Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

David Andrews

Reader 2

Mietek Boduszynski

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Rights Information

© 2014 Kaitlin E. Marshall


In November 2013, the Islamic Republic of Iran reached an interim agreement with six world powers, including the United States. After the agreement was implemented in January 2014, Iran froze uranium enrichment in exchange for limited sanctions relief from the United States. This was the first diplomatic exchange between the United States and Iran in over thirty years. Keeping Iran from the Bomb analyzes how each country’s respective domestic politics and stereotypes of the other have, until recently, impeded diplomacy between the two nations. This study examines American-Iranian relations during the hostage crisis, the Bush administration, and the Obama administration to do the following: analyze what has prevented diplomacy in the past, explain the circumstances that made the interim agreement possible, and show what factors threaten this diplomatic progress. The primary argument of this thesis is that the leaders of both the United States and Iran are encouraged, and often rewarded, by various entities to demonize the other nation. If the leaders of the United States and Iran can convince their domestic constituents that continued cooperation with the other country will be beneficial, diplomacy can move forward.