Iranian Energy Policy towards the South Caucasus from the Perspective of Neo-Liberalism Theory
This paper examines the energy policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards the South Caucasian states from the perspective of Neo–Liberal IR theory. Significant attention is paid to energy because the trade of this commodity is the most crucial part of bilateral relations between Iran and the countries inhabiting the South Caucasus. The main argument of this paper is that material state considerations, not Islamic ideology define Iran‘s energy policy in the South Caucasus. Neo–liberal theory, which favors the achievement of goals with the help of soft power and gaining comparative advantage for all parties, over absolute advantage for one side, is used as the main method for discussing the relations. A short background is provided to Iran‘s relations with each South Caucasian country, followed by an extensive review of the current state of affairs of the relations. It is demonstrated that Iran has managed to preserve normal relations with all the three countries, which supports the initial argument.