Galyna Mingazutdinova, PhD (History), Historian of the Science and Research Department (History Department, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv)


In late 1990s – early 2000s, the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia became an arena of specific geopolitical standoff, also known as The New Great Game. The vanishing of the USSR from the political map resulted in the emergence of the newly independent states and of the new external powers interested in occupying the niche of the bygone superpower. To counter the United States’ presence in the region, a number of potential competitors rose. Among them, China, Russia, Turkey and Iran shall be named. While the USA promoted their foreign policy towards Central Asia proceeding from the contemporary history, their respective opponents, namely Iran, had a huge historical background to justify its relations with Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. However, the existence of shared historical heritage had few in common with the actual geopolitical success in the region. Firstly, the Central Asian countries themselves decided to keep to the multilateral foreign policy and receiving any kind of assistance from the external partners to promote themselves on the international arena without taking any heritage background into consideration. Secondly, external financial and military assistance governed the issue of who may dominate in Central Asia. Thirdly, the general geopolitical interests of the great powers in Central Asia happened to be deeply interrelated and claimed more for cooperation that to competition to implement them. To this end, a mixture of joint and opposed actions taken by the superpowers in Central Asia proved to be inevitable.

USA, Central Asia, Iran, Middle East, cooperation

Full text


1. FULLER, G. (1992) Central Asia. The New Geopolitics. Santa Monica: National Defense Research Institute.
2. MAYER, M. (2008) US Grand Strategy and Central Asia: Merging Geopolitics and Ideology. Oslo: Defense and Security Studies.
3. DAVIS, J., SWEENEY, M. (2004) Central Asia in U.S. Strategy and Operational Planning: Where Do We Go From Here? Washington, D.C.: The Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis.
4. BLANK, S. (2005) After Two World Wars: Reflections on the American Strategic Revolution in Central Asia. Carlisle: Strategic Studies Institute.
5. AKBARZADEH, S. (2005) Uzbekistan and the United States. Authoritarism, Islamism and Washington’s Security Agenda. London: Zed Books, 2005.
6. MACFARLANE, N. (2004) The United States and Regionalism in Central Asia. International Affairs. No. 80, 3. P. 447 – 461.
7. WASTNIDGE, E. (2017) Central Asia in the Iranian geopolitical imagination. Cambridge Journal of Eurasian Studies. 1.#YRJ04.
8. SHAFIEV, A. (2016) Iran and Tajikistan: A Story of Love and Hate. Central Asia Policy Brief. No. 34.
9. KOZHANOV, N. Iran is Struggle for Influence in Post-Soviet Central Asia: Main Goals and Driving Factors [Online] – Available from: (Accessed June 5, 2017).
10. PEYROUSE, S. Iran’s Growing Role in Central Asia? Geopolitical, Economic and Political Profit and Loss Account [Online] – Available from: (Accessed June 5, 2017).
11. FITZGERALD, E., VIRA, V. (2011) U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: Competition in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Pakistan. Washington D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies.
12. KATZ, M.N. (2013) Russia, Iran and Central Asia: Impact of the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan. Iran Regional Forum. No. 3.
13. RUMER, E. (2002) Flashman’s Revenge: Central Asia after September 11. Strategic Forum. No. 195.
14. RICE, C. (2011) No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington. New York: Broadway Paperbacks.
15. MCMULLIN, R. (2003) Caspian Sea Regional Security in the XXIst Century. Carlisle: US Army War College.
16. RUMER, E. (2006) China, Russia and the Balance of Power in Central Asia. Strategic Forum. No 223.
17. ATKIN, M. (1992) Tajikistan’s Relations with Iran and Afghanistan. Washington D.C.:The
National Council for Soviet and East European Research.
18. GROGAN, M. (2000) National Security Imperatives and the Neorealist State: Iran and
Realpolitik. Unpublished Thesis (PhD), Naval Postgraduate School.
19. Central Asia and the Transition in Afghanistan. A Majority Staff Report Prepared for theUse of the Committee on Foreign Relations. (2011) United States Senate. One Hundred TwelfthCongress, First Session, December 19, 2011 [Online] – Available from: (Accessed December 12, 2013).
20. MYERS, P. (2011) Why Hairatan Gate Matters [Online] – Available from: (Accessed November 11, 2013).
21. PEYROUSE, S., IBRAIMOV, S. (2010) Iran’s Central Asia Temptations. Current Trends in Islamist Ideology. Vol. 10. P. 87 – 101.
22. International Contact Group on Afghanistan held meeting of unprecedented level – Kazakh FM (2011) [Online] – Available from: (Accessed December 20, 2013).
23. Turkmenistan Plans Gas Pipeline to Iran (2009) [Online] – Available from: (Accessed June 5, 2017).
24. President: Turkmenistan Attaches Great Importance to U.S. Cooperation (2014) [Online] – Available from: (Accessed June 5, 2017).
25. BENDINI, R. (2013) Turkmenistan: Selected Trade and Economic Issues. Policy Briefing Brussels: Directorate-General for External Policies.
26. RAMANI, S. (2016) Has Iran Finally Found a Security Partner in Central Asia? [Online] – Available from: (Accessed June 5, 2017).
27. CARPENTER, T.G. (2014) The West and Iran in Central Asia: More Competition of Coordination? [Online] – Available from: (Accessed June 5, 2017).

DOI: 92