Internal Discourses in Iran's Nuclear Diplomacy
This article investigates the effects of Iran’s internal political discourses on how political events were conducted during nuclear negotiations in the period between 2013 and 2015. The author holds that due to its emphasis on de-escalation and political development, the reformist discourse opposed challenging progress in nuclear technology. In contrast, the principlist camp has seen nuclear energy as a symbol of opposition and resistance against the West. Due to their emphasis on economic development and cooperation with the world system, the moderate camp also agreed on trust building with the West in order to resolve the nuclear problem. To examine the aforementioned argument, the author investigated different ways of thinking of Iran’s main parties in the country’s foreign policy based on discourse theory. The author also evaluates the performance of these discourses in Iran’s nuclear negotiations. Iran’s nuclear case resulted mainly in a relationship made between domestic policy and foreign policy. Meanwhile, the ups and downs of Iran’s nuclear case have challenged the arrangement of its internal politics. In other words, it created a gap between President Hassan Rouhani’s moderate camp and the principalist camp, brought some principlists closer to the moderates, and created a gap among the principlists itself. The author concludes that the nuclear standoff turned the right and left disagreement into disagreement between the proponents and opponents with the JCPOA in Iran’s policy and recreated a new left and right in Iran’s domestic politics.
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