different from the Iranians' narrative of history. Another noteworthy point is the lack of attention from Russian history education sources to the occurrence of the Islamic Revolution and the fundamental changes that took place in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
As a result, considering the demarcations formed by the decision-makers of the Islamic Republic in recent years in the "Looking to the East" policy and expanding relations with Russia, it is appropriate to take measures to portray Iran more accurately in Russian society. With the creation of a more accurate image of Iran in Russia, we can hope for the expansion of mutual relations and more cultural exchanges and strengthen bilateral relations.