Baker Scholar Projects


Comprehensive Overview and Proposal for Future Iranian-American Relations

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In the absence a cohesive examination of the history between the United States and Iran, it is the goal of this analysis to present such an examination, starting at the 1951 election of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and continuing until the brink-of-war developments in January 2020. By understanding and recognizing the events and their subsequent effects, the analysis thus proposes that the United States and Iran should negotiate / ratify an agreement similar to that of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in order to alleviate the tensions exacerbated in 2020. Therein, a brief summarization and analysis of two guiding political philosophies, offensive realism as described by John Mearsheimer and liberal institutionalism as portrayed in Robert Axelrod’s Prisoner’s Dilemma, are examined in order to propose which should act as the guiding principle for future relations. In this manner, Robert Axelrod’s Prisoner’s Dilemma ultimately becomes this analysis’ philosophy of choice / recommendation. Though not exploratory into the necessary mandates within an agreement, it is noted that a new agreement would likely involve more concessions on the side of the United States than that of its 2013 counterpart and would likely need to be ratified as a treaty by the United States’ Senate. In meeting these conditions, the new agreement would prove to be more long-lasting in the face of administrative changes yet also more politically divisive.

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