Iran's Alternative Allies
- Iran has aggressively pursued diplomatic, economic and strategic relations with an eclectic array of non-Western states. It also expanded activity within regional and international organizations for developing countries.
- Iran’s alliance strategy is intended to undermine international sanctions, sustain its nuclear program and thwart Western efforts to isolate Tehran.
- Iran’s cultivation of “alternative allies” reflects deep pragmatism. It has cultivated ties with regimes that share an anti-Western or non-aligned perspective, without regard for their political or ideological orientation.
- But Iran’s alliance strategy is anchored in a distinct vision of global governance, in which a coalition of non-Western states is needed as a counterweight to Western power.
- Iran’s alliance strategy will remain a tool in its diplomatic and economic arsenal to gain leverage internationally.
- Iran’s leaders articulate a vision of the international system that will continue to resonate with many non-Western nations. These relationships help insulate Tehran from the full impact of harsh economic sanctions.
- Iran’s ambitious diplomacy will continue to pose a major challenge to the United States and its Western allies in their efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
- But Iran’s efforts to cultivate alternative allies are not always successful. And economic aid or ties are not always sufficient to generate political support from developing nations.
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