The Islamic Republic of Iran and the ideal international system
The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) as a revolutionary government hailing from the Islamic Revolution maintains a critical approach towards the current international system. In its view the present international order that dominates and the international system that goes with it is not suitable and should be revised. For this reason the IRI is considered a revisionist country and, contrary to the status quo countries, is trying to bring about revision and gradual changes in the existing international order and system. But the basic question is what type of international system is the country seeking to establish? In other words, what is the most suitable international system in the IRI’s view? Does the IRI aim to overthrow the Westphalian order and the nation-state system that is based on it, or is it working to structurally reform it?
The present chapter aims to provide an answer to this question. A temporary response is that, although based on the Islamic theory of international relations, the Westphalian nation-state system is not a suitable one, and the IRI as a nation-state is trying to establish and create a just international order which is devoid of domination and structural violence. The discussion and testing of this hypothesis will be conducted in three stages. First, definitions and different types of international system will be elucidated. In the second stage, revisionist and justice-seeking principles and sources of the IRI will be reviewed. The third part will be devoted to the enquiry and analysis of mechanisms for the establishment of a just and suitable system that the IRI would find acceptable.