Iranian Exceptionalism and Iran-US Relations: From 1979 to 2021

Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 MA, International Relations, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Iranian exceptionalism has been a major factor in preventing rapprochement between the US and Iran. There are two major factions within the foreign policy establishment of the Islamic Republic representing “reconciliation discourse” and “resistance discourse”. These two can be seen as sub-discourses within the Islamic Revolution discourse engaged in a struggle over its “correct” interpretation. The “reconciliation discourse” seeks development as the main goal of Iran’s foreign policy, and, hence, considers reconciliation with the US to be a precondition to that goal. Its arguments imply that Iran is not an exceptional country. The resistance discourse, on the other hand, is deeply exceptionalist and deems resistance against the US and maximalist independence to be the main objectives of Iran’s foreign policy. This discourse strongly opposes mending ties with the US because such a move would be understood as a threat to Iran’s exceptionalism. 


Main Subjects

Article Title [فارسی]

استثناگرایی ایرانی و روابط ایران و آمریکا: از 1979 تا 2021

Authors [فارسی]

  • Homeira Moshirzadeh 1
  • علی نظیف پور 2
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