ACMCU Visiting professor Dr. Shireen Hunter explained that the main thesis of her latest book " Iran's Foreign Policy in the Post-Soviet Era: Resisting the New International Order" is that Iran's leadership has not adequately realized the dimensions of changes which the collapse of the Soviet Union has caused in the character of the international political system and have thus failed to adjust Iran's foreign policy to the new systemic realities.
She went on to explain how the USSR's collapse has enhanced the position of the West, especially the United States, in the international system, without, however, leading to the emergence of a multipolar system, while also undermining the position of anti-west countries. Iran, which lies in close proximity of the former Soviet Union, has been particularly and adversely affected by these systemic changes.Yet, she pointed out, Iran has pursued a policy of resisting the new system and at times openly challenging it. The best example of this Iranian attitude has been its inability to change its policy toward the United States and Israel. This continued estrangement from the US has enabled Iran's rivals in the region, and even countries such as India and Russia, to use it to advance their own interests, while Iran has been unable to retaliate because of its problems with the US. In fact, despite the conventional wisdom, Hunter pointed out in that in the Middle East, as well as South and Central Asia, Iran has pursued a concessionary policy. Hunter attributed the main reasons for this counterproductive Iranian foreign policy to certain ideological characteristics of the Islamic regime, but even more importantly to intense rivalry among Iran's political leadership.