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  • Author: Hossein Pour-Ahmadi, Sajad Mohseni
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Developments relating to the Islamic Awakening in the Middle East, especially in 2011, influenced and intensified, more than ever, the efforts made by the Obama Administration to securitize nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In fact, these activities have always been one of the major preoccupations for the foreign policy the USA. Obama followed up seriously on what George Bush did, especially during his second term. The approach of both US presidents, predicated on considering the Iranian nuclear energy programme as a threat against the US and its interests, has its root in the security-oriented approach, and its adverse consequences, towards the Iran. Therefore, a major part of Iran's foreign policy has been influenced by nuclear activities. This paper proposes to consider the process of securitizing Iran's nuclear file, especially under Obama's administration, on the basis of the conceptual pattern provided by the Copenhagen School and from speech act and action perspectives. This paper seeks also to answer the question as to what methods Obama has used to securitize Iran's nuclear file. It presupposes that the attempts to isolate Iran have been made through speech act and actions.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Mohammad Reza Maleki, Farzad Mohammadzadeh Ebrahimi
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Israel began its nuclear weapons program in 1958. Ever since the state of Israel has pursued a consistent policy of nuclear ambiguity, and has amassed over time a huge nuclear arsenal. The United States, as Israel's strategic ally, and despite some initial misgivings in the early 1960s, has actively supported this policy of nuclear ambiguity. Faced with such a situation, other countries in the region have tried, since 1963, to work towards the establishment of a nuclear- and WMD-free Middle East, which has failed to materialize up to now. The present article looks into the development of the nexus between the Israeli nuclear ambiguity policy and regional efforts towards the establishment of a nuclear- and WMD-free Middle East. The article will discuss the rationale of the Israeli outlook and policy and their implications and repercussions for the countries in the region, and the region at large. The article argues that the Israeli nuclear policy and the categorical refusal to join the NPT have as a matter of fact served as a source of national security threat for others in the region, led some to seek to acquire nuclear capability, and forced arms race on a regional scale. The article concludes that issues of interest and concern to all the parties involved would, in the final analysis, have to be addressed within the context of and in relation to other issues, including in particular, the nexus between regional peace and the nuclear issue. The authors' final conclusion is that meaningful movement in such a direction will require and depend on the emergence of a realistic outlook on the part of all parties concerned.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: On 19 October 2010 a two-session roundtable was held at the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) with the participation of a delegation from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). The SWP delegation, a guest of the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) – the Foreign Ministry's think tank - engaged with Iranian experts in a wide-ranging discussion on Iran– EU relations as well as on regional issues of common interest. In the first session on regional issues, the war in Afghanistan and the Middle East peace process were discussed.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, Middle East, Germany
  • Author: Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the last couple of seasons, the Arab world has been engulfed by popular uprisings. What was sparked by a young Tunisian man's self- immolation, by any definition in social science, has evolved into a turning point in the Middle East and North Africa. Some observers have compared recent events with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I, resulting in the birth of a new regional order. All concerned players in international and regional politics have demonstrated a high degree of sensitivity to this indeed remarkable shift and have been trying to cope with a plethora of analytical as well as policy challenges. In this equation, how does the Iranian perspective on these developments look like? Taking into account that there are a wide range of views in the Iranian discourse on the Arab uprisings on the one hand, and the exigencies of Iranian neighborhood with the Arab world, on the other there is no single way to discern "the Iranian view". However, an Iranian perspective may be recognized by looking at Iran's views on the nature and direction of the Arab uprisings, as well as the opportunities and challenges these developments pose for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Erzsébet N. Rózsa
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: It is widely held that the 21st century will be China's century on the global stage, while Iran, in the beginning of the 21st century, is becoming a regional power in the Middle East even if the limits to its power can be questioned. Both countries stand practically alone, without allies in a world that looks upon their expansion unfavourably, if not with outright hostility. The 21st century, however, will not be the period of gaining influence by military means, even if the use of military force cannot be excluded. One of the main characteristics of both the Chinese and the Iranian expansions is economic expansion. Chinese presence is booming in the Middle East. Iran has developed a significant economic activity in Western Afghanistan, then in Iraq. Both countries look back on ancient civilisations, to which they frequently refer to and which contributes to their perceptions of the surrounding world. China has traditionally perceived itself as the centre of the universe. Iran, by the right of its Islamic revolution of 1979, wishes to be the leading power of the Islamic world. Ayatollah Khomeini was speaking of Islam, in spite of the fact that the Islamic government put forward by him is rooted in Shiite Islam. This leading role seems to return under the presidency of Ahmadinejad – even if in a new form. 11 September 2001 has created the moving space for Iran in which it can become a regional power.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, West Asia
  • Author: Mohammad Farazmand
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The fall of the Tunisian and Egyptian rulers as a result of the popular uprisings in the Arab World was the harbinger of vast, surprising developments, which rapidly restored self-confidence to the Arab Street, attracting the attention of international actors and observers to the revived power of a new player affecting developments in the Middle East. Although in contemporary history, Arab public opinion has been tense at most times and always been present in the margins or core of developments, it failed to be involved in developments as extensively as it recently did. In addition, in contemporary Arab history, this is the first time that rulers have been dismissed as a result of popular pressure and street protests. This article examines the developments and uprisings in the Arab world in 2011 in light of the change in behavior and increased capability of Arab public opinion. In particular, this article assesses the reasons for the lack of democracy among the Arabs, and differences between the recent uprisings, and protests and movements in the past decade. The main argument of this paper is that the change in political behavior of the Arab youth and new political elites is a result of change in their political outlook and redefinition of the self and the other in their relationship with domestic rulers and foreign powers. The article tries, using an epistemological approach, to portray the character of the new Arab uprisings; arguing that they are different from other uprisings in contemporary history in terms of form, content and people's demands. In this picture, Arab nationalism and Salafist Islamism, which promote transnational ideals, are declining on the horizon of new uprisings. Instead, a new Arab political identity with an anti-despotic, pluralist and democracy-seeking approach is expanding.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Kourosh Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The paper aims to critically consider the proposition maintaining that the contemporary state of affairs between Iran and the Arab world results from an endemic, deep-rooted enmity between these two peoples with roots in the annals of history. To elucidate its argument, the paper offers a brief review of the major ups and downs in the historical relationship between Iranians and Arabs to see whether animosity or good-neighbourliness has mainly prevailed. Then, seeking to pinpoint the causes of uneasiness in the Iranian-Arab relationship since the 1950s, the focus of the paper turns to the formation of pan-Arab ideology and its strong anti-Iranian elements. Major differences in outlooks, coupled with territorial and diplomatic disagreements, had Nasserite Egypt and especially Ba'athist Iraq embrace these elements and begin implementing them to their full and extreme extent at a time when a monarchical West-leaning regime was in power in Iran. The paper concludes that the uneasiness in Iran-Arab relations during the past five to six decades has been situational and a modern phenomenon, chiefly stemming from specific political circumstances with certain roots in nation-building activities in the concerned countries. Hence, historical and ethno-religious or civilizational roots of this strained relationship are either non-existent or insignificant.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Amir H. Zamaninia
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The idea of establishing a Weapons of Mass Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East is not new; it dates back to 1970's. today has compelled most analysts to look at the idea and the concept anew. Most regard the potential arms race in the Middle East to seriously jeopardize the prospects for long term stability and balance of power in the region. Israel, Iran and Egypt seem to have the main regional role in making or breaking this idea for another forty years. The absence of real Israeli conflict and the hesitant international expectation to make some movements in that front, as well as Iran's nuclear program being considered at the UN Security Council, where Iran is being practically considered guilty until pr window of opportunity to creative thinking and planning for advancing the idea of Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Evangelos Venetis
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The field of Iranian Studies was developed in the West as a means of exploring the unknown civilization of Iran in the aftermath of the Renaissance and during the political expansion of some Western countries towards East, starting from the 16th century. The establishment of Iranian Studies as a sub-field of Middle Eastern and Asian Studies resulted from practical necessities which Western nations faced in their efforts to understand the Iranian world and civilization at a time of their political advancement in the region. Throughout the twentieth century the field of Iranian Studies has advanced academically. While geopolitical balance in the region has remained essentially unaltered, and Iran has retained and even increased its geopolitical importance in the region. Thus Western interest in Iranian affairs, culture and mentality similarly increased.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Zahra Tavakkoli
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The author's main hypothesis in the book Iran, the New Iraq, and the Political-Security System in the Persian Gulf is that the overthrow of the Ba'athist regime in Iraq and the subsequent emergence of a Shi'ite-dominated government has created a favorable situation for Iran and significantly increased its potential for a much stronger role in the Persian Gulf, and on a larger scale in the entire Middle East. In his analysis, such a potential is much facilitated by the enhanced possibility of a strategic cooperation between the New Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran, hence providing greater opportunities for a more activist regional and international foreign policy. The crux of the author's argument in the book revolves around the necessity of adoption of new approaches in the Iranian foreign policy towards the New Iraq and the Persian Gulf region.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East