Revolutionary Iran’s Persian Gulf Policy: The Quest for Regional Supremacy

  • Bahman Baktiari

Abstract

The formal cessation of hostilities between Iran and Iraq in July 1988 commenced a new phase of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy in the Persian Gulf. Even though some states in the region were taken aback by Ayatollah Khomeini’s ceasefire declaration, the overall configuration of politics in the region took on a new shape. The eight-year war with Iraq had destabilised the Persian Gulf, and had led to unprecedented militarisation, with the United States undertaking the reflagging operation of the Kuwaiti tankers. On 2 August 1990, another significant event changed the structure of security in the Persian Gulf: the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. In the era of post-Cold War rapprochement between the United States and the USSR, few observers had predicted this brazen action by Saddam Hussein. Two years after the ceasefire, the Iranian government was faced with the most significant challenge since the inception of the Islamic Revolution. The death of Ayatollah Khomeini in June 1989 had further aggravated the process of foreign policy decision-making.

Keywords

Shipping Radar Egypt Boulder Defend 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    R. K. Ramazani, Iran’s Foreign Policy 1941–1973 ( Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1975 ), p. 428.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    A. Jwaideh, ‘The Historical Origins of the Iran-Iraq Border Dispute’, in Robert Spencer (ed.), Iran, Iraq and the Gulf War, ( Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982 ), pp. 19–21.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Saycd Hassan Amin, International and Legal Problems of the Gulf ( London: Middle East and North African Studies Press, 1981 ), p. 82.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    See R. K. Ramazani, ‘Shiism in the Persian Gulf’, in J. R. Cole and W. Keddie (ed.),Shiism and Social Protest ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    R. K. Ramazani, Revolutionary Iran: Challenge and Response in the Middle East ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986 ), p. 65.Google Scholar
  6. 19.
    Shireen T. Hunter, Iran and the World: Continuity in a Revolutionary Decade ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990 ), p. 105.Google Scholar
  7. 45.
    NSPI op. cit., Note No. 50; for analysis of factional politics within Saudi Arabia, see William B. Quant, Saudi Arabia in the 1980s (Washington: Brookings, 1981), pp. 76–89.Google Scholar
  8. 47.
    See A. Maleki, ‘Imposed War and the UN Security Council’, The Journal of Foreign Policy, Vol. II, April–June 1988, pp. 155–87. This is a Persian-language journal published by the Institute for Political and International Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tehran, Iran.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in S. Chubin’s ‘Iran and the Gulf Crisis’, Middle East Insight, Vol. 7, no. 4, 1990, p. 33.Google Scholar
  10. 83.
    James Piscatori, Islamic Fundamentalism and the Gulf Crisis, The Fundamentalism Project, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Chicago, 1991, pp. 52–69.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hooshang Amirahmadi and Nader Entessar 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bahman Baktiari

There are no affiliations available

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