Iranian Foreign Policy Shedding the Pariah Image

Date of Award

Fall 12-1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

W. Andrew Terrill

Committee Member

Pia Christina Wood

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45G64


This study analyzes Iranian foreign policy since 1979 to determine if Iran is a pariah state in the international community. To determine Iran's isolation in the international community, various factors were examined, including diplomatic relations, political leverage, relations with the United Nations, and the ability to acquire military hardware. Iran's status was compared with three generally accepted pariah states, Taiwan, Israel, and South Africa to determine the degree of isolation faced by the Islamic Republic. This study determined that Iran remains a pariah state, but is less isolated than most pariah states because its objectionable behavior, its aggressive foreign policy, effects a limited number of states. Additionally, the study determined that Iran, unlike many pariah states, can shed its pariah image without substantially affecting its population, territory, or form of government. Major factors contributing to Iran's pariah status are: Tehran's support of militant Islamist groups and anti-Western terrorist organizations, a recent build-up of offensive weapons, a program to develop nuclear weapons, and aggression in the Gulf. Sources of documentation for this study consist of speeches, printed interviews, and policy statements by Iranian and Arab officials and reports by Iranian and Arab newspapers, United Nations reports and resolutions, statements by US officials before congress, official US policy statements, reports in various US newspapers, and articles in scholarly journals.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).



This document is currently not available here.