Mahmood Monshipouri, In the Shadow of Mistrust: The Geopolitics and Diplomacy of US–Iran Relations

Published date01 October 2023
AuthorJavad Heiran-Nia
Date01 October 2023
Subject MatterBook Reviews
International Studies
60(4) 484 –486, 2023
© 2023 Jawaharlal Nehru University
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/00208817231204674
Book Review
Mahmood Monshipouri, In the Shadow of Mistrust: The
Geopolitics and Diplomacy of US–Iran Relations (London:
Hurst & Co., 2022), 370 pp. £35. ISBN: 9781787387119
In this book, the author, Mahmood Monshipouri, analyses internal, regional and
international issues regarding the US–Iran relations. The first part of the book
focuses on the internal context of Iranian politics since the 1979 Revolution. This
section deals with contemporary US–Iran relations and explains the checkered
relationship between the two.
The second part examines three axes at the level of regional analysis of the
relations and focuses on the ideological and geopolitical components of Iran’s
foreign policy and their effects on regional policy in the South Caucasus and the
Middle East, especially in Syria and Yemen. In the third part, the international
context has been examined and special attention has been paid to Iran’s nuclear
programme under Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
The author is familiar with political movements inside Iran and considers
historical as well as ideological and geopolitical competitions at regional and
international levels that are effective in relations between the two countries. The
importance of this issue is that Iran and the US relations are dynamic and complex,
which requires the analysis of Iran’s power structure and its effects on regional
and international politics.
Since the foreign policy of the regime that emerged in 1979 was revolutionary
with ideological values of political Islam, it had a revisionist view towards the
international system and order. From the revolution until the end of the Iran–Iraq
war, Iran’s foreign policy can be generally explained by agent-oriented theories of
foreign policy, as the revolutionary regime had a confrontational approach towards
the international order and did not recognize it. Therefore, this foreign policy
could not be explained in the form of structuralism. A structure-oriented approach
in foreign policy could not noticed due to a host of factors, including the end of
Iran–Iraq war that wreaked great havoc on Iran, change of the international system
from bipolar to unipolar following the collapse of the Soviet Union, ascendance
of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s technocrat government to power, Ayatollah Khomeini’s
death and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
The author has also discussed the 1979 revolution, which created a fundamental
change in relations between Iran and the United States, and the influencing factors
on the foreign policy of the revolutionary system. He considers the role of ideas
and immaterial factors as important in their relations after the 1979 Revolution

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT