Engagement with Iran
This essay recommends a policy of engagement reinforced by the key tenets of liberal theory for dealing with Iran. It will also discuss a principal weakness of engagement as well as demonstrate how Nixon’s foreign policy doctrine serves as a useful historical precedent for a policy of engagement.
Engagement seeks to heighten shared interests through building diplomatic communications to achieve desired outcomes. Over the past three decades, contacts between the United States (U.S.) and Iranian diplomats are tactical not strategic. Often, negotiations involve undoing an injustice in which Iran bares significant responsibility, such as hostage holding. Still, history shows negotiated agreements between Iran and the United States are possible and the security interests of the two countries coincide. Iran has influence in oil markets, which gives the country an important tool with which to influence the behavior of consuming nations such as the U.S.
As the Iranian economy continues to strain under mismanagement, the obsession for nuclear power, corruption, and crippling subsidies, the strategy of engagement provides incentives to build trade ties. The military and strategic threats Iran poses to the U.S. interests are serious and diverse. The threats will require determined efforts for engagement. History shows engagement and détente undermine governments more quickly than exclusion and enforcing an estrangement
Iran is potentially a powerful force for stability or instability in the neighborhood. The U.S. is wise to keep open options with Iran. Engagement can alleviate mutual suspicion and lay the groundwork for a reduction in tensions. This is especially important given the deterioration of relations with Iran in recent years. The U.S. employment of engagement must include direct communication to deal with the root of the problem, Iran’s hostile relationship with the U.S and lack of trust.
Effectively incorporating key tenets of liberalism theory enhances the strategy. The study of international affairs is best understood as protracted competition between the realist, liberal, and radical traditions. Liberalism identifies several ways to mitigate conflictive tendencies. There are two strands in the use of Liberalism. One strand of liberal thought argues economic interdependence discourages states from using force against each other because warfare threatens each side’s prosperity. While the second strand, establishes the spread of democracy as the key to world peace, based on the claim democratic states are inherently more peaceful than authoritarian. The key assumptions of liberalism assert states have enduring interests beyond military and political survival, international organizations, governmental and non-governmental create significant incentives and structures to effectively foster global corporations, and the nature of the state itself has tremendous implications of the behavior...