Syed Imran Sardar and Amna Nisar

Mr Syed Imran Sardar is a Research Analyst at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad.

Ms Amna Nisar is an Assistant Research Officer at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad.

DOI: http://DOI Number

Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, Iran foreign policy, nuclear sanctions, Iran nuclear deal, joint comprehensive plan of action


This study responds to one central question, i.e., whether Iran’s moderate foreign policy approach remained intact in the aftermath of the collapse of the nuclear deal or not? For this purpose, the study conducts a Critical Discourse Analysis of Rouhani’s and Raisi’s speeches at the United Nations. The study applies Teun A. van Dijk’s framework of analysis to find underlying ideologies of positive self-presentation and negative other representation in the selected corpus. Findings reveal that there was no significant increase in negative other representation except for the United States and Israel. The study also finds that there was less use of hyperbolism and rhetoric lexicalisation. The study concludes that Iran’s foreign policy behaviour in the post-JCPOA collapse era was neither conservative nor moderate. It can rather be attributed as ‘rational’. The stress on effective and result-oriented engagements with the US and the European Union and the opening up to anti-ideological blocs appear to be a result of realistic calculations of strategic and economic challenges and opportunities. The study uses van Dijk’s selected discursive strategies that sync with positive self and negative other representation. These findings have larger implications for future nuclear negotiations, the fight against terrorism, Middle Eastern security, and Iran’s relations with Afghanistan, the West, and Saudi Arabia.

First Published

September 25, 2021

How to Cite

Syed Imran Sardar and Amna Nisar, “Critical Discourse Analysis of Iran’s Foreign Behaviour after US-Withdrawal from the JCPOA,” Regional Studies 39, no.3 (Autumn 2021): 61-87,


Volume 39, Issue 3