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  • Author: Amir Sajedi
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: India and Israel share many common characteristics such as having emerged from a colonial past of the British Empire, and having a parliamentary system which encompasses moderate and radical forces. In spite of this shared background, for nearly four decades, India did not show interest in establishing complete diplomatic relations with Israel, and in general supported and voted for defense of the Palestinians and the Arab Middle-Eastern governments and for condemnation of Israel in world bodies such as the United Nations. However the broad changes in the world stage arising in the 1990's such as the break-up of the Soviet Union, the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent crisis in the Middle-East, the rise of the price of oil, the reduction in the remittances sent back to India by the returning Indian workers from Arab countries, and also the change of the political climate in India, the increase in support for the right wing (B J P) all changed the direction of the attitudes of most Indian politicians towards Israel. But developing Indo-Israel relations does not affect Indo- Iran's relations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Iran, India, Israel, Kuwait, Palestine
  • Author: Mohammad Javad Bakhtiari
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The US-UK special relation has always been an attractive and important issue in international relations. The pro-American tendencies of the British and their partnership with American policies as opposed to being willing to more clearly align with the EU and other European countries, have raised various questions in the minds of scholars. Now, considering that David Cameron's Premiership is coming to an end and the next year's election in the UK and also the different challenges which Barack Obama faced in foreign affairs during his presidency along with his declining popularity in the US, this paper is going to find out whether the Anglo-American special relations have already came to an end or not. At the end, the Anglo-American dispute over Iran would be also examined. The Constructivism theory of international relations has been used here to analyze data which have been gathered from library sources and various other internet resources. It is concluded that the Anglo-American special terms which started after the Second World War and were deepened in the Cold War, have lost its strength in one way or another – especially after Bush-Blair era- and is waiting for a new shape with the change of British Premiership.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: America, Iran
  • Author: Nadia Helmy
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, Chinese Iranian and Middle East Studies have become more and more systematic, which is reflected not only in the great volume of publication, but also in the varied research methodologies and the increase in Iranian and Middle East academic journals. The development of Chinese Middle East studies have accelerated in particular after Arab Spring revolutions and the political changes in the Middle East (2000- 2013). Research institutes evolved from state-controlled propaganda offices into multi-dimensional academic and non-academic entities, including universities, research institutes, military institutions, government offices, overseas embassies and mass media. At the same time, publications evolved from providing an introduction and overview of Iran and Middle Eastern states to in-depth studies of Middle East politics and economics in three stages: beginnings (1949- 1978), growth (1979- 1999), and dealing with energy, religion, culture, society and security. The Middle East-related research programs' funding provided by provincial, ministerial and national authorities have increased and the quality of research has greatly improved. And finally, China has established, as well as joined, various academic institutions and NGOs, such as the Chinese Middle East Studies Association (CMESA), the Asian Middle East Studies Association (AMESA) and the Arabic Literature Studies Association (ALSA). However, Chinese Middle East Studies remain underdeveloped, both in comparison with China's American, European, and Japanese studies at home, and with Middle East studies in the West.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Politics, Religion, Culture, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mahmood Shoori
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran led to serious differences and disputes between the new revolutionary government on the one hand and major world powers as well as countries in the region on the other. Many analysts have, attributed this to the idealism of Iran's revolutionary leaders and their attempts to export the revolution. Often in these works, without paying attention to the events of the years after the revolution, the roots of this aggressive foreign policy are sought in the thoughts and actions of the new revolutionary leaders. This paper, while criticizing this approach, will seek to confirm the hypothesis that the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran was molded principally by actions and reactions that took place between 1980 and 1983 between Iran and the aforementioned nations. In other words, the new foreign policy was not created to be inherently aggressive, but a series of interactive communications, in the outlined time period, have influenced the contours of this new identity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Alireza Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Having reached an interim accord in Geneva, two governments with a tortured political history must now work to sell it and the diplomatic strategy they have laid out to their own constituencies back home. In this paper, the role of the United States Congress in the process of developing American foreign policy in general and, in the current matter of Iran's nuclear file in particular will be examined. To do so, it describes the history of the relationship between the White House and Congress and then examines the difficult task of the Obama administration to garner support for its strategy in Congress. It reviews the reservations voiced by many in Congress regarding the Geneva nuclear interim accord as well as their misgivings regarding a final agreement. As the matter at hand involves high stake politics in the Middle East, it may carry grave consequences for the status quo in the region. The possible ramifications and the way this effects the position of those in Congress will also be explored. Lastly, since lobby groups have historically had a major role in American foreign policy towards the Middle East, their extensively-discussed role in this case as well as challenges they face will also be touched upon. In general, this paper proposes to describe specifically the way the US policy towards Iran is being formulated and what role Congress plays in the process. Effort will be made to find out to what extent the domestic politics has an impact on the approach of Congress towards Iran and how Congress may be influenced by Middle East regional powers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Seyed Ali Monavari, Farhad Atai
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: What paved the way for the establishment of the foreign policy of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran? This paper seeks to analyze the phenomenon of the construction of the enemy image in the diplomatic history of Iran from 1798 to 1921 and assess its historical roots as it can be useful for the understanding of the attitudes of Iranian policy makers towards the West. The authors' proposal is to explain the construction of enemy image in a historical context in the cognitive structure of Iranian political leaders towards the great powers in the 20th century until the advent of the Islamic Revolution in February 1979. In doing so, the authors have proposed the following hypothesis: With the continuation of Iran's diplomatic relations with Western powers (Great Britain and Russia) under the Qajar dynasty in 1798, a process took shape which gradually led to the construction of an enemy image in the cognitive structure of future Iranian statesmen in the Pahlavi era, underpinning their political relationships with contemporary powers. The authors' findings include the notion that the historical process in question under the Qajar Dynasty involved a combination of military domination, political influence and economic exploitation by the aforementioned powers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Iran
  • Author: Farajollah Ali Ghanbari
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This paper compares and contrasts Russian policy towards Iran in the early years of 20th century which led to the Anglo-Russia convention of 1907 with the Soviet Union's policy towards Iran during Iran-Iraq war in 1980s. It will explain Russia's involvement in the Great Game with British Empire in regard to expansion of its sphere of influences in Persia. With this in mind, this paper will address both internal and external factors in this period which turned Russia and Britain's competition into an alliance – the Anglo-Russia entente. The Soviet policy towards Iran will also be discussed from the time of the overthrown of the Shah's regime and the establishment of the Islamic Republic up to mid-1987 when the Iran –Iraq war ended. Based on this study, we will conclude that the Russian/Soviet policy towards Iran was constant and the spirit of expansionism lied at the very nature of their foreign policy. They were aggressive when they were a hegemonic power in the region and they compromised with rivals when they were weak.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Iran, Soviet Union, Persia
  • Author: Tahereh Hadian
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This article explores Iranian women's identities reflected in documentary films made during the post revolution era. By doing so, it draws attention to the complexities of representation with regard to the position of women and the current cultural policies in Iran from a legal, religious, and traditional point of view. The documentary films are divided into two categories: those made by Iranians residing in Iran and those made by the Diaspora documentary filmmakers, we then examine and compare their content and themes. This will in turn demonstrate the relationship between the two groups of Iranian documentary film makers and the subjects they address. The selected documentaries made in Iran for this study are sponsored by the state, through the Experimental and Documentary Film Centre (DEFC). This essay will analyze the way the two categories of documentary films [by state and Diaspora] address women's issues through the themes they cover, their agendas, as well as the adopted aesthetics. These documentary films show the social empowerment of Iranian women as active agents in a society that sets obstacles in women's paths. The comparison of the two categories of documentary films may thus show the relation between Iranians residing in Iran and those in the Diaspora, which can play a role in Iran's position internationally. This research looks into three films: Mokarrameh, Article 61 and Divorce, Iranian Style. It will also assess their content and character, and explain what each documentary reflects regarding women's status in society in that particular era with respect to its theme i.e. law, tradition and religion.
  • Topic: Religion, Culture
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Nasser Saghafi-Ameri, Pirooz Izadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The adoption of the Geneva Accord between Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany) to resolve issues related to Iran's nuclear program on November 24, 2013, brought about a series of debates in political circles. In many ways, it could be considered a historic event with international and regional implications and also ushered in a new chapter in Iran-U.S. relations. At the international level, it could have a great impact on the ways in which world affairs are managed. In fact, it was a victory for diplomacy, multilateralism and a thrust towards a multi-polar international system after more than a decade of unilateralism and military interventionist policies with all its catastrophic consequences. At the regional level, by fostering new alignments, it may have a positive impact on current problems; be it elimination of weapons of mass destruction or countering terrorism and extremism that is now expanding beyond the region. The Accord in Geneva also fosters hope for solid and productive relations between Iran and the U.S. after more than three decades of estrangement. Considering that a new geostrategic situation is unfolding in the region, this article tries to answer the questions related to its international and regional implications, as well as its impact on the very delicate issue of Iran-U.S. relations. At the end, some of the major challenges that lay ahead in the implementation of the Accord are examined.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, East Asia, France, Germany
  • Author: Muhammad Salman Khan
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: National interest often forms the core of bilateral ties between states. No matter how much idealism is peddled to explain the unassailability of the State's bilateral relations, the national interests and related diplomatic preferences spawn abrasion in these ties. The change of leadership is a consequence of elections results in a national reassessment of foreign policy. This paper attempts to highlight Pakistan's foreign policy dilemma regarding the walking of a tightrope between Tehran and Riyadh. It is argued that the balancing act of Islamabad in this triad is further complicated in the aftermath of 2013 general elections in Pakistan. The new Nawaz Sharif administration's unveiled connection with the Saudi Kingdom, the current tides in the Saudi-Iran-U.S. triangle, and the impending and complex drawdown of international forces from Afghanistan further confounds the trajectory of Pakistan's foreign policy, especially in the zero sum dynamics of Saudi-Iran rivalry.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iran, East Asia, Tehran, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh
  • Author: Fahimeh Ghorbani, Hamid Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: What impact has the Syrian crisis had on Iran-Turkey political relations? Some analysts argue that divergence in Iranian and Turkish outlooks and roles played in the Syrian crisis have adversely affected their bilateral relationship. But the authors believe that in spite of the conflict in Iran's interests and Turkish policies towards Syria, their broader relations in other areas–security and economy-have prevented the rupture of political relations. In this regards, after the nature of the Syrian crisis is briefly described, Turkish foreign policy strategy in the Middle East will be explained. Then, Turkish-Syrian relations prior to the outbreak of the crisis will be analyzed followed by a discussion of Iranian and Turkish foreign policies towards the Syrian crisis and their impact on their mutual relations. The authors will conclude that although the Syrian political crisis has given rise to certain tensions and adverse consequences in their political relations, their bilateral ties have persisted as manifested in high-ranking diplomatic meetings between their political authorities and in ongoing deliberations on important regional issues.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Elaleh Kooalee, Amir Ebrahimi, Simin Shirazi Mougouee
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Kazakhstan needs the short transit route leading to open waters to supply its demands and export oil and gas to international markets. Iran's territorial status in the heart of Eurasia, has offered new capabilities for commerce, industry, and development to this country. But some factors such as the geopolitics of the region, having the second largest resources of energy in the world, and willingness to allow the presence of trans-regional powers with the aim to reduce dependence on Russia and attract foreign investment, has resulted in the presence of these powers in this country and has created serious obstacles for Iran's more effective participation. The main question of this paper is how has Iran benefited from the opportunity to develop relations with Kazakhstan? The authors analyze the most important factors regarding Iran's geopolitical position and status with regards to the development of its relations with Kazakhstan.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Caspian Sea
  • Author: Davood Kiani
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: 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.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Islam, Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: Iran, Central Asia
  • Author: Abuzar Gohari Moqaddam, Hojatollah Noori Sari
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Diplomatic relationship between Iran and the United Kingdom is one of the most heated debates in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic. The pros and cons of these relations have always been subject to argument and controversy among politicians and academics. This article seeks to analyze diplomatic ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Kingdom, applying the cost-benefit analysis method. In this relationship, the costs and benefits are discussed in three situations including the maintenance, downgrading, and rupture of diplomatic relations. The main question answered by the authors is how diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Kingdom can be analyzed according to the cost-benefit analysis method, and what costs and benefits can be brought about for Iran in case of the rupture, downgrading or maintenance of diplomatic relations with Britain. The final conclusion of this research suggests that under the current circumstances, downgrading diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom can lead to fewer costs and further benefits for the Islamic Republic of Iran in comparison to the other two options.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Iran
  • Author: Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Ali-Reza Niknejad, RamtinSalarian
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The region of the Persian Gulf can be seen as a heartland under the geopolitical influence of which the Arab-Iranian relations are shaped. As one the world's primary and most significant source of fossil-energy exports, the Persian Gulf cobbles together the eight countries of the region in a geopolitical panorama, in which they enjoy similarities in economic and strategic life, as well as security concerns. As well, the challenges of maritime political geography seem to be quite dependent on an established set of standards and agreements in order to remain on solid grounds. Currently, these challenges manifest themselves in four major categories, with substantial geopolitical consequences between the Iranians and the Arabs of the region, and the complexity of their relationships. These include: Religious Controversies, which concern the sectarian geopolitics, propagated under Jordan-Israeli concoction of "Shiite Crescent", Territorial Contentions; with its major controversy over the naming of the Persian Gulf. This article examines the process of territorial conflicts, proceedings and eventually the settlements over the maritime areas of the Persian Gulf in the past five decades. The arrangement of the maritime political geography in the Persian Gulf is a fitting example of former disputes over the border and boundaries within the maritime regions of the world.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Persia
  • Author: Mohammad Reza Abedini Moghanaki, Mohsen Shariatinia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: While during the last few decades developed countries were the main buyers of Iranian export items, in the last couple of years, the developing countries have become the primary destination of Iranian exports. It can be argued that a strategic shift has occurred in the Iranian export orientation. Exploration of the reasons for such a reorientation is of importance. The aim of this research is study of the impacts of international trends on the Iranian export orientation with the emphasis placed on non-oil exports. The primary question of this study is: what factors have contributed to the change in Iran's export orientation? The hypothesis posed in response to the question is that: the trend of power transition in the international political economy and intensification of the West's sanctions against Iran constitute key factors in the change. Analyzing Iran's export data, the authors have reasoned that a turn has occurred in the orientation of Iranian export. They have discussed the rise of emerging powers in the international political economy as well as the escalating tension between Iran and the West (manifested in international sanctions) as the two main factors that have contributed to this reorientation. In their point of view, the change in Iran's export orientation is probably permanent which will leave an important imprint on the geopolitical and geo-economic status of Iran.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Tahereh Miremadi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This paper aims to highlight the linkage between domestic public policy and international bargaining power in the realm of science and technology policy. To do so, it constructs a model hybrid of two independent theoretical frameworks: Advocacy Coalition Framework by Paul Sabatier and Double Edged Diplomacy by Peter Evans. The main question to answer is how policy learning at the national level can occur as a result of the factor of enlightenment according to the Advocacy Coalition Framework and the second question is how this learning stretches to the foreign policy sub-system and invigorates the capacity of negotiating team for providing more innovative package of technical instruments or the so-called “win-set”, according to the Double Edged Diplomacy. This hybrid model is applied to the case of nuclear policy/ diplomacy of Iran. Thus, the objective of the paper is twofold: first, it takes on an analysis of the domestic nuclear policy change or readjustment in Iran that has been produced by policy learning. The second objective is to explain how this domestic learning factor overflowed to the foreign policy sub-systems and has provided the country with a new approach to the nuclear negotiations with foreign partners.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Alireza Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The Israel lobby in Washington is a network of organizations and community groups dedicated to influencing American policy towards the Middle East. Their success and access has made them the model for lobbies on Washington's Capitol Hill and US Government. Long known for successfully influencing American policy towards the Middle East, the lobby now faces its strongest challenge in history at a time when it is also facing what it considers a historically significant issue. The interim accord between Iran and members of the P5+1 have led to turmoil in Washington over the wisdom and plausibility of President Obama's diplomatic approach and about the softening of the current US posture towards Iran. In this debate, powerful conservative groups, a number of key Democrats, and the Israel lobby have been pit against progressive groups and Democratic elected officials in the Senate and the White House. In this article, I will briefly look at the history of the Israel lobby in America and explore its evolution as well as investigate the factors that, over time, caused it to take on a hard-line posture and drift towards the right. I will explore the tactics and strategies that the Israel lobby-the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in particular-has undertaken to influence the outcome of events and undermine the possibility of diplomatic conflict resolution. Finally, I will examine the pitfalls and challenges hard-line pro-Israel groups face in effectively pursuing these policies and the long term harm they expose themselves to in alienating progressive and pro-peace groups.
  • Topic: Government, History
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Mohammad Kordzadeh Kermani
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Undertaking research on the political economy of sanctions in Iran covers a wide area of study. In a research project, relevant data and key questions can be collected in order to organize them methodologically and write a book on this issue. In this article, within the conceptual framework of political economy, interactions of a few variables involved in the sanctions on Iran are studied. First, the article explores the immoral aspect and consequently illegal aspect of sanctions as an American policy tool to coerce Iran's behavior regarding its legal right of nuclear enrichment. Then the article sheds light on economic impacts of the sanctions through examples. It also discusses political impacts of the sanctions and practical experience of how Iranians tackle these restrictions. It finally proposes an alternative way to change this hostility dominated environment of the Iran-US relations. This article concludes that As sanctions remain over a prolonged period they tend to become even less effective in achieving their political objectives; the sanctioning countries consequently tend to impose additional, more extensive sanctions, which only promotes further radicalization in both the sanctioned and sanctioning countries. The only way to stop this vicious cycle is for both sides to negotiate in good faith and with open minds.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran
  • Author: Rouhollah Eslami
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Does Iran, which is known in political science literature as a developing, oriental and ancient country, have specific, examinable and predictable models in a way that can be applied to foreign policy studies? In this study the author intends to analyze six models of Iranian foreign policy between the two revolutions (from the constitutional to the Islamic); these patterns have been fluctuating dialectically between an idealism embedded in the Iranian grieving ontology and realism as it relates to the international environment. At the beginning, the nostalgic worldview of Iranians that is a reflection of their subjective collective constructs is analyzed. Then counter-scientism and anti-positivism in Iranian epistemology is studies. The outcome of these two is the absence of realism as the most significant paradigm of foreign policy. In order to prove the assumption, six models of Iranian foreign policy will be briefly assessed with the aim of demonstrating how the unconsciousness of Iranian ancient civilization and mystical and severely anti-science and anti-reality covers have given life to an anti-reality which has caused Iranian foreign policy patterns to be infused with unwarranted idealism. The dialectic between the two different atmospheres, however, has given way to creative models; and the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been efficient and taken the initiative in their design, implementation and assessment.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Mohammad Javad Bakhtiari
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The US-UK special relation has always been an attractive and important issue in international relations. The pro-American tendencies of the British and their partnership with American policies as opposed to being willing to more clearly align with the EU and other European countries, have raised various questions in the minds of scholars. Now, considering that David Cameron's Premiership is coming to an end and the next year's election in the UK and also the different challenges which Barack Obama faced in foreign affairs during his presidency along with his declining popularity in the US, this paper is going to find out whether the Anglo-American special relations have already came to an end or not. At the end, the Anglo-American dispute over Iran would be also examined. The Constructivism theory of international relations has been used here to analyze data which have been gathered from library sources and various other internet resources. It is concluded that the Anglo-American special terms which started after the Second World War and were deepened in the Cold War, have lost its strength in one way or another – especially after Bush-Blair era- and is waiting for a new shape with the change of British Premiership.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom, America, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Hadi Dadmehr
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This paper suggests how, over time, a state like Iran could deliberately develop a number of different reputations in connection with international law and international relations. The theoretical and empirical findings confirm the hypothesis that states with a weak reputation in both international law and international relations should probably put more emphasis on reputation building for 'resolve' rather than for 'compliance' if intended to get the results in the short term. Using reputation as a causal variable to explain Iran's status in the international arena, one could find out that reputational sanctions imposed on Iran, is actually due to its reputation for resolve and toughness in international relations. The paper not only justifies why states, as rational actors, change their dispositional behavior in security area but also provides an empirical study into the analysis of the interdisciplinary function of reputations in this area.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Law
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Farhad Shahabi Sirjani
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In 2012, alongside the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, special media attention was paid to a Fatwa (religious decree) issued by Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, banning all weapons of mass destruction (WMD), nuclear weapons in particular. This study address es some misunderstandings and erroneous claims, about the Fatwa. Its aim is to provide accurate and clear information and to investigate why the Fatwa was issued, its importance, credibility, relevance and relationship to international law. The latter is achieved through examining the Fatwa's legal concordance with international principles regarding nuclear weapons non - proliferation and disarmament, as embodied in the Treaty on the Non - Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In addition to providing sources and texts of the Fatwa, the study pays special attention to its logical consistency and solid historical roots. The Fatwa elaborates and confirms Iran's commitment regarding WMD ban, on the one hand, and Iran's insistence on its NPT right to peaceful uses of nuclear technology, on the other. It is concluded that the commitment undertaken by Iran via the Fatwa, is, in some important respects, more comprehensive and more long - lasting than that Iran has undertaken under the NPT.
  • Topic: International Law, Islam, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Fariborz Arghavani Pirsalami
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This article aims at examining the reasons for the focus of the Iran's foreign policy under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on third world countries, especially Africa and Latin America. With the coming to power of the Ahmadinejad government, Iranian foreign policy orientation underwent a great shift from détente and cooperation with the West to expanding relations with third world countries. In examining the reason for this change, this article argues that a certain kind of perception of constructive doctrine and a reaction to Khatami's foreign policy, failure in converging and a coalition – building with the peripheral environment, and some common views between Iran and Africa and Latin American countries regarding the nature of international order provided grounds for Iranian foreign policy to focus on the third world in this period. For this study the article explores national, regional and international issues. Relying upon a theoretical view based on the level of analysis in foreign policy, the author while studying the main reasons for paying attention to the third world in Iranian foreign policy, explores the grounds and reasons for the realization of this approach in Ahmadinejad's era.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Iran, Latin America
  • Author: Akbar Valizadeh, Seyyed Mohammad Houshialsadat
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The global economy is undergoing a paradigm shift, from a Western-dominated economic model to one that is more complex and multi-polar. The centres of consumption, production, and innovation are no longer concentrated solely in the Western economies, but are shifting to new emergence economies in different continents, specifically China, Russia, Brazil, and India, as well as South Africa, named BRICS. One of the central issues for the future of this new coalition is energy security. This concept is a top priority of policymakers not only in the West hemisphere, but also in countries of the economically emerging world in current and also coming decades. Worldwide demand for primary energy will increase in next years either and based on international forecasts, hydrocarbon will still be the dominant source of energy. Consequently, widespread energy relationships with other oil and gas-rich countries outside BRICS like OPEC, in general, and Iran, in particular, seems much more significant. The latter, as the second country throughout the world in terms of combined fossil reserves, benefits an outstanding geo-economic position. Obviously, Iran would be able to play a prominent role in this respect. So, this question could be raised that what are the main challenges, as well as opportunities for Iran and BRICS in any actual and potential interactions in energy field?
  • Topic: Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Mohammad Javad Bakhtiari, Fariba Hossein Nia Salimi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The article tries to examine Britain's place in EU's policymaking towards Iran. Having in mind the importance of the EU in international stages and also in economic and political matters, the following article has shed light on the ups and downs of Iran's relations with the UK as one of the important EU-nation states and has concluded that an effective but careful and logical relationship with EU member states could expand the space of more collaborations and in this regard Iran can utilize EU's capacities. Britain in contrary to the US has avoided military tools and has chosen a negotiating policy toward Iran and has assured other member states of these negotiations. Iran should choose a definite strategy towards EU based on having a complete knowledge of each member – state and their capabilities and special potentials in cooperation with Iran.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Seyed Sajjadpour
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Iran has marked the 33rd anniversary of the victory of its Islamic Revolution. How can one analyze the foreign policy report card of the Islamic Revolution? It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to discuss the details of the foreign policy-related issues of the Islamic Revolution at the three distinctive, yet related, levels of national, regional and international political dynamics. However, through a careful examination of all foreign policy actions and interactions of the Islamic Republic, we may infer that independence stands as the most dominant prism through which the foreign policy of the political system in Iran can be understood. Independence in the foreign policy decision-making of Iran, as a byproduct of the Islamic Revolution, gave birth to a new regional setting with its global impacts.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Asghar Jafari-Valdani
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The geopolitics of the Strait of Hormuz is one of the main and continuous factors in the Iran-Oman relationship. Iran and Oman are respectively located on the north and south coasts of the Strait. This factor requires them to maintain good-neighborly relations regardless of what happens at the regional or international levels. Iran and Oman assume that there is a close connection between the security of the Strait of Hormuz and their own security. This point strengthens their motivation to maintain a close and friendly relationship. The two countries are aware of the fact that geographical factors are not subject to change. Their geographical proximity via the Strait of Hormuz, Oman's relative remoteness from the Arab world and the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of the Strait have required Iran and Oman to maintain a good, neighborly relationship with one another. On that basis, and despite the fact that Oman has always had close relations with the United States and recently developed its ties with Israel, its friendly relationship with Iran has largely remained intact. This paper seeks to examine the role of the Strait of Hormuz in the relations between Iran and Oman from a historic, economic, strategic and security perspective.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Oman
  • Author: Farhad Atai
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Developments in the Middle East in the past decades, and especially in the past few years, have drawn the world's attention to this region. Never since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century has the region been so volatile and explosive. While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to have a deciding effect on the Middle East, other issues have appeared, further complicating the politics of the region. The stunning socio-political developments in the Arab world during the past year, which started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain are still unfolding and will permanently change the Arab World. Where does Iran fit into the political dynamics of the Middle East in these turbulent times? This paper attempts to answer that question. After a review of the recent developments in the Arab world, it examines the Islamic Republic's position in the region in the light of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, the breakup of the Soviet Union and subsequent developments in Central Asia, the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The paper suggests that the changing geopolitics of the region has positioned Iran in a relatively stronger position vis-à-vis the Sunni-Shi'a debate. It further suggests that three decades after its Islamic Revolution, Iran has matured. This is especially true in the wake of the rising extremist tendencies and groups such as al-Qa'ida in the region. Once the shorter term issues are resolved, Iran can have a moderating influence on the dynamics of the region.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Middle East, Israel, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain
  • Author: Michele Brunelli
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This paper intends to point out that threats and problems related to security and stability are common and affect the entire sub-regional system, necessitating common responses. The paper is structured in three parts. In the first part this paper intends to analyse and explain the concept of security, demonstrating that from a theoretical point of view, it must not be considered as a univocal problem, but regrouping different aspects. The second part of the paper analyses the many sources of instability affecting the Persian Gulf region today, with unavoidable consequences seen in the neighbouring sub-regional systems, such as the Caucasus, Central Asia, European Union, India and China. In the third part this paper will propose some theoretical ideas and pragmatic mechanisms aimed at suggesting different solutions to the issues analysed above. There will also be a review of the proposal for the creation of a common market involving Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as a prelude to a monetary union modelled on the experiences and results of the Euro. The effects of an end to the embargo on Iran will also be assessed. As for military security, I will assess whether the realisation of a sort of a Persian Gulf version of NATO would be possible.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Central Asia, India
  • Author: Ahmad Naghibzadeh
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Conventional history has been invariably transcribed by conquerors and based on certain cognitive foundations. The history of diplomacy, international relations and their governing policies have not only not remained immune to this orientation, but specifically been affected and accordingly developed. The expansion of Western domination which gradually took place after the Renaissance, brought along with itself a development in Western epistemology, summarized as the denial of existents and approval of appearances. Machiavelli and Hobbes were the bearers of this shift in the political sphere. As a result of these changes, morality and human dignity were undermined by the false rationalization of realism. Unfortunately, coinciding with these changes in the West, the Islamic East was going through a downward spiral which started with the Mongol assault and the governance of newly converted Muslim military men who inevitably distorted the facets of theoretical discussions. However, when we skip this era of the Islamic East and go further back to study the scripts of Ancient Iran and the period of Islam's vast development, we will come to find factual and valuable statements derived from fundamental and comprehensive interpretations regarding politics and diplomacy from original sources. This is the exact aim of this study, i.e. to re-extract an Iranian-Islamic approach to diplomacy from proper sources.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, War
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Mehdi Zakerian
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: A review of the events of the past decade and today's demands of the international community demonstrates how the expansion, inclusiveness and universality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Human Rights Covenants serve the common interests of all United Nations member states and nations. Moreover, the consensus of the international community on a series of rules such as the ban on torture and slavery, right to life, freedom of expression and alike - collectively known as fundamental rules of human rights - is inviolable. These two presumptions influence the institutionalization of human rights norms and support for human rights in every corner of the world, including Iran. For this purpose, which strategy can Iran make use of in the process of the universalization of human rights? While many international relations and international law scholars claim that the universality of human rights is a bridge connecting security and progress, putting aside this claim, we propose an answer to the key question of what Iran's optimum strategy towards the universality of human rights should be. This research argues that since every country's culture and native, age-old cultural, religious and national beliefs possess relative grounds of inclusiveness and universality, Iran's optimum strategy should be to seek a cross-cultural character of the fundamental rules of human rights. The author assesses the formation of human rights treaties and Iran's positions, cultural distinctions and types of universalities. Moreover, this study reviews the reservations about, and particular interpretations of human rights as well as theoretical and academic debates concerning the universality of human rights. Lastly, the author discusses cultural relativism and the impact of the cross-cultural character of the fundamental rules of human rights on compromise between relativism and universality of human rights.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Iran, United Nations, Tunisia
  • Author: Vali Kaleji
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Iran was the first state that recognized Pakistan following its independence in August 1947. The Pakistani government reciprocated the act in February 1979, when Islamabad pioneered in recognizing the Islamic Republic of Iran subsequent to the victory of the Islamic Revolution. However, despite the aforementioned, bilateral ties between the two neighbors have undergone immense ups and downs during the past six decades. The victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 put an end to the relations between Iran and Pakistan under the Pahlavi regime, opening a new chapter in Islamabad-Tehran ties that featured a vast spectrum of competition and cooperation. Studying the ties between the two states during the past three decades, this essay discusses and explains the five fixed elements of ideology and religion; identity based on ethnicity; religious extremism; developments in Afghanistan, and the nature of ties between India and Pakistan with a special focus on Kashmir and U.S. policies as principal and invariant variables influencing Iran-Pakistan ties. This article aims at identifying and explaining principle and fixed variables influencing the bilateral ties between Iran and Pakistan at the domestic, regional and international levels. The objective of this research is thus to bring about a better and more comprehensive understanding of existing ups and downs in the links between the two states within the framework of the Southwest Asian sub-system.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iran, Asia
  • Author: Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The recent round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow has attracted the attention of Iran–watchers with a colorful set of expectations, predictions, hopes and frustrations. How can we analyze this perplexing situation? "Players", "perceptions" and "politics" are suitable conceptual frames through which the dynamics of the new round of talks may be understood.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Baghdad, Moscow, Istanbul
  • Author: Kourosh Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the visit of the Iranian President to the Island of Abu Musa on 11 April 2012 and the uproar that followed, a fresh look at the issue is warranted. The concern of this paper is not to discuss the three Islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs, but to briefly review the context which gave rise to the issue of the three islands in the first place and influenced its development to date. The paper tries to place the current controversy surrounding the three islands in its historic perspective, explaining how it grew out of antagonism that marked the relationship between the prevailing global power, Great Britain, and the major regional power, Iran, for 170 years. It aims to address the general policy of Britain during its presence in the Persian Gulf, which aimed in part to control all islands of this waterway. It explains how for 170 years, Britain tried to erode Iranian influence in the Persian Gulf, both directly by asserting its colonial rule over Iranian islands and port districts, and indirectly by claiming Iranian islands for its protégés on the Arab littoral. It shows that this tactic applied to almost all other Iranian islands in one way or another and was not limited to the three islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Iran, Arabia, Island
  • Author: Pirooz Izadi
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Relations between Iran and France have undergone many ups and downs during the past three decades. However, these relations have been on a downward spiral during the past several years. It seems that factors such as recent developments in the Middle East, Iran's nuclear dossier and the two countries' divergent approaches to foreign policy are responsible for this new situation. This article tries to answer the question of why relations between the two countries have reached their lowest point. The author uses the concepts developed in the framework of neo-realist theories emphasizing the necessity of preventing the rise of regional hegemonic powers to argue that France's concerns about Iran's increasing influence in the region, their conflict of interests at the regional level, and Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear technology - which contributes to the enhancement of its influence and can escalate their conflict to the international level - constitute the most important reasons for the unfriendly relations between the two countries.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, France
  • Author: Parvin Dadandish
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The Iran-Europe relations have always been marked with ups and downs. At some points, Iran viewed Europe as an actor replacing the US and tried to tab Europe's political and economical capacities. However, in the end, a number of developments impeded the way and held up rapprochement between the two sides. This paper tries to shed light on the developments in the relationship between Iran and Europe. Moreover, it identifies and analyses obstacles and factors, which impair the relationship. Finally, it proposes ways and means for improving it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Mohammad A. Mousavi, Fatemeh Vafaeezadeh
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Political relations between the United States and post-Revolutionary Iran have been almost constantly in turmoil. Obama's rise to power in the U.S. brought some hope for 'change' and a new drive for good in America's relationship with Iran. This paper studies the four Persian New Year (Nowruz) messages of March 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, sent by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Iranian people. According to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), the rhetoric of Obama has been different in his messages; namely, it has turned from a soft and friendly tone in the first Nowruz message to a more hostile one in his second and third messages. Writers argue that these shifts are due to the long-standing condition of mistrust and fluctuations in the U.S.-Iran relationship on the one hand, and domestic politics during these four years on the other. The fourth message (2012) is mixed with disapproval and blessings, very much due to the U.S. internal politics, as President Obama needs a calm Iran to win the 2012 election. These unprecedented rhetoric measures seemed as great changes toward rapprochement of the broken ties between Iran and the United States. However, the complex U.S. foreign policy decision-making process has paralyzed the President, preventing him from entering a totally different path versus Iran. Furthermore, domestic politics in the U.S. and Iran during the past years show that neither country were ready to set the tone of their politics in tune with a better relationship.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran
  • Author: Vahid Noori
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: One of the major manifestations of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran under the Principlists is its significant changes, particularly in comparison to the eras of reconstruction and reform. This paper seeks to analyze the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this period, utilizing the explanatory capacities of the social identity theory and the analytical concept of status-seeking. The main question of the paper concerns the main reasons behind the change in the foreign policy of Ahmadinejad's government when compared to the governments in the reconstruction and reform eras. There are also some secondary questions: Can we consider a common ground for Iranian foreign policy in all these periods? What is the main difference between the foreign policy in the Principlist period and that of Ayatollah Hashemi and former President Khatami's governments? The first secondary hypothesis argues that Iran has always been a status-seeking state in the regional and international systems. The second secondary hypothesis states that Ahmadinejad's government's foreign policy differed from the two preceding governments simply in its search for status-seeking strategy. The main hypothesis is that the perception of the policy-makers of this period concerning the failure of former governments to attain status goals, political purposes, and U.S. containment policy has been the main reason accounting for the revision of status-seeking strategy in the Principlist period.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iran, United Nations, Sochi
  • Author: Seyed Mahdi Hosseini Matin
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Along with the evident trend of Iran's rising power in the region in recent years, one of the issues that have gained less attention is the obstacles and constraints faced with by the emerging powers in the realm of international politics as they try to acquire further power and influence. In fact, the existing great powers do not show any willingness to accept the rising powers or even try to prevent their advancement by ignoring them. However, given the characteristics of Iran's national power and political system, which is based upon its religious values, typically there are different challenges and constraints ahead of Iran, which are not experienced by the other countries. These challenges arise from Iran's ideological confrontation with the prevailing international system. At the same time, Iran has to continue its life in this international system and even to increase its power. Is it possible to suggest a special behavioral pattern for the Islamic Republic of Iran that would enable it to counter the constraints and increasing challenges ahead of it, which would rely on the particular conditions of its political system? This article suggests that the new pattern of 'cooperation and critique' for the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran for engaging the arena of international politics under the new conditions in such a way that it could counter the possible challenges and threats, while continuing to acquire and manage power.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The NAM summit held in Tehran in the end of August 2012 attracted the attention of Iran-watchers around the world. A few issues like President Morsi of Egypt's participation and statement, specially on Syria, the mistranslation of some of his words, and Banki Moon, the General secretary of the United Nations' presence and position and of course Netanyahu's pronouncements against the Summit were more highlighted in the media. However, there is an analytical question to be raised and answered; how the relationship between Iran's foreign policy and non-aligned movement can be understood? "Reality"," Identity' and "Utility" are useful concepts in this context.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Egypt
  • Author: Ghoncheh Tazmini
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Iran and Russia are experiencing their own modernity at a time when the very paradigm of modernity is being radically questioned in the west, its place of origin. Having passed through the labyrinth of social contradictions, both Russia and Iran have reached a point where they are transcending the logic of development of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Today, Russian and Iranian modernization represents a unique interaction of universal value patterns and specific cultural codes— a trajectory that can be qualified as an autonomous and adaptive modernity. As such we need a broader cognitive space to allow the emergence of "multiple modernities". The era of fixed, euro-centered, and non-reflexive modernity is reaching its end— modernity, as as epistemological category, is transcending the totalizing narrative in whose grip it has been enchained. The ethnocentric west needs to acknowledge the heterogeneity of the modernization experience, and accordingly subdue its impulse to "homogenize" and "orientalise" the "other". It needs to move away from a unilateral logic toward a genuine cross-cultural encounter that takes a much broader view of the modernization process by placing it in the long-term context of cultural adaptation of civilization complexes to the challenge of modernity.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Ali Omidi
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Security is the main concern or raison d'être of any state. The Islamic republic of Iran and the west have had common geopolitical concerns, with some convergence in Afghanistan. The first security priority of the U.S. in particular and Europe in general after the September 11 events has been coping with terrorism in its heartland, i.e. Afghanistan. This paper, after a short review of Iran's historical relations with Afghanistan as well as its geopolitical importance for Tehran, examines Iran's main security concerns stemming from Afghanistan and the consequent Iranian narration of those threats in the post-9/11 era. The article argues that Iranian policy and even ideals for Afghanistan's long-term security is similar to the Iraqi model: outright withdrawal of foreign troops and national self-reliance on security issues. Therefore, Iran welcomes NATO's drawback from Afghanistan in 2014 and implicitly cooperates with the west in Afghanistan for viable and indigenous security.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Farshad Roomi
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Democratic governments tend to cooperate with each other positively. By establishing a framework, democracy controls politicians' behavior, preventing them from pursuing imbalanced and improper policies. Popular revolutions in the Middle East have overthrown a number of authoritarian regimes allied with the United States. With the independent democratic governments being formed, we see Iran's regional and transregional rivals and adversaries challenged. Making efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East can serve as an important factor in strengthening Iran's influence in the region. Therefore, given that the rule of the game in the Middle East is one of zero-sum, the Islamic republic of Iran should reinforce its national security level and enlarge its national security realm by explicitly supporting and articulating the demands of the regional nations. Also, the presence of the Shi'a in government is closely related to the promotion of democratic trends, support for the democracy-seeking wave in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Mohammad Soltaninejad
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The Arab revolutions have changed the political and security landscape of the Persian Gulf. The upheavals have altered the sources of threats states used to feel from those emanating from outside the internal ones; the unrest in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia has proved that the sources of tension for the Arab states are quite societal. As a result, the old Arab tactic of attribution of domestic challenges to alleged Iranian interventionism is now obsolete. The traditional role played by the regional powers is also affected and the regional alignments are in flux. The overthrow of the Mubarak regime along with the U.S middle of the way approach during the Arab revolutions have elevated Iran's stance in the Persian Gulf at the expense of the U.S and the GCC. Moreover, the security interdependence of the Persian Gulf states, particularly among the GCC, is tightened and in the face of increasing security challenges, the monarchical bloc is revitalized with the aim to buttress Arab regimes. All the said developments are the subject of examination in this article through application of the regional security complex (RSC) theory.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Arabia
  • 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: Mahmood Jalali, Safoura Bani-Najarian
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: From the beginning of human life on earth, human needs have been crystallized in their relationship and interaction with each other. As a result of such an inter-relationship and interaction, it has been necessary for a body of law to exist that would specify humans' duties and obligations towards each other. Even though different regulations concerning human rights have been codified, human beings have not taken benefit from these rights on an equal basis. In fact, we see that throughout history, the oppressed have fought oppressors. In these protracted struggles, human beings continued to seek transcendental rights; rights they wanted to enjoy regardless of power and wealth, skin color and race. Based on this argument, if we look at the objectives and activities related to human rights, we can suggest that monotheistic religions also played a crucial part in promoting human rights. According to the findings of this research, although international law and Islamic international law both believe in the universality of human rights, without any doubt their nature and foundation differ. Nonetheless, there are numerous shared grounds and points between the two aforementioned bodies of law for whose study and utilization international human resources have to be used to forge unity and to protect world peace and security.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Law, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Obama's reelection has opened up some key questions on the direction of his policy in domestic and foreign domains.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Naser Hadian, Shani Hormozi
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The Iran-US relations since 1979 Revolution have remained tension-ridden. Various efforts towards resolution of the sensitive and critical issues between them have failed to bear fruit. The present article looks into the state of these relations from the vantage of Iran's security environment and how the U.S. policies, particularly since the 2001 occupation of Afghanistan and 2003 war of choice in Iraq, have dramatically affected Iran's immediate security environment. The paper argues that as a result of the removal of the Taliban and Ba'athist regimes and the emergence of pro-Iran ruling coalitions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran's regional stature and influence was enhanced, which also coincided with simultaneous shrinking of US material and symbolic resources in the region. The article also tries to shed light on the parameters of Iran 's security environment, decision making processes, sources of security and defense policies, which would help towards a better understanding of the reasons and rationale for the still tumultuous relations with the US, including in particular on Iran's nuclear program. A review of the past U.S. strategies in dealing with Iran as well as of the alternative strategies currently on the table – Containment, Comprehensive and Selective Engagements, Military option – and Iran's Counter Containment strategy, indicates that given the actual situation in the region a mere continuation of the past might simply prove impossible. A full-scale confrontation or a major reconciliation appears to be the only possible scenarios for the future. The paper concludes that Comprehensive Engagement will instead present a way out of the decades-old conflict with tremendous benefits for the protagonists and the surrounding region.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, Taliban
  • Author: Mohsen Sahriatinia
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Iran-China bilateral relations, established in 1971, have experienced quite substantial change in the post-1979 period, especially since the end of the Cold War. Both countries, despite fundamental differences in ideology and governance structure, and based on a number of areas of commonality, most prominently similar international outlook as developing states of the South, and based on mutual need in economic fields, most notably energy, and also in the military field, chose to expand their relations in various areas. The present article looks into the development of these bilateral relations since early 1980s and discusses two sets of factors that have impacted them; conducive factors and constraining factors. The article argues that while the conducive factors have contributed to the expansion and deepening of Tehran-Beijing relations during the period under review, China's grand strategy towards becoming a world power and the requisite policy of rapprochement with the West, the U.S. in particular, have in fact intervened to constrain China's relations with other states – among them, Iran. Simultaneously, perpetuation of a state of tension between Iran and the U.S. in the post-1979 period, and especially since 2003 over the nuclear issue, and hence, U.S. pressure of sorts on China, have also played a critical role in complicating Iran-China relations. China's support since 2006 for the UN Security Council sanctions resolutions on Iran, despite Iran's emphasis on the “Look to the East Policy” since 2005, has reflected the Chinese predicament and served to constrain the relations, even to some extent in the energy field. The article concludes that notwithstanding inevitable constraints in Iran-China relations due to the factors involved, both countries will continue to maintain their relations in the economic and energy fields and on international-multilateral issues of mutual interest.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran, Beijing
  • Author: Mohammad Hossein Hafezian
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The election of Mahmood Ahmadinejad in Iran in June 2005 came to have an enormous impact on Iran's foreign relations, including Iran's relations with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The present article looks into the state and dynamism of bilateral relations between Iran and the GCC during the 2005-09 period. Placed in the context of the background of relations between the two sides since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and specifically the 8 years of confidence-building and détente under Khatami, the article discusses the factors that affected these bilateral relations during the period under review. It is argued that such factors as Ahmadinejad's peculiar foreign policy outlook and discourse, relations with the U.S., diverging postures towards Israel, threat perceptions, Iran's rising regional stature and influence in the post-2001 period, and also dispute on the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf and the name of the waterway, have each affected the state of relations. The review also shows the resilience of economic and trade ties between the two sides beyond the mere political realm and the outstanding issues and disagreements. Considering the inevitable negative impact of the continuing tension and conflict between Iran and the U.S. on the state of relations between Iran and the GCC, the paper emphasizes the imperative of confidence-building measures and policies by all the parties concerned–within the region and beyond. It concludes that any meaningful improvement–and ultimate rapprochement–in the U.S.-Iran relations, even though far-fetched or illusive at the time, would help these relations and the mutually-beneficial establishment of regional security arrangements in the Persian Gulf.
  • Topic: Debt
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Hossein Sadeghi, Hassan Ahmadian
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran which led to the emergence of a revolutionary, anti-Western, anti-establishment regime under the tutelage of Shi'ite ulema radically changed the previous state of relations with Saudi Arabia, a conservative, Sunnite, pro-West monarchy and junior partner of the defunct Pahlavi State in the security system in the Persian Gulf. The present article intends to look into the state of bilateral relations between the two countries since 1979. The article argues that the relations between these two important Muslim and regional countries have been affected by their constant rivalry in a number of fields considered critical to both of them. As analyzed here, the contest between them in all these areas have been conducted in a rather limited manner, and that both sides have exercised restraint to avoid spiraling into “unlimited contest.” The “limited nature” of contest in fact allowed gradual reduction of tension between them and led to détente and even expansion of cooperation in late 1990s. The détente period came to an abrupt end in the wake of the traumatic aftershocks of 9/11, particularly the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Having looked into the afore-mentioned dominant pattern of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia since 1979, the authors posit that adoption and pursual of a positive, proactive approach by the two sides and reliance on confidence-building measures can indeed help diffuse the on-going tension and mutual suspicion and pave the way for the promotion of mutually-beneficial policies and measures. In their analysis, the two sides, despite all the differences and difficulties, enjoy the potentials to decide to explore practical ways and means on how to define shared interests, goals and objectives.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia
  • 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: Mohiaddin Mesbahi
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The study of Iran's interaction with the international system is predicated on three broad theoretical assertions. First, the international system is a tripartite system with three interrelated yet distinct structures, namely coercive-military, normative-social, and economic-developmental. Second, agency (state), Iran in this case, is simultaneously unitary and composite, interacting distinctly with corresponding structural components of the international system. Third, the net assessment of any state's position within the international system, in this case Iran's, must take into consideration the symbiotic impact of the interaction with all three structures, and the cross fertilization and cross compensatory dynamics between them; weakness and vulnerability in one might be compensated for by strength in another. The delicate balance of Iran's interaction with the international system in the last three decades, and especially in the post-Soviet/post-9/11 era, has vacillated between a systemically permissible threat of war and the potential for a historical, though reluctant, systemic accommodation. In its brinksmanship interaction with the three layers of the international system, Iran by design and by default has been strategically “lonely” and deprived of meaningful alliances and great power bandwagoning. Nevertheless, Iran is not isolated but rather intensely engaged, relying on its own capability which is predicated on a native strategic culture. The protection of this strategic culture remains the most formidable challenge facing the Islamic Republic in the fourth decade of its life; a challenge that emanates partially from systemic pressure and no less significantly by domestic normative dynamics.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Shirin Akiner
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Ambiguous, often contradictory, assessments of the achievements of NATO/ISAF operations in Afghanistan make it difficult to form a clear picture of the situation on the ground. However, despite the rhetoric of politicians and military leaders who speak of 'sticking it out' till the job is done, there are unmistakable signals that the endgame has started. The emphasis now is on fashioning an exit strategy that will justify the claim of 'mission accomplished'. It is ironic that it is only now, with the dawning awareness that 'a victor's peace is impossible', that the importance of involving the regional states is finally being recognized. With the exception of Pakistan, which from the outset played a strategic role in Western-led operations, there was an implicit reluctance, amounting to a virtual ban, on cooperating with these states as equal partners. China, Russia and Iran were largely ignored, while the Central Asian states were regarded mainly as transit routes. Yet by geography, history, ethnic ties and culture, Afghanistan is an integral part of the region. The 'neighbourhood' states are neither unaware nor indifferent to what happens there. Before and since 2001 there have been regional initiatives aimed at promoting stability and development in Afghanistan. This paper gives an overview of the main initiatives, bilateral and multilateral which seek to promote the country's re-integration into regional cultural, economic and security networks.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, Central Asia
  • Author: Mostafa Zahrani
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: While completing a general assessment of the fourth round of international sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic of Iran, this paper assumes that even if the sanctions successfully target the country's economic sector, they will not reach their main objective, which is to suspend the Iranian nuclear energy program within the timetable desired by the West. Based on such an assumption, the alternative to sanctions is war (with different aims and various degrees of intensity) or containment. In this review, it will be indicated that as war is rejected during the period in question, U.S. policy in the last three decades, i.e. containment through dexterity and with newer dimensions, will continue and severe sanctions will be used as the main element of containment. This paper includes sanctions, containment and war as three fundamental concepts. As sanctions are futile in stopping the Iranian nuclear program, the questions then are why and how Washington is stepping up sanctions within the framework of its containment policy alongside talk of war? The hypothesis is that the talk of war as a means to support diplomacy will remain as the main pillar of U.S. containment policy.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Washington
  • Author: Reza Simbar, Arsalan Ghorbani
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The Arab uprisings, and the one in Bahrain in particular, have caused tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Bahraini government's Saudibacked crackdown on pro-democracy protests has caused ties between Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to turn somewhat hostile in nature. However, just a few years ago, the situation was very different, with Iran being invited to a GCC summit. This paper intends to give context to the aforementioned development by analyzing its background and dynamics of Iran-GCC relations. To this aim, this paper will examine, review and analyze Iranian foreign policy with regard to the security geopolitics of the Persian Gulf. In the course of history, the countries in the region have undergone political, economic, security and even ideological ups and downs, which have led them to become the focus of major powers' attention. The region has also attracted attention due to its decisive role from geopolitical, security and economic points of view. A look at the background of security arrangements in the region establishes that all designs by outside powers' and all extra-regional interference have been futile in bringing security and stability to the region. Iran is among the Persian Gulf littoral states which, due to their strategic location and possession of huge crude oil and natural gas reserves, enjoy a special status. Any form of insecurity in the region will directly impact Iranian interests. Therefore, the strategy of the Iranian government vis-à-vis the security of this important region is based on the expansion of regional cooperation and intra-regional security-building. In this regard, there has been a remarkable growth in political exchanges and interaction at high levels between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other Persian Gulf states.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Persia
  • 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: Michele Brunelli
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Despite deep differences shown during 2003 Iraqi crisis, European Union expresses a joint policy towards the Persian Gulf. This is essentially based on the equation: “economy” = “development” and so “security and stability”. Economy is the tool which is really trans-European: it means that despite some different approaches on few geopolitical issues of its members, it remains fundamental pillar on which a real “European Foreign Policy”, can be built. During last years, this particular approach allowed EU: i) to start a fruitful discussion with GCC countries about a Persian Gulf currency union, ii) to include in its Agenda establishment of a free trade area with the GCC countries, iii) start negotiations for an EC-Iran Trade and Cooperation agreement, iv) to involve Iran, Iraq and Yemen in this process. All these actions will allow EU to create an area of dialogue, cooperation and exchange, which is one of the EU top priorities. A new wider space of cooperation composed of the countries belonging to the MENA region, GAFTA, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Yemen. While European Union has chosen a “more economic” approach, US policy towards the Persian Gulf is “more political”. US equation is: “freedom and democracy” – even coercively imposed = “security and stability for a specific area” = “security and stability for the US”. But in some parts of the world this strategy showed some imperfections (Afghanistan), demonstrating its fallacy (Iraq). In some cases US applied political model which doesn't reflect social, political realities and doesn't respect historical roots and heritages of the area.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran, Yemen, Persia
  • Author: Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour, Ardeshir Nourian
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Foreign policy is influenced by structural elements, internal, regional and international political dynamics. The decisive role of human factors in decision making and orientation as well as the role and priorities in the path taken by nation-states in foreign relations also have an impact on foreign policy. The most considerable reflection of the elites' will in determining the orientation of foreign policy and international planning is embodied in the formulation of national outreach documents like national strategic plans, long-term strategic plans or perspective plans. As a regional power, the Islamic Republic of Iran, after three decades of struggle for its independence and national sovereignty, codified the 2025 National Perspective Document in 2003 after lengthy debate and a consensual decision making process. It serves as a key outreach document in which the framework of domestic and foreign policies aimed at turning Iran into a superior power in the southwest Asian region takes form. While explaining the link between foreign policy planning and economic development both from domestic and international perspectives, as explained in the document, this paper stresses the indivisibility of the two concepts. By emphasizing the structural and human elements at the same time, an explanation of the two concepts and the link between them are also considered. The theoretical framework of this research is based on constructivist theory, it holds that becoming a regional superpower is dependent on a developmentalist foreign policy. Moreover, it argues that from a normative point of view, simultaneous consideration of domestic sources of development and positive action and engagement with the international community is essential.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Asia
  • Author: Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Iran and the region can be studied through a wide spectrum of conceptual and practical approaches. The contested definitions of the region, its boundaries and scope of interactions lay at the conceptual battlefield, and the quantity and quality of existing state as well as non-state actors demonstrate the practical regional realities surrounding Iran. However, Iran and its relationship with the region can be understood by the examination of three distinctive and yet inter-related aspects: its regional weight, regional role and regional security designs.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Seyed Jalal Dehghani Firoozabadi
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran during the past three decades has witnessed a variety of developments and trends. This, in a way that even within the framework of basic and fixed fundamentals and principles, Iranian foreign policy has shown different behaviors. On the other hand, despite the changes and developments in the domestic and international arenas, some behaviors on the part of Iran have remained unchanged. Thus, there has always been a fundamental question: what is the main motive and reason for the behavior of Iran via its foreign policy? In response to this question, the theories analyzing foreign policy and international relations explain the motives for Iran's behavior on the basis of the concept of physical security. However in this article, the behavioral motive and reasoning behind Iranian foreign policy are analyzed based on the ontological security theory. Through this prism, the most important behavioral motives of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran during conflicts are to consistently seek and ensure ontological security. Meaning, Iran, in its foreign policy, is more concerned about preserving its own identity as an Islamic state and gives preference and priority to ensuring ontological security which translates into preserving and sustaining Iran's Islamic identity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • 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: Mahmood Shoori
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Various theoretical approaches in the field of international relations offer different answers to the existing ambiguities and questions about why Russian-Iranian ties have expanded in the post-USSR era. While realist approaches try to define the growth in Russian-Iranian cooperation within the framework of ties between major powers and their continuous efforts to establish balance of power, liberal approaches relate states' motives and aims of establishing such levels of relations to economic and material interests. Here, a subject being somehow ignored by the two approaches is that both Iran and Russia, as far as identity developments are concerned, have passed through a situation in which they felt a need to reconstruct their identities after the demise of the USSR. This article argues that during the aforementioned period, Iran and Russia, apart from meeting each other's security needs or rare material interests -reliable foreign exchange for Russia and embargoed technologies for Iran- they were also a source for meeting their identity needs. The post-USSR era, and especially under Vladimir Putin, Iran has served as the most important arena providing Russia with the possibility of acting like a major world power. Russia's behavior has been one of the major challenges to the international isolation of Iran in recent years.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Mandana Tishehyar
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Relations between Iran and India, two ancient civilizations, go far back in history. However, the contemporary politico-economic relations between these two major Asian powers, especially after the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, are affected by various different domestic, regional and international elements. The main objective of this research is to analyze the dominant foreign policy trends in Iran-India relations during the last three decades. A historical review of the evolution of transitional trends in Iran and India's foreign policy approaches, especially during the Post-Cold War era, with an emphasis on the role of different internal, regional and international elements in shaping these approaches, would bring new light on the study of relations between these two countries. The effects of these different approaches on Indo-Iranian relations and the future perspective of these policies will be analyzed in this paper.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, India, Asia
  • Author: Majid Behestani, Mahdi Hedayati Shahidani
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the state of interaction between Tehran and Washington has seen considerable ups and downs. Conflict between the Islamic Republic of Iran's national interests and those of the United States gave rise to the dominance of strategic confrontation between the two states, though some cooperative actions have been witnessed between the two sides. The last example refers to some collaboration between Iran and the United States concerning the question of Afghanistan. In this article, we seek to analyze the trend governing the two actors' behavior in the region between 2001 and 2009, using a historical approach and considering the Taliban's agency.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran, Washington, Tehran, Taliban
  • Author: Seyed Shamseddin Sadeghi
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Possessing the world's third largest oil reserves and the second largest natural gas reserves - as well as being located at the center of the strategic energy ellipse - Iran has always played a strategic role in the realm of the political economy of oil in the world. On the other hand, during the past 150 years, energy, and most notably oil and gas, have enjoyed a significant place in the formation of Iran's political economy as well as national interests and it can continue to play a crucial role in the promotion of Iran's regional and international status.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Samaneh Farazi
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Power is the key parameter determining countries' status and their ties in the realm of international relations. Developments in the global political economy, through changes in the nature and forms of power, have decreased the significance of soft power sources over hard power in the process of foreign policy-making in various countries in order to attain national interests and goals. The main objective of this book is to provide an understanding of soft power and its application in foreign policy, within the framework of developments related to the global political economy.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Dr. Hassan Rouhani
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The dominant perception in the indicate that the march of modernity would lead to the marginalization of the role of religion in the public sphere, including in the politics and International Relations same lines. The emergence of a strong counter based outlook especially in t challenge that seemingly entrenched conviction. The establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in state – served as the climax of that counter implications and repercussions, for the region, for the Muslim world, and also for international relations. The present essay is an attempt to look into these issues. It will be argued that the new religious counter a process across the Islamic world geared to the preservation and revival of the Islamic identity, and also relying on Islam and its teaching to shape and guide governance in Muslim lands. The essay will also try to have a look at some of the chall involved in the process; that is, the challenges Islamic governance will face in dealing with others system and its components.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Rouhollah K. Ramazani
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The present essay argues that Iran's foreign policy since the Revolution has pursued an overall aspirational paradigm which I call “spiritual pragmatic”, embodying two seemingly conflicting elements – spirituality and pragmatism. It is also suggested hybrid approach to foreign policy is nothing new to Iran; rather, in fact, it dates as far back as ancient pre recently, since the reign of the Safavids in the of the argument here is to try to post-revolutionary Iranian foreign policy as either “irrational”, “paranoid” or something of that sort or order.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • 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: Mohammad Ali Mousavi, Yasser Norouzi
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: For almost three decades since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, there has consistently been a conflict between Iran and the United States over a host of issues. The relations between the two countries became more challenging since 2003 after it came to light that Iran had been developing its nuclear program. Since then some US officials have even gone so far as to announce - and repeat - the possibility of a military strike against Iranian facilities to end the nuclear program. In reality, up to now no such drastic action has taken place. Rather instead, in a milder reaction, the US, aided by its European allies and enjoying Russian and Chinese lukewarm acquiescence, has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Iran through the adoption of obligatory resolutions by the United Nations Security Council. But, these actions have failed to force the Iranians to end their program. As a result, many experts argue that a new policy should be pursued toward Iran vis-a-vis its nuclear dossier. So the main challenge which poses itself is to predict when and how this conflict will come to an end. In this paper, different game theory models are used to interpret the current situation of the crisis. It is shown that while at each step it may be more favorable for each party to insist on its claims, the overall result of this approach may not be so favorable for all. As a result, both parties should think about the long term effects of their decisions. It is also shown that the absence of mutual trust could be the main factor that has forced both sides to reach the current point of crisis. Therefore, any attempt towards re-establishing mutual trust between the two governments might be a major step leading to a lasting solution. Furthermore, different possible choices for the US government and the long term effects of each choice will be analyzed. The analysis will also address economic aspects of the conflict, and the long-term effects of any decision and the best possible choices for both governments will be presented.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran
  • Author: Homeira Moshirzadeh
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Iranian foreign policy during the post-revolutionary period has often been described as pursuing ideological objectives and means. Given the problems usually associated with the concept of ideology, the alternative concept of "domestic ideational sources" would offer a broader perspective and prove less problematic. By this concept is meant the totality of ideas, norms, rules, and discourses that in their inter-relations make the material life meaningful. The basic conceptual and theoretical aspects of the role of ideas and domestic ideational sources in foreign policy - in general and with particular emphasis on the realist outlook - are discussed in the first part of the article.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Hamid Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The importance of national identity and national feelings in contemporary Iranian politics has been much neglected students of Iranian studies, particularly outside Iran. The establishment of the Islamic Islamically-oriented policies in its foreign policy seem to have encouraged many to believe that Islam and Iran in the contemporary context are two mutually exclusive factors. However, recent internal developments such as the presidential election, on the one hand, and the firm position of Iranians inside and outside the country toward regional political and international cultural challenges vis indicate that Iranians consider both the religious and national dimensions of their identity as important, and they consider the relation between religion and nationality as mutually inclusive opposed to an exclusive one. This article, focusing on the issue of Islam and nationalism and their relationships, tries to highlight this important factor in order to arrive at a better understanding of the political dynamics of Iranian society and p contrary to the situation in the Arab world, these two elements are both constitutive factors of the Iranian identity. Following a rather brief theoretical discussion of the relations between the two in Islamic and Middle Eastern pe explain the political reasons behind the rise of the Islam nationalism controversy in contemporary Iranian politics and emphasizes that such a dichotomous discourse has an elite rather than popular basis. The concluding s concentrates on the importance of the national factor in the Iranian society by focusing on the two recent presidential elections in Iran as well as on several external political and cultural challenges to Iranian national heritage to stance inside and outside of Iran.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The present Note is written with a mixed sense of pleasure, pride, and humility looking to the future and what lies ahead. It is certainly a matter of pleasure and pride for all of us at the Iranian Journal of Foreign Affairs – IRFA as it has come to be called by its slowly growing readership – that the first issue came out at long last back in mid-March, and more importantly, that it was not found to be disappointing. That proved to be a great moral boost, which I presume is critically needed to stay the course. In fact, we were truly humbled by many words of encouragement, which far exceeded what we deserved or expected. We also received many helpful suggestions and recommendations, beginning with form and format and extending to content and analysis, which we appreciate and will take into consideration.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: S. M. Hossein Adeli
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses how energy diplomacy is used in today's world to secure and promote the national and international security of nations. It focuses on the case of Iran as a major energy power. It will be argued that the emergence of energy as one of the main global concerns on the one hand and the emergence of multi-polarity in the wake of the demise of the Cold War on the other, have provided a foundation for the use of energy resources as a new means to pursue the international diplomacy of nations. In this context, the isolationist outlook in international politics advocating hard power as the main anchor for a nation's security is rejected; instead a new approach based on the principles of engagement, participation, and partnership in the world's mega trends is emphasized and, in fact, recommended. It is argued here that the level and degree of the meaningful role a country plays in the current world affairs and also in contributing to shaping the prospective international system is directly correlated with the level and degree of safety and security it would be able to secure for itself. In this vein, the traditional as well as modern outlooks in Iran's energy diplomacy will be briefly examined. While the former views oil and gas resources as a source of income to be utilized – primarily – to bankroll current activities and hence, ignoring the political economy considerations of energy, the latter, fully cognizant of such considerations, is based on the new vision of engagement and partnership with global partners and calls for adoption of a comprehensive energy plan that addresses both domestic and international concerns of this sector.
  • Topic: Cold War, Debt
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Hossein S. Seifzadeh
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Hopes for changes in Iran's foreign policy towards the United States (US from now) have been dashed times and again. It is argued in this article that ideational and situational factors are responsible for this. Ideationally speaking, the lagging dialectical gap between otherwise two complementary factors of the Islamic Republic's ideological disposition and perspective and Iran's mutually strategic interests with the US is the single most contributing factor in this respect. As long as the prospects for striking a “correspondence discourse” out of this “dialectical components” (ideological and strategic outlooks) remain uncertain and opaque, realistic hopes for change in Iran-US relations would remain unfulfilled. Situationally speaking, the US also needs to reconsider its anachronistic approach as well as the previous patron-client paradigm in its relation with Iran. Moreover, circumstantial events also play a significant role in tilting the weight in favor of one or the other factor. Notwithstanding the on-and-off aggravating ideological confrontation, the mutually-shared strategic interests of both countries have times and again served to ease and mitigate the post-1979 relations between them within the limits of a practically reigning “cold war.“.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Majid Takht Ravanchi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Between 1980 and 2003 Iraq was involved in three armed conflicts; namely, the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980's, the occupation of Kuwait in 1990- 1991, and the American-led war against Iraq in 2003. These are three different conflicts with their own distinct characteristics. A comparative study on the behavior of the United Nations Security Council with regard to each of these conflicts reveals that the Security Council has had three different and notably imbalanced reactions towards these conflicts. While At the beginning of the Iran-Iraq conflict, the Council was silent for a few days and later adopted a very ineffective resolution, the approach and conduct in the second conflict was quite different. A few hours after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Council adopted a very strong resolution, under Chapter VII of the Charter. In the case of the third Persian Gulf conflict – 2003 - the Security Council was in the middle of discussions as to how to deal with the Iraqi crisis when the American and British forces started the military attacks against Baghdad. Furthermore, international humanitarian law has been violated during these conflicts on numerous occasions, most notably the use of chemical weapons by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq conflict. The Security Council's lack of resolve to adopt necessary punitive measures against Iraq to prevent further use of chemical weapons was considered by Iraq as a green light to continue its resort and practice with a sense of impunity. As discussed in the paper, blatant lack of resolve on the part of the Security Council towards Iraq's repeated use of chemical weapons was, as a matter of fact, the most manifest expression of the strong pro-Iraq tilt in the Council's approach and conduct; the outward expression of alternating implicit-explicit consensus among the permanent members on how to punish the revolutionary Iran and reward a friendly Iraq. The present paper concludes that a different approach and conduct by the Council vis-à-vis Iraq 's aggression against Iran would have most probably created a different situation and dynamism in the Persian Gulf area with all its significant repercussions and implications.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Iran, Kuwait, Baghdad, Persia
  • Author: Kourosh Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This paper is an account of the controversy between Iran and Iraq over the issue of the three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs. It covers the time span from 1971 up to 1992 and focuses on the role of Iraq that hoisted the banner of opposition to Iran's title to these islands, following the British withdrawal, and sought to spur the reluctant Arab conservative camp along.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Persia
  • 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
  • Author: Ghoncheh Tazmini
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: There has been a marked volte face in Russia's position toward the Islamic Republic. This was made clear when at a critical political juncture – namely the watershed agreement on fuel swapping between Brazil, Turkey and Iran – Russia expressed support for the US-led UNSC resolution to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Iran. This paper argues that Russia, a country that has traditionally shielded Iran and weighed down on the US from pressuring her, obstructed the initiative out of economic and geopolitical considerations. Prompted by the eternal quest to restore Russia's former status as a great power, the Kremlin has had to reevaluate its relationship with Tehran. Moscow in is in dire need of foreign investment, advanced technology, and even markets, which requires thawed relations with the US. Moscow is ostensibly dissatisfied with the NATO's eastward encroachment and also needs the US to turn a blind eye to it geopolitical aspirations in the former Soviet space. These considerations require that Russia warm up to the West in general and the US in particular. Incidentally, Obama is offering Russia a carrot – a diplomatic reset – and Moscow is biting the bait. Today, it appears that Russia needs the US more and the Islamic Republic less. However, Russia's about turn suggests that Moscow is conscious that if the nuclear impasse is resolved, Iran would be on its way to becoming a genuine regional power. Furthermore, the Iran- Turkey cooperation axis could also suggest diversification of energy supply routes, breaking Russia's monopoly on gas. With geopolitical considerations and energy politics in the balance, the stakes are higher, explaining why Russia has acted in an increasingly unfriendly manner than Iranians seem to have expected.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Brazil, Moscow
  • Author: Saideh Lotfian
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The present article intends to explore discernible shift in Iran's foreign policy toward Latin American countries in recent years. Iran's relations with Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, and more recently, Brazil, have grown warmer in recent years. The ever-increasing scale and scope of diplomatic ties and bilateral economic cooperation agreements between Iran and these Latin American states, most of whom pursue generally radical, anti-US policies, demonstrate the changing orientation in the Iranian policy as well as in the dynamics of the Latin American politics. The emergence of an Iranian president in 2005 with a populist outlook and pronounced anti-US/Anti-Western rhetoric has facilitated the closer ties between Iran and the leftist Latin American governments. This aspect of the Iranian policy has drawn both domestic criticism and outside opposition, particularly from the United States. Given this, a major question that could be raised is whether the new trend will be a long term feature of Iranian foreign policy or a temporary, transient one, especially taking into account the major role played by the personality of these countries' leaders in their policymaking. A related question is whether these heads of states will be able to create the necessary institutions, processes, and coordination mechanisms to remain in place even after they leave office. The author looks at the recent developments in these politicoeconomic relations, and tries to examine the degree of long-term resilience of Tehran's current involvement in Latin America. The main conclusion of the paper is that for as long as the Islamic Republic of Iran feels the need to look for countervailing force in its ongoing conflict with the US and the West, the current policies in seeking close political and economic ties with the anti-Western and radical Latin American states, as part of a larger coalition of like-minded developing countries, will continue.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Brazil, Cuba, Latin America, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: William Scott Harrop
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes President Barack Obama's thematic use of “mutual respect” in his foreign policy and in his efforts to engage the Islamic Republic of Iran. President Obama began his presidency by proclaiming that America seeks “a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” Towards the Islamic Republic of Iran, the President spoke of constructive diplomacy, a process “not advanced by threats,” but an “engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect." As will be shown, the ideal of “mutual respect” resonates authentically with Obama's personal background and worldview. The President believes that mutual respect matters, that it positively enhances American policies toward friends and adversaries alike. “Mutual respect” also strikes a responsive chord inside Iran because it embodies a time-honored value embedded deep in Iran's diplomatic culture, transcending personalities, governments, and factions. Yet Obama's mutual respect message has not been heard clearly in Iran, in part because of contradictions emanating from simultaneous expressions of pressures, sanctions, and time limits, words perceived in Iran as threatening and disrespectful. Despite such serious problems, this essay contends that “mutual respect” still matters, that it provides a constructive rail for bridging present chasms between America and Iran, a necessary pre-requisite to overcome counterproductive habits of “mutual disrespect.”
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Kayhan Barzegar
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This article investigates the main roots of tension between Iran and the United States in the post-9/11 Middle East. Since 9/11 and especially after the 2003 Iraqi crisis, Iran's role has sharply risen in the region. The evolution of Iran's role and power in the regional system has led Iran to seek a bigger weight and role more in tune with its acquired stature and capabilities. The conflict between Iran and the United States has been generally attributed to either a political-ideological clash and mutual hatred, or to a simple aggregation of a number of distinct policy disputes including: Iran's nuclear program, Iran's state support for organizations that Washington regards as terrorist groups, human rights issues, and Iranian involvement in the new Iraq, the Levant, and Afghanistan. While accepting these explanations, the author takes a step further and argues that the conflict, especially since 2003, has been essentially focused on a dispute over the growth of the two sides' role in Middle Eastern politics which both regard against each other's national interests and security. The author concludes that complex and interdependent nature of regional security necessitates, on the one hand, Iran's cooperation in the wake of the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq in Summer 2010, and on the other, that the United States recognize and respect Iran's legitimate security concerns and accept the evolution of Iran's role in the region.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Farhad Shahabi
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, held in New York, 3-28 May 2010, was of particular importance to the US, especially in view of its serious concerns for nuclear proliferation. In this context, the US perceived violation of the NPT by Iran's nuclear activities was among its major concerns. For the US, the review conference provided a unique opportunity and occasion to draw international attention to the US non-proliferation concerns in general, and work towards further containment of Iran's nuclear program in particular. To this end, the US Administration under Barack Obama has pursued an overall “containment” strategy, aiming at the twin, inter-related objectives of rehabilitation of the tarnished US image and credibility and effective exercise of the US leadership towards non-proliferation and strengthening of NPT.
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Iran
  • Author: S. Jalal Alavi
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Iran's decision to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) is now 14 years old, among the longest cases in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and WTO history. Given the fact that negotiations have not yet started, it may be the longest accession process when Iran finally joins the Organization. This paper attempts to shed some light on the procedural and substantive aspects of the case. A brief account of the WTO accession procedures and a quick glance on the history of the Iran's application provides solid background for the more analytical parts of the paper. It will be shown how unnecessary application of “consensus rule” to the purely procedural stage of accession (establishment of the working party) cost Iran 9 years. Iran could have become full member during the same period in a less demanding negotiating context. The paper will also look briefly into the political environment surrounding Iran's application for membership. The paper also presents a critical outlook on the negotiations for accession and the accession outcomes. It criticizes WTO-plus commitments/WTO-minus rights paradigm which now prevails over the accession negotiations and argues that this paradigm contradicts the contractual nature of the WTO Agreement. It emphasizes that an acceding country should have a clear picture about rights and obligations of the membership. That should be the WTO Agreement as it is. The balance of rights and obligations (terms of contract) should not be changed in the course of negotiations.
  • Political Geography: Iran