The political relationship between Iran and the United States has always been conflicting due to their national interests, defense, and security. The theory of neorealism claims that power is the utmost priority in international relations and politics. Certainly, Neorealism’s balance of supremacy is reflected between the two nations. The determinants of power and security propel the countries in opposite directions resulting in conflicting international affairs. This essay intends to explicate the relationship between Iran and the United States’ dealings especially Iran’s Nuclear power program within the paradigms of Neo-realism or structural realism.
Theory of Neorealism
The theory of Neorealism is also known as structural realism. Kenneth Waltz was the first theorist who outlined the theory of neorealism in 1979. The theory of “Neorealism” is based on different assumptions, the major one is about the primary determinant of a state’s behavior and international outcomes. According to neorealism, these primary determinants are directly dependent on the distribution of capabilities. The neorealist theory claims that a system that contains two great powers is more stable and constant. This stable system is called the bipolar system. The bipolar system is less liable to supremacy war and systemic variation. The theory of Neorealism can be divided into defensive realism and offensive realism.
Neorealism: Relationship between the United States and Iran
There is a long history propagating within the relationship between the United States and Iran. Most of the United States, Europeans, Israeli analysts, and policymakers notified that Iran’s access to nuclear weapons will result in the worst probable consequences. Trump’s withdrawal from the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (Iran Nuclear Deal) has instigated dogmatic turmoil among the major divisions of the global civilization. Two of the most important states; Saudi Arabia and Israel have applauded Trump’s action perceiving it as defensive according to Neo-Realist policy. US decisions against Iran can have disastrous consequences.
In the scenario of the United States and Iran, there is a glaring competition for security, where both of these states have different levels of capabilities including natural resources, and political, economic, and military capabilities. Since neo-realism is linked with structural assumptions, which means that they blame international structure for the state’s selfish interests, this makes them more conservative. That’s the reason experts have witnessed US conservative policies towards Iran during the Trump era.
However, in contemporary times due to the political transition from conservative to liberals, the chances of US dealings will be based on neoliberal ideas of cooperation-cooperation and not on cooperation-confrontation. Therefore, according to Waltz’s claim, nuclear weapons are the “weapons of peace” (Zavada 2019) and the effective/ defensive security approach. In the clarification of Iran and U.S issues and Neo-realism, Iran must struggle to attain nuclear power. Waltz claims that “Nuclear weapons dissuade war much more than conventional weapons because of greater risk” (Waltz 1988). As stated in the bipolar system by neorealism, Iran must gain access to nuclear weapons to achieve equality in power. Iran’s step towards nuclear power can be perceived as a defensive realism. On the other hand, the U.S policies consider this step within the paradigms of offensive realism
Hawkish Approach to U.S & Iran’s relationship
The Hawkish approach tends to advocate tough measures and sanctions against Iran. The query about the typical hawkish approach to Iran and U.S behaviors is simply linked with the difference in US foreign policy. This policy tends to change from time to time according to their national interest. In contrast to the neo-realist theory, the term “Hawkish” is associated with advocating an aggressive hostile policy. The foremost priority of the United States’ hawks is to advocate hostile limitations in Iran’s footsteps to attain nuclear power. The term hawkish is linked with the neo-cons agenda which is again a conservative and isolationist policy. According to the Hawkish approach, Iran’s nuclear deal is not in the United States national interest resulting in intense limitations and sanctions to it.
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