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Tethered to Sanctions to the Nth Degree:  The Rise and Fall of South Korea in Iran

Shirzad Azad


Although the contemporary trajectory of South Korea’s rather multifaceted connections to Iran is a six-decade-long narrative, a great deal of its staggering successes and sobering setbacks took place just over the past decade and a half, coinciding with the ebbs and flows in the Iranian nuclear issue. The Korean policy response toward the sundry international sanctions levied against Iran in the wake of its contentious nuclear program played an indispensable role in the East Asian nation’s substantially fluctuating relationship with the Iranians in political, economic, technological, and cultural areas. The Koreans could outstrip almost all of their Western and Eastern rivals in Iran when they made it possible for the latter to secure parts of its badly needed economic and technological requirements denied to Tehran because of certain international impediments and restrictions, but the Korean omnipresence throughout the Iranian society set on a swift downward slope as soon as the East Asian state was no longer able to keep serving those sanctioned interests.

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pp. 31–45