Key elements of Shia theology drive Iranian foreign policy

Iranian foreign policy choices are in line with long-standing Shia theological doctrines (photo: dpa)
Iranian foreign policy choices are in line with long-standing Shia theological doctrines (photo: dpa)

The West has reached a stalemate in negotiations with Iran over its pursuit of its nuclear programme. But Middle East expert Bernard Siman puts forward the view that some of the Shia theological doctrines are important drivers of Iranian politics and policies and are influencing the current conflict.

THE WEST has focussed on the traditional and more recognisable aspects of Iranian foreign policy, but it has paid little attention to the impact of Shia theological doctrines on such policies, particularly in the current conflict.

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But three Shia theological doctrines hold the key to understanding many critical Iranian policy drivers...

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