신중견국 이란 대외관계의 구조적 메커니즘과 경제발전전략 (The Economic Development Strategy and Foreign Relation of Iran)

290 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2017

See all articles by Jun Baek

Jun Baek

Hanshin University

Taehyung Kim

Soongsil University

Deockhyun Ryu

Chung-Ang University - Department of Economics

Sungwook YOON

Dong-A University

Date Written: December 30, 2016

Abstract

Korean Abstract: 이 연구는 지정학적 요충에 자리잡고 막대한 천연자원을 보유하여 전략적 가치가 상당한 지역 중견국 이란과 한국 간의 지속가능한 협력방안을 도출하는 데 핵심목적을 두고 있다. 이제 막 경제제재가 해제되면서 전 세계의 관심이 집중되는 이란과 미국, 러시아, EU 등 주요 강대국간의 관계를 세밀히 분석하여 이란의 대외적 행동패턴을 도출하고, 이란의 거시경제, 산업구조, 재정상황에 대한 포괄적인 분석을 시도하여 이란에 대한 정확한 이해를 돕고자 한다. 따라서 본고는 이란과의 장기적인 협력관계 구축을 희망하는 한국정부에 유용한 시사점을 제공할 수 있을 것이다.

English Abstract: After years of agonizing negotiations, Iran and P5+1(US, Russia, China, France, UK) & Germany finally reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA) in July 2015 to resolve the dispute over Teheran's alleged nuclear development program. Thanks to the agreement, in January 2016 years of a tough economic sanctions imposed on Iran started being lifted. Since then, tremendous attention from the global community has been pouring into this natural resource rich and strategically located country of 80 million population with enormous economic, political, and diplomatic potential. This report tries to provide a way to build sustainable relationships between South Korea and Iran based on firm understanding of the historical, geostrategic, and economic essentials of this important country.

We first lay out theoretical foundation of this country by providing historical background of Iran focusing on her interaction with global and regional changes mainly caused by the great power balance of power. We argue that neorealist framework and middle power theory are extremely useful to comprehend the complex relationships between Iran and some of the chosen great powers and Iran's foreign policy behaviors.

The relationships between Iran and the US has been relatively short and cozy until WWII. Yet after the US assumed the leadership position from the UK after WWII, and the Cold War competition with the Soviet Union intensified, the US interest in Iran became more intrusive and coercive. Washington did not hesitate to overthrow a democratically elected government of Iran in 1953 and replaced it with pro-US Pahlavi regime. Despite severe criticism due to the Shah's autocratic policy, the US supported it unconditionally as a bulwark Cold War ally in the Middle East. Yet the Iranian Revolution dashed the US hope of maintaining a foothold in the region against Moscow and the ensuing Hostage Crisis caused unending deep animosity and mistrust between the new regime in Teheran and Washington. Several attempts and opportunities to bring rapprochement between the two were missed. Finally, Obama and Rouhani were able to agree to improve relationships between the US and Iran, and it contributed to the signing of the JCPOA. Yet the surprising election victory of anti-Iran stance Trump in the US has brought new uncertainty regarding their relationships.

Russia's strategic perception toward Iran is based on the concept of the sphere of influence. In comparison of it, Iran's political response to Russian influence is to strategically balance great powers. Iran has attracted competing powers in Russia to offset Russia’s influence.

Geopolitically, the strategic interests of Iran and Russia can overlap in the Middle East, Caucasus, and Central Asia. Iran and Russia share five strategic interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus region:

② prevention of regional conflicts; ③ opposition to military intervention by offshore countries; ④ antiterrorism-regional cooperation; ⑤ development and cooperation for energy resources; ⑥ regional economic and security community.

After the Cold War, Iran's trade and economic cooperation with Russia has been in a state of underdevelopment. The most notable area of economic cooperation between Iran and Russia is the energy sector. If Iran's natural gas production increases in the long term after the economic sanctions are lifted and the natural gas production gap between the two countries narrows sharply, their competition in the downstream markets in Europe is likely to increase.

It can be said that bilateral relations of Iran and Russia are sensitively linked to changes in US-Russian relations. If the US-Russia relationship has improved and is cooperative(consensual), the Russian-Iranian relationship has temporarily cooled down, and on the contrary, the cooperation between the two countries has been restored.

Domestic political changes in Iran and Russia have played an important role in bilateral relations. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has been more favorable to Russia than the United States. Domestic political changes in Russia due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union also played an critical role in the formation of cooperation and conflict patterns of the two countries. In the early post-Cold War era, pro-Westernist Atlanticism of Yeltsin administration was negative for its relationship with Iran. Putin administration’s Eurasianist policy (or ‘Pivot to the East’) provided favorable strategic environment for Iran.

Note: Downloadable document is in Korean.

Suggested Citation

Baek, Jun and Kim, Taehyung and Ryu, Deockhyun and YOON, Sungwook, 신중견국 이란 대외관계의 구조적 메커니즘과 경제발전전략 (The Economic Development Strategy and Foreign Relation of Iran) (December 30, 2016). KIEP Research Paper, Studies in Comprehensive Regional Strategies 16-07, ISBN 978-89-322-1649-2 94320. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2945918

Jun Baek (Contact Author)

Hanshin University ( email )

137 HANSHINDAE-GIL, OSAN-SI
GYEONGGI-DO
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Taehyung Kim

Soongsil University ( email )

511, Sangdo-dong, Dongjak-gu
Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Deockhyun Ryu

Chung-Ang University - Department of Economics ( email )

Seoul
Korea

Sungwook YOON

Dong-A University ( email )

37, Nakdong-daero 550(obaegosip)be
Saha-gu, Busan 604-714
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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