Warming up of Anglo – Iranian Relations in a Changing Middle East

Warming up of Anglo – Iranian Relations in a Changing Middle East

No aspect of policy making is more intriguing and complex than foreign policy. As the world has become increasingly a maze of interdependent relationships, with economic, cultural, military, social, and even ethnic considerations making their weight felt upon every decision, from its inception down to its execution and implementation, so have the agencies of decision making become increasingly numerous, and complex, if not always interdependent. Evaluating, and analyzing, any state’s foreign policy towards another state, therefore, is a complex examinations of various factors, as is the case of Anglo-Iranian relations.
The course of Anglo-Iranian relations never did run smooth throughout the contemporary period, since the beginning of the twenty first century. Even when full diplomatic relations at the highest level were at times operational, tensions of different magnitudes, for various reasons, existed, which are beyond the scope of this article to touch on.
However, despite the overall improvement in relations between the United Kingdom, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, in 2005-6 a deterioration of relationship between the two countries occurred. Most particularly concerning the over arching nuclear standoff between Iran and the United States.
A rapid, and brief mentioning of the Anglo-American “Special Relationship”, must take place, since any study of British foreign policy in the contemporary modern period without taking the Anglo-American “Special Relationship” into consideration would be unrealistic and pointless. Ever since WWII, until now, one of the pillars of British foreign policy has been the Anglo-American “Special Relationship” (the other two being relations with Europe, and the British Commonwealth).(1) The Anglo-American “Special Relationship” is an accepted bipartisan realpolitik issue in both the United States, and the United Kingdom, but particularly so in the United Kingdom. As in the last resort the UK shifts its foreign policy towards the United States. This has been evident in modern times in the Balkans, the two wars in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, relations with Iran, as will be shown and various current international conflicts, and issues to say the least, which the scope of this article is limiting to expand on. The Anglo-American “Special Relationship” is an essential, and vital component of British foreign policy, which traditionally has been based on shrewd economic and defensive rational, and considerations.(2)
The tension between Teheran, and Washington, eventually managed to dislodge the United Kingdom government from its statuesque position of interaction with Iran, in mid 2000s, to the Anglo-American “Special Relationship” umbrella of confrontation with the Islamic Republic of Iran. From the Nuclear issue to various other substances now became a joint policy for both the United Kingdom, and the United states. For example the United Kingdom in 2006 voted in favour of taking the dispute to the UN Security Council. “Due to Iran’s lack of compliance with IAEA, the United Kingdom calls for Iran to terminate its nuclear activities,”(3) was the voice, coming out of London, compatible with the American policy towards Iran, now.

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