Diplomacy and Bureaucracy: Iran and Saudi Arabia in Two Administrations

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran

2 University of Guilan Faculty of Humanities, Department Political Science

3 University of Guilan Faculty of Humanities, Department of Political Science


The Islamic Republic of Iran's Middle East policy and its fundamentals are among the most discussed issues in the Middle
East's international politics. The present paper seeks to analyze the structure and formation of Iran's foreign policy interests in the region with a view of bureaucratic diplomacy. Based on Graham Allison's framework of organizational trends and bureaucratic politics, this study assesses two recent Iranian presidents' foreign policy toward Saudi Arabia. Bureaucratic diplomacy of Iran, along with military and security apparatus formulate and implement Iranian foreign policy tactics. Ahmadinejad focused on developing a personal relationship with Saudi leaders, which was not aligned with his bureaucratic diplomacy, though. However, Rouhani embarked on making use of JCPOA as a model to negotiate with Saudi Arabia. The region's constantly evolving situation, the hostile approach of Saudi Arabia, and the maximum pressure of the U.S. on Iran prevented Rouhani’s bureaucratic diplomacy from succeeding. 


Main Subjects

Article Title [فارسی]

دیپلماسی و بروکراسی: ایران و عربستان سعودی در دو دولت

Authors [فارسی]

  • مهدی زیبائی 1
  • امیررضا احمدی خوئی 2
1 استادیار روابط بین الملل دانشگاه بین المللی امام خمینی (ره)، قزوین، ایران
2 دانشگاه گیلان

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