Iranian Elites and Theory of Iran's Strategic Influence

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Behzad Khoshandam
PhD Candidate in International Relations

The theory of Iran's strategic influence has received recognition at international level in the early months of 2012 and has been subject to frequent discussions by famous experts. The point, however, should be taken into account that many indices determine the outlook of Iran's increasing influence in the international arena. Of special importance here is the role played by the elites and human assets of this nation-state in promoting Iran's influence at international level in a way that will best serve the country’s national interests. Regardless of political positions taken by Iran's political elites both in and out of the country, the main question here is what role can the country’s elites and human resources play to promote Iran's international influence at global level through the country’s foreign policy approaches? To answer the above question, one may note that convergence among the Iranian elites in this regard, especially in such areas as perceptive – intuitive environment; quality, subjects and operations; as well as implementation of and supervision over the country’s foreign policy can be of remarkable help to meeting Iran's national interests and goals and promoting its international influence in the long run. This will be explained below.

Perceptive – Intuitive Environment: The first precondition in this area is special attention by various Iranian elites to adopting the right attitude and strategic views. Also, selecting the right criteria for assessment and the ability to assess of those criteria, in turn, is of special concern. There is no doubt that any effort to promote correct understanding and assessment of the new regional and international environment is also very crucial. Promoting such a correct understanding of the environment, especially through research, education, media efforts, policymaking, and executive measures can be a priority for the Iranian elites. Correct understanding of international environment will affect Iranians’ view of the most pressing issues of the country in terms of quality, extent, and priority of important areas. Finally, it will be effective in correct management of these areas and directing them toward positive and right channels. Without any doubt, review of the method by which the Iranian elites study and understand the new international milieu, attention to areas of interest for the country, adopting a knowledge-based approach, updating that knowledge, concern for development of the country, consensus among the elites, attention to bureaucratic system, teamwork and collective wisdom can have a great impact on the correct understanding of futurology issues related to Iran's national interests. Moving in this direction will finally put the Iranians on a new path to create new laws, build theories and rules, and increase their influence in international developments.

Quality and Subjects: In this area, changing methods for acquiring information and intellectual assets of the Iranian elites and transferring them to a higher consultative, decision-making, and executive level; taking advantage of creditable and up-to-date sources; as well as balanced use of domestic and foreign sources and capacities can be quite beneficial. In addition, taking advantage of prominent domestic and foreign consultants and specialists and attention to their viewpoints and opinions will have a remarkable effect on choosing and setting priority of issues that are related to Iran's national interests.

Operations, Implementation, Enforcement, and Supervision: Understanding new realities of the world by executiveelites responsible for formulating Iran's foreign policy is the first stage in operating, executing, and enforcing a development-based approach to Iran's interactions with its regional and international environments. In the executive stage, the more the viewpoints of internationalist, consensualist, developmentalist, experientialist, pluralist, problem-solving, and utilitarian political and executive elites become operational, the sooner Iran's national interests can be met in the future outlook.
In addition to using political and executive elites, preparing diplomatic and media grounds as well as convincing statesmen and the private sector of other countries will play an important part in managing Iran's interaction with its international environment and related issues.

In conclusion, participation of the Iranian elites both inside and outside the country in realizing maximum development and progress of this national unit within framework of the international system is inevitable in the light of the new regional and international environment. Consensus and coordination among the Iranian elites at the above levels will be of great help to Iranians in taking advantage of the benefits of regional and international environments facing Iran. It will also help to further increase and promote Iran's bargaining power at international level in view of the country’s foreign policy goals.

Key Words: Iranian Elites, Iran's Strategic Influence, Perceptive – Intuitive Environment, Quality and Subjects, Operations, Implementation, Enforcement, and Supervision, International System, Khoshandam

More By Behzad Khoshandam:

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*Futurology of Iran's Strategic Influence and Baghdad Negotiations:

*The Arab Spring and the Winter of Iran-EU Relations:

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