Determining the Factors Affecting Iran-Iraq Relations Based on James Rosenau Theory of Continuity

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Political Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of National Security, Faculty of Security, Higher National Defense University, Tehran, Iran.


determining the Factors Affecting Iran-Iraq Relations Based on James Rosenau Theory of Continuity

Extended Abstract :


Iran and Iraq are two key practitioners in the important and strategically Persian Gulf region, their bilateral relations in different historical periods have been a function of geographical situation, political structures in both countries, intra-regional political and social developments, and the interventions of world and regional powers. Undoubtedly, since fall of Saddam and the change of political rule in Iraq and the presence of "Shia" groups in the structure of political power in Iraq, relations between these two countries have shifted from a state of conflict to a strategic alliance and cultural, religious, security and economic commonalities and existence of some cultural, religious, security participations can strengthen bilateral relations in the future. Orienting Iran-Iraq relations towards greater interactions and reducing tensions and establishing relations within the framework of intra-regional diplomacy, far from interfering with its supra-regional powers, it can pave the way for a bright future to create regional integration and unity in the Persian Gulf geopolitics. Although with the fall of Saddam and the establishment of a new government have paved the way for the expansion of bilateral relations and interaction between Iran and Iraq, but recognizing important and key factors influencing the future of relations between the two countries in order to understand the relationship and the adoption of a proportionate strategy and the application of smart diplomacy in order to expand bilateral relations is very important and vital.

Also not paying attention to the important and key factors affecting the relations between the two countries has two consequences, in the short term, divergent forces will prevail and the relations between countries will get cold, and in the long term, due to the specific geographical constraints of having free access to international high seas for Iraq, tension will commence and causes conflict and ultimately damage the national interests and values of the country.


Due to the nature of the subject, the research is applied in terms of purpose and result; In terms of nature and method, it is a combination of descriptive-analytical and survey approach (interviews with experts and questionnaires), and data collection is done by use of related documents, resources (books, articles, Internet) and questionnaire.

The research process is as follows: in the first stage, by study of previous scientific documents and records and the use of familiar experts with relevant scientific background in order to select experts, target sampling method was used. First, the factors related to the five variables of James Rosenau continuity model -person, role, government, society and environment- are identified and using the opinion of 20 experts, the most important factors related to each variable are determined and finally the estimation and analysis related to each variable was done.

Results and discussions:

In this research, considering the theory of continuity of James Rosenau, which as a combined theory and based on five basic variables (individual personality, role, government, society and environment) analyzes the relations between countries as a theoretical framework of the research. The main goal: to determine the important factors affecting Iran-Iraq relations based on the theory of James Rosenua. And In the first stage, in order to identify and determine the factors affecting Iran-Iraq relations, by reviewing the records and previous relevant scientific research, as well as distributing a questionnaire among 20 experts, 39 factors related to five variables: person, role, government, society. And the environment, according to James Rosenau's theory of continuity, was identified separately.

In the next step, in order to identify and determine the important and key influential factors of each of the five variables, by distributing a questionnaire among 20 familiar experts with occupational and scientific background related to the research topic, and using the Likert method, the number of 39 factors obtained were scored by experts and after averaging the scores related to each factor, 23 factors that received an average of more than 4 were selected as important and key factors and each of which was analyzed and estimated.


Iran and Iraq are two of developing countries where decision-making is individual and relies more on individual decisions, and there are interests within such developing governments that it is even more important to the leaders of these governments than nationality and territory. Such as: ideology, ethnicity, religion, etc., and therefore the political leaders of these countries are mainly interested in unison with other political systems that have similar concerns and establish bilateral relations. Therefore, the individual variable has a very influential and key role compared to other variables.

On the other hand, the geopolitical outputs of the region are mainly influenced by the differences, rivalries and differences of powerful regional countries and the transformation of the international and regional environment, which strengthens and accompanies global and European competitions, especially United States and Russia. And it influences the foreign policy orientation of bilateral and multilateral relations.

Noting that in the last few centuries in the West Asian region and therefore the environmental variables and related factors have a significant role and impact on developments and relations between the countries of the region .Overall, according to the James Rosenau continuity model, two individual and environmental variables and their related factors have the most role and impact than other variables in the relations between the two countries. And the factors related to each of these two variables should be considered more than other factors in planning foreign policy and bilateral relations by the diplomatic apparatus, and the strategies adopted by the country's foreign policy based on these two variables and the factors related to them should be considered and compiled.

Keywords: Iran, Iraq , foreign policy, continuity model, James Rosenau's theory.


Main Subjects

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