Britain and the Iranian Nuclear Program: An Illuminating Appraisal

In The First Biennial Conference on Contemporary Iranian Studies (2019)
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Abstract

Owing to the escalating regional rivalries and the conventional arms race, Iran’s post-revolutionary hostilities towards the West, in addition to the crucial geopolitical and economic significance of the region, the complex Iranian nuclear crisis has made the global leaders to brood over the multilateral Iranian negotiations with the P5+1 and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which led to finalization and adoption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015. The United Kingdom as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a nuclear state, the bridge to the Cross-Atlantic relations, in addition to its noted ‘special relationship’ with the United States, and having over two centuries of political ties with Iran has constantly played a crucial role in all stages of the negotiations and tightening the imposed embargoes. Indeed, ever since the 1979 Revolution the Anglo-Iranian relations have been volatile and have suffered from tension, instability, and upheavals; despite reconciliation in 1998 and some prominent diplomatic accomplishments in nuclear negotiations the sour relations had strained by several incidents in the past two decades. This study addresses the Anglo-Iranian relations and attempts to provide theoretical scrutiny of the UK foreign policy on the Iranian nuclear program and clarify the British approach through the lens of game theories with respect to neorealism, classical realism, neoclassical realism, and liberalism perspectives.

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Alireza Salehi-Nejad
University of Tehran

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