عنوان مقاله [English]
Trade is crucial to international interaction, and spreading fluctuations among countries. Regarding the importance of this issue for Iran, appropriate trading partners in machinery and transport equipment in import sector for Iran are examined in this study using network theory. Therefore, by constructing a composite index based on the structural network measures, potential trading partners for Iran are introduced. The potential trading partners' characteristics are twofold. First, the proposed trading partners can improve Iran's structural position in the international trade network. Second, the potential substitutes for current trading partners are beneficial in case current trading partners alleviate or stop their trade relations with Iran. Therefore, substituting or strengthening trade links with this group of potential trading partners can lead to an insignificant change in Iran's structural position in the international trade network. Results show that half of current major trading partners of Iran are among powerful trading partners in the international trade network with high structural characteristics. Also, potential trading partners and their substitutes are introduced using the composite index. Results imply that strengthening trade links with China, Republic of Korea, Germany, France, and Japan can enhance Iran's structural position in the trade network. Besides, creating or strengthening trade links with the potential substitutes for the UAE, Russia, Italy, Turkey, and India may maintain Iran's structural status in the international trade network. Particularly, in case of any disruptions by Iran's current major trading partners, having trade with their potential substitutes would preserve Iran's structural position in trade networks.