The strategic alliance between Chávez and Ahmadinejad, and its impact on international institutions, from a peripheral-realist perspective

Carmen Pereira Stallaert

Abstract


The Chávez–Ahmadinejad era (2005–13) was marked by a growing rapprochement between Venezuela and Iran not only based on common oil interests but also at the cultural, diplomatic and military level. The objective of this article is to analyse the impact of this counter-hegemonic alignment in the international scene in light of the theory of peripheral realism. First, we briefly outline how the relationship was built during the Chávez and Ahmadinejad presidency underpinned by a shared ideological anti-Americanism. Second, we define the concept of peripheral realism to examine the impact of the Venezuela–Iran partnership in the context of three international institutions: ALBA, OPEC and the UN Security Council. To conclude, we interpret the Iran–Venezuela axis from a peripheral-realist perspective and reflect upon the sustainability of this alliance in the aftermath of Chávez’s death and a change of leadership in both Venezuela and Iran.


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