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Drivers and theories behind Iran's foreign policy

Durham, England, March 23, IRNA-A two-day conference on Iran's foreign policy since the Islamic revolution created much debate among academics assembled in Durham, England from around the world.

Gholamali Chegnizadeh from Alamah University in Tehran presented three pillars of strategic thinking behind Iran's foreign policy in both the pre-and post Khatami eras, which he believed were similar to the period before the 1979 Islamic revolution.

These, he purposed, included Iran's search for greatness based upon its natural role in the region and wider world, the search for recognition of its undefined right and a sense of victimization linked to a feeling of insecurity over the past 100 years.

Iran's belief in being different from its assortment of neighbouring countries was an important aspect in trying to understand the country's foreign policy, the Iranian academic argued.

During Tuesday's morning session on Iranian foreign policy in perspective, Ali Rezaei from the Iranian Embassy in London examined the different theoretical approaches, including geopolitical drivers.

But one of the most controversial papers was presented by Majid Taqawi senior lecturer on micro and applied economics at Newcastle University in northern England, which was critical of Iran's economic performance and record.

Taqawi argued that Iran's three five-year plans had failed to meet targets on combating inflation and unemployment through economic mismanagement that was causing slow development.

It was "negative real wages," he said that was the "basis of corruption." He also criticized the limitations of trade, saying that it was conducted by only a "few people." The senior lecturer suggested that the root of the problem was that previous Iranian governments had not been able to control the money supply and that banking management was below regional competitors.

But this was disputed by Iranian Ambassador to London, Mohammad Hossein Adeli, who as a previous governor of Iran's central bank defended the country's economic performance, citing successive record annual rises in GDP growth.

The two-day conference, which opened at Durham University in northern England on Monday, was attended by an array of mostly Iranian academics, including seven professors, based in Tehran and at British and American universities.

... Payvand News - 3/23/05 ... --

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