explaining and analyzing iranian fp

You will use the attached spreadsheet to complete two assessments. In the spreadsheet you will see that I have created two copies of a “correlation matrix” of the 8 most popular broad factors that are shaping Iranian foreign policy today.

In Step 3a you will ask yourselves the question: are each of these factors related to the others? To do this in rigorous fashion you will use the correlation matrix to examine each bivariate relationship – obviously just in a gut sense way, not a quantitative one. This step is super useful when you have – as we have in this case – a ton of potentially interesting variables at work. REalizing that some of them are highly correlated can help you decide what things to keep, ditch, combine, etc.

In Step 3b you will then ask yourselves the question: which of these factors are the most important? To do this you will use a second copy of the correlation matrix, this time simply indicating which of the two factors in each comparison you think is the most powerful. Again, when you have a bunch of stuff flying around taking this structured approach can really help.

Finally, once you are done with the spreadsheet, answer these questions in a word document.

1. Which factors on the board are most highly correlated, and what insights does that suggest both for explaining Iranian foreign policy but also from the international perspective of creating policy to deal with Iran?

2. Which 2 or 3 factors on the board do you think are most important based on your assessment? Again, what does that suggest re efforts to understand Iranian behavior moving forward?

3. What do the key factors you’ve identified suggest to you about the evolution (or lack thereof) of Iran’s nuclear weapons program? What is going to determine whether that happens? Is it something the US and international community have much influence over, or not?

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