Myth, National Identity and Iranians Attitude towards International Relations



Iranian myths have left imprints on Iran’s political and international vision throughout history. Using a constructivist approach, I try to demonstrate that these myths have had functional significance as meaning constructs to form and shape Iranian identity and Iranians’ international attitude. These myths have been also relevant when the Iranian people presented definitions for themselves, others and the outer world. It is, however, evident that other meaning constructs like history, religion, traditions and language have had roles to play in formation of Iranian identity. All such meaning constructs are in a constant connection with each other and all together shape Iranian identity. That said, the primary question of the present research is، what is the role and function of Iranian myths in delineation of Iranians’ identity and their attitudes towards the international system?. In response, I hypothesize that, Iranian myths, as important common meaning constructs in the Iranian mindset, have contributed to the formation of national identity and Iranian international attitude by drawing Iran’s territorial boundaries, expression of Iranian collective particularities and defining of Iranian society’s functions as a nation-state. To test this hypothesis the concepts related to Iranian myths and the mythic functions during different historical eras are studied.