Conflict politics surrounding the advent of ISIS: an Iranian media perspective
Martin, Matthew Allen
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At first glance, Iran and the United States seem to be natural allies in the fight against the Islamic State. However, there has been neither military cooperation between the two countries in this regard nor is there evidence to suggest that the respective governments of these countries understand one another. In a twofold effort of increasing mutual understanding and filling in a gap in media content analysis, this research used qualitative discourse analysis to investigate the Iranian regime’s political narrative surrounding the Islamic State as presented by the regime-affiliated publications Kayhan Farsi and Kayhan English, printed in Farsi and English respectively, from 1 June 2014 to 31 August 2014. The study found that while both Iranian regime publications advocated for the same political ends, they did so via different means; generally, Kayhan Farsi justified its stances on various issues by scapegoating the United States and Israel while Kayhan English favored legalistic arguments seemingly designed to persuade English speakers to the regime position. The harsh anti-American tone taken by the Iranian regime makes any counter-ISIS cooperation beyond military de-confliction appear unlikely.