IRAN’S FOREIGN POLICY AND EVOLVING ROLE OF SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION
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The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the most active players in the framework of South- South cooperation. During the Cold War period Iran treated South-South cooperation as an instrument for providing an independent foreign policy and defending the rights of “oppressed” peoples from the influence of colonizers and imperialists. Nowadays this vector of cooperation is used by Iran as tool for gaining regional superiority in the Middle East and the Muslim world in general. This article describes the Iranian foreign policy strategy and determinants from the Shah Pahlavi period until Hassan Rouhani presidency in order to assess whether the tools used to foster South-South cooperation for becoming regional power and achieving international recognition by the international community were useful. The author uses qualitative methodology in order to answer the following research questions: to analyze the Iran’s foreign policy literature, to identify the SSC initiatives in the post-bipolar era during the presidency of Hashemi Rafsanjani, Khatami, Ahmadinejad and Rouhani, to explain the essence of “non-aligned strategy” and third-worldism. The article also covers the participation of Iran in the international institutions of the Global South, including Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), G77, etc.