The Role of Khatami's Belief System in Changing Iranian Foreign Policy from 1997 to 2005

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  • Iranian foreign policy under the Khatami presidency (1997-2005) went through a paradigm shift, one that involved a change from confrontation to peaceful relations. The main reason for this alteration rests on Khatami's belief system, whose discourse of "Dialogue Among Civilizations" aiming at coexistence and cooperation assured the international community that Iran would not pursue revolutionary aspirations, but rather seek constructive and meaningful relations based on equality, mutual respect and understanding. I have applied Operational Code analysis as the theoretical framework since this approach examines how the decision-maker perceives world politics, whether as conflictual or harmonious and then decides what strategy he/she would adopt in order to achieve their goals. As this dissertation shows, Khatami believed that conflict was not a permanent feature of the international system; therefore, he followed a cooperative approach on the foreign policy front. The basis of this new approach was Dialogue among Civilizations, instead of Clash of Civilizations. Based on this worldview, Iran, under Khatami, experienced the most peaceful relations with the international community since the inception of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

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  • 2021


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