One of the most important tools utilized by states to maximize their impact in foreign affairs is public diplomacy and to this extent, public diplomacy is considered a source of soft power. The robust use of public diplomacy can enhance and reinforce the soft power of countries. Central Asia is among the regions that have an ever increasing relevance to regional and international affairs in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and is currently considered a critical subsystem for our country. The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards this region is, on one hand, built on the foundation of converging factors in political, economic, and cultural arenas and looking towards opportunities for influence and cooperation. On the other hand, considering the divergent components, it also faces challenges and threats, the sum of which continues to effect the orientation of Iranian foreign policy towards the region. This article will study Iranian public diplomacy in this region and examine the opportunities and challenges, as well as, provide and proper model for a successful public diplomacy in the region of Central Asia, while taking into account the Islamic Republic of Iran’s tools and potential.

Keywords: Public diplomacy, foreign affairs, Central Asia, Islamic Republic of Iran