Different Nuclear Strategies of Iran; Explanation from the viewpoint of Neoclassical Realism

Document Type : Research Paper


Guilan University


Nuclear strategy is apolicy aimed to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes or construction of nuclear weapons. Due to the dual nature of nuclear knowledge, there is sensitivity regarding the access of countries to this knowledge. International community, and especially, the great powers, have been trying to prevent the rise of nuclear states. By contrast, states willing to acquire nuclear knowledge seek to achieve their goals through different strategies such as engagement, negotiation, confrontation, détente, confidence building. Iran has been working to achieve nuclear knowledge since the 1950s. Nevertheless, the most important attempts were done after the Islamic Revolution and in particular since 1382 onwards. The examination of Iran's nuclear strategies during the period from 2003 to 2016 suggests shifts and fluctuatation in these strategies. The purpose of this article is to examine the variables affecting Iran's different nuclear strategies and to answer this question: Which factors have contributed to the change of Iran's nuclear strategy over the years and how can various nuclear strategies of Iran be explained? The research findings indicate that the type of strategy and behavior Iran has adopted in relation to the nuclear issue has been a mixture of external factors (international system) and internal factors (internal structure, power and type of perception of the decision-makers of Iran's foreign policy). In the mentioned period , each government translated international pressures due to its internal capabilities and perceptions and according to which, responded to the international system


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