“Iran Enters Nuclear Talks in a Defiant Mood,” “Iran Expands Nuclear Fuel Production After Talks,” “U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Those Aiding Iran,” “Iran’s Double-digit Inflation Worsens,” “U.S. Adds Forces in Persian Gulf, a Signal to Iran,” “Iranian Oil Minister Concedes Sanctions Have Hurt Exports,” “Netanyahu Strikes Tough Tone on Possible Iran Strike”1: If news headlines give any indication, Iranian behavior during Ahmadinejad’s presidency was marked by intransigence to Western pressure despite its apparent harmful effects. United States’ and European pressure had increased over the years as the Iranian regime remained defiant, and at the end of Ahmadinejad’s second term international sanctions had drastically limited the regime’s options to remedy the illnesses of the Iranian economy. In addition, regionally Iran’s luck was changing. When Ahmadinejad became president in 2005, the fall of the Taliban and Saddam regimes had created new options for Iran, and during the early years of Ahmadinejad’s presidency, relations with Arab states seemed on the mend. The Syrian civil war, however, highlighted regional differences, narrowing the Islamic Republic’s regional possibilities. Despite this, the Iranian regime kept supporting Assad’s regime. It seemed that the regime’s revolutionary discourse of defiance kept it from pursuing a foreign policy in line with its national interest of security and economic prosperity.
KeywordsForeign Policy Islamic Republic Iranian Regime Regime Ideology Regime Legitimacy
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