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  • Author: Sarah A. Emerson, Andrew C. Winner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. politicians often work the topic of oil import independence into their campaign rhetoric as an ideal that would help separate U.S. economic prosperity and military responsibility from the volatility of Middle Eastern politics. In theory, oil independence would mean that events such as the Iranian revolution or internal political unrest in key Arab oil producers would have much less direct impact on the flow of oil to the United States, and thus U.S. prosperity (even if, in a global market for oil, the price impact of any supply disruption is shared by all consuming countries). More importantly, intra-state conflicts such as the Iraq-Iran war or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait would not necessarily require large-scale U.S. military involvement to ensure oil production and exports to the United States and its allies. This linkage between U.S. oil import dependence and military commitment to the Gulf region has given rise to a myth favored by policymakers, markets, and the public that if the United States could attain oil independence, we could also reduce our military responsibilities around the world. Recent and ongoing changes in both the oil sector and in political-military strategy are for the first time in forty years combining in a manner that is leading some to believe this story could come true.
  • Topic: Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait
  • Author: Kayhan Barzegar
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since 2001, this Iranian scholar argues, Iran has sought to establish security and stability, while advancing regional cooperation in Afghanistan. The only way to manage conflict in the post-exit era is for the West to accept the legitimacy of increased regional cooperation, including Iran's involvement.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, Taliban
  • Author: Sumithra Narayanan Kutty
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When it comes to Afghanistan's future, the United States ironically has more in common with Iran than it does with Pakistan. As Western troops draw down, a look inside Iran's enduring interests, means to secure them, unique assets, and goals that may or not conflict with other regional actors.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran
  • Author: John S. Park
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At no point in the history of U.S. nonproliferation and counterproliferation policy have financial sanctions been so central to U.S. efforts to prevent or rollback the acquisition of nuclear weapons in countries such as North Korea and Iran. Despite this crucial role, financial sanctions have been examined almost solely from the sender's perspective, that is, the country imposing the sanctions. Few focused policy analyses have measured the effects of these instruments from the target's perspective.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, North Korea
  • Author: Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Robert J. Reardon
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: After months of optimistic statements from negotiators, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) and Iran still have not achieved a comprehensive agreement to resolve the nuclear dispute. However, the interim Joint Plan of Action (JPA) is—at this writing—still in force and both sides maintain that a comprehensive deal remains within reach.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Ehud Eiran, Martin B. Malin
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Thucydides' ancient logic still governs: uncertainty (over Iran's nuclear intentions) and the fear this inspires (in Israel) increases the risk of another war (in the Middle East). Even if Israel's response to the Iranian nuclear program does not lead the region into a war, Israel's fears will be crucial in shaping Middle Eastern politics and will help to determine the stability of the region in the years ahead.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Babak Rahimi
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: ''Three Whom God Should Not Have Created: Persians, Jews, and Flies,'' was the provocative title of a pamphlet published in 1940 by Saddam Hussein's uncle, Khairallah Talfah. Saddam himself incorporated suchanti-Iranian sentiment into Ba'athist state ideology after his rise to power in 1979 and into the bloody 1980—1988 Iran—Iraq war. Such hostility is still visible today under the Victory Arch, popularly known as the Crossed Swords, in central Baghdad where thousands of the helmets of Iranian soldiers are held in nets, with some half buried in the ground. Before 2003, every year Saddam and his soldiers would proudly march over the helmets, as the symbol of Iraq's triumph over Persia.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Tehran
  • Author: Michael Singh
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While Iran's nuclear program has been on America's foreign policy agenda for the last twenty-plus years, one gets the unmistakable feeling that the issue is finally coming to a head. After several years of slowly ratcheting up sanctions while seeking to shield the Iranian people and their own economies from harm, the United States and the European Union have gone for the economic jugular by targeting Iranian oil exports. On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed into law sanctions, passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. Congress, that impose penalties on any foreign bank_including any central bank_that conducts petroleum transactions with Iran. The European Union took an even more dramatic step, imposing an embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil by its member states.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Ephraim Inbar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite all the optimism accompanying the uprisings of 2011, the Arab Middle East remains a stagnant region in deep socio—political crisis with little chance for positive change anytime soon. The current regimes may stay in power or get replaced by new dictatorships, moderate or radical. Either way, in the near future, weak states will continue to grapple with domestic problems and the direction of their foreign policies. For good reason, this situation has Israeli leaders worried about the implications for their country's national security. The changing regional balance of power favors Turkey and Iran, both of whom encourage radical elements in the region, not Israel, while the seeming decline in U.S. clout has negatively affected both the Arab—Israeli peace process and Israel's deterrent power.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Ömer Taşpınar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For most of the 20th century, Turkey chose not to get involved in Middle Eastern affairs. During the past decade, however, in a remarkable departure from this Kemalist tradition (based on the ideology of the republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatu¨rk), Ankara has become a very active and important player in the region. Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since 2002, Turkey has established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq, assumed a leadership position in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), attended Arab League conferences, and contributed to UN forces in Lebanon. It has also mediated in the Syrian—Israeli conflict as well as the nuclear standoff with Iran. Ankara's diplomatic engagements with Iran and Hamas have led to differences with the United States and Israel, leaving many wondering if Turkey has been turning away from itsWestern orientation or if it was just a long overdue shift East to complete Turkey's full circle of relations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, United Nations, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Aylin Gürzel
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In May 2010, while the United States and other Western powers in the UN Security Council were drafting a resolution on further sanctions to pressure Iran over its controversial nuclear program, Turkey and Brazil — then non-permanent members of the Security Council — announced a fuel-swap deal with Iran. The Tehran Declaration, as it was called, stipulated that 20-percent-enriched nuclear fuel was to be provided to Iran for its use in the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes, in exchange for the removal of 1,200 kilograms of 3.5-percent-low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Turkey. Initial reactions to the deal varied, but there was fear that the 20-percent-enriched fuel would enable Iran to further enrich uranium and attain the level necessary to construct a nuclear weapon more rapidly.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Brazil, United Nations
  • Author: Elliot Hen-Tov, Nathan Gonzalez
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On June 4th of every year since 1989, the Islamic Republic of Iran holds a grand memorial to honor the passing of its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini. In 2010, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) organized and managed the memorial for the first time. As Khomeini's grandson Hassan Khomeini, himself a cleric, stepped up to deliver a sermon, government supporters chanted in protest and booed him off the stage. The humiliation of Khomeini's family vividly illustrates how Iran's power structure has fundamentally changed, away from its unique clerical model toward a type of military dictatorship.1 In other words, the Islamic Republic is no longer a semiautocratic, clergy-led state which allows some form of citizen participation. The mass protests following the hotly contested June 12, 2009 election were indeed proof that the Islamic Republic has a vibrant civil society and that many Iranians still expect some level of electoral fairness. But Iran is now a military-led system or, in political-science terms, a ''praetorian'' state. From this perspective, one may interpret the June 12 election fiasco not as a struggle for power between reformist and hard-liner camps, but rather as an assertion of influence and a de facto coup by the emerging militant class and its preferred candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, against the clerical oligarchy that came to power through the 1978—79 Iranian Revolution.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: John W. Garver
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One aspect of China's Iran policy suggests a sincere effort to uphold the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime in cooperation with the United States. Another suggests that Beijing believes a nuclear-armed or nuclear-armed-capable Iran would serve China's geopolitical interests in the Persian Gulf region.1 Is China playing a dual game toward Iran? This question cannot be answered with certainty, but given its importance, a tentative and necessarily somewhat speculative effort to think through the matter is in order.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran, Persia
  • Author: Diego Santos Vieira de Jesus
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In May 2010, Brazil and Turkey then non-permanent members of the UN Security Council ventured into unchartered waters by brokering an agreement to deal with the controversial Iranian nuclear program. Iran, in order to show its willingness to use its nuclear material for peaceful purposes, agreed to have its uranium enriched outside its territory, specifically in Turkey. The deal called for Iran to send 1,200 kilograms of 3.5 percent-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 20 percent-enriched nuclear fuel to use in a scientific reactor in Tehran that produces medical isotopes. Although a nuclear weapon might require uranium enriched to a higher level, the 20 percent-enriched material could help Iran achieve that level quicker.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Brazil
  • Author: Daniel Byman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Americans took heart as they watched Egyptian demonstrators rally in Tahrir Square and topple the regime of Hosni Mubarak in a peaceful revolution. Next door in Israel, however, the mood was somber: “When some people in the West see what's happening in Egypt, they see Europe 1989,” an Israeli official remarked. “We see it as Tehran 1979.” Political leaders vied to see who could be the most pessimistic, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly warning that it was even possible that “Egypt will go in the direction of Iran,” with the new Cairo government becoming even more dictatorial and lashing out abroad. As he pointed out in remarks to the Knesset, “They too had demonstrations; multitudes filled the town squares. But, of course it progressed in a different way.” As unrest spread from Egypt to Bahrain, Jordan, Syria, and Yemen, the gloom seemed to deepen.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Yemen, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain
  • Author: Ray Takeyh, Kenneth M. Pollack
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is natural for monumental events to drown out all other issues, and what has transpired in the Middle East these past months has been nothing short of stunning. The region's dramatic, wonderful, dangerous upheaval has fixed the attention of the world. As such, it is easy to have missed the recent developments both in Iran as well as between Iran and the international community. Although far less dramatic and far less hopeful they have the potential to be no less meaningful for the Middle East and the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Michele Dunne, Uri Dadush
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Arab countries straddle the lifelines of world trade. They link Europe to Asia and, with Iran, surround the Persian Gulf home to some 54 percent of global oil reserves. The region's many international and domestic disputes, as well as restraints on political expression and human rights, have spawned extremism. In turn, the region's endemic instability or perceived risk of instability has provided cover for some of the world's most authoritarian and corrupt regimes. Until the turn of this year, the Arab countries had almost uniformly resisted the process of democratization that swept up other regions in recent decade.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Abbas Milani
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two countries, ''both alike in dignity,'' have for too long been the Capulets and Montagues of our days. Grudges like the 1979 hostage crisis and the U.S. role in the overthrow of the popular Mossadeq government in 1953, ill feelings stemming from the clerical regime's nuclear program and help for organizations like Hezbollah, and the Bush administration's ham-fisted policy of ''regime change'' have combined to make the Islamic Republic of Iran one of the most intractable challenges facing the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Dalia Dassa Kaye, Frederic M. Wehrey
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One of the most significant effects of the Iraq war is Iran's seemingly unprecedented influence and freedom of action in regional affairs, presenting new strategic challenges for the United States and its regional allies. Although Middle Eastern governments and the United States are in general agreement about diagnosing Tehran's activism as the war's most alarming consequence, they disagree on how to respond. The conventional U.S. view suggests that a new Arab consensus has been prompted to neutralize and counter Tehran's rising influence across the region in Gaza, the Gulf, Iraq, and Lebanon. Parallels to Cold War containment are clear. Indeed, whether consciously or unwittingly, U.S. policy has been replicating features of the Cold War model by trying to build a ''moderate'' Sunni Arab front to bolster U.S. efforts to counter Iranian influence. Despite signals that the Obama administration intends to expand U.S. engagement with Iran, the foundations of containment are deeply rooted and engender bipartisan backing from Congress. Even if the Obama administration desires to shift U.S. policy toward Iran, containment policies will be difficult to overturn quickly; if engagement with Iran fails, reliance on containment will only increase.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Tehran, Arabia, Gaza, Lebanon