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Iran’s Interregional Dynamics in the Near East

Edited By Banafsheh Keynoush

Few regions in the world are as torn by conflicts as the Near East, in which Iran plays a central role. Opportunities to engage with Iran are abundant, but they are squandered when regional states address immediate conflicts in which Iran is only one part, despite its prominent role. Iran’s Interregional Dynamics in the Near East provides a comprehensive guide to broaden our understanding about Iran and its regional neighbors. By analyzing how Iran’s neighbors view their ties with the country, this volume reveals why Iran is less successful in expanding its regional influence than what is commonly assumed. This is the first book of its kind to be written exclusively by authors from and working in the Near East region who came together at a roundtable funded by and convened at Princeton University. As the moderator of the roundtable, the editor of this volume invited the authors to contribute chapters to this timely book. The book explores a wide range of topics to describe the complex relations between Iran and other states in the Near East including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. The volume is designed to inform politicians, world leaders, scholars, senior policy makers, and graduate students, and it provides an accessible guide to undergraduate students, junior scholars, and the general public.

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6. Old Grievances, New Challenges: Conflict and Cooperation between Turkey and Iran (Nursin Ateşoğlu Güney and Özden Zeynep Oktav)


Nursin Ateşoğlu Güney and Özden Zeynep Oktav

Understanding the current nature of bilateral relations between Turkey and Iran could lead to theoretical challenges. The relations between these two periphery countries of the Near East have been studied primarily through Cold War theories. These theories explain emerging structures of the international system after World War II (1939–1945). In these structures, Turkey and Iran have been generally observed from the prism of western interests, given that the two countries were included in the western spheres of influence during the Cold War. As a result, Cold War theories paid far less attention to important inter-state dynamics between the two regional countries. Subsequent post-Cold War grand theories that emerged in the West again bundled Turkey and Iran into countries that should keenly be observed, but very little interest was given to the details of their inter-state ties. The theory of the Clash of Civilizations, for example, simply placed Turkey and Iran into the large category of Muslim states that would challenge western democracies. Far less work was done to study Turkey and Iran comparatively. The concept of the End of History assuming a final form of human government, or theories of globalization, similarly failed to explain the impact of the constant rivalry present in the international system on Turkey and Iran and the conduct of their bilateral relations. Since conflicts and rivalries have persisted in the international system, their impact on bilateral state relations, and the influence of...

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