Frank Bösch & Daniel Walter: Iran’s Dissociation from Cooperation with the West between the 1960s and 1980s. [Abstract]

Iran was one of the most important partners of the West in the post-War period. In particular, the governments of the US and West Germany supported the intense political, economic, and strategic cooperation with Iran under the regime of the Shah. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 is known as a turning-point in Iran’s relations to the West. This article analyzes Iran’s dissociation processes from cooperation with the West and Western institutions in a long-term perspective. It argues that we cannot speak of a coherent dissociation process but of different changing forms of integration since the 1960s. While political cooperation decreased already in the 1970s, economic cooperation increased in this period. The nascent Islamic Republic also differentiated between different cases of cooperation with Western states and institutions. A clear break is figured out for institutions like the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), while Iran acted, especially in economic relations, with a certain revolutionary pragmatism that shaped political interactions. Although the conflict between Iran and Western states was highly ideational, it did not lead to a uniform pattern of dissociation. Our comparison of Iran’s post 1979 relations with the US and West Germany shows important differences.

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