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  • Author: Rizwan Ladha
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In November 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a much-anticipated report on the Iranian nuclear program, highlighting the fact that Iran has made significant progress on research and development toward a possible nuclear weapons program. Nonetheless, the report concluded that Iran's leaders had yet to make the decision to actively pursue the bomb.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Clifton W. Sherrill
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Nonproliferation Review
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: Understanding why the Iranian regime wants to possess nuclear weapons is essential to formulating the best policy to prevent (or perhaps to simply manage) the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran. Three general theories — realism, liberalism, and constructivism —provide a framework for looking at Iran's nuclear motivations. However, contrary to many analyses, the regime's desire to possess nuclear arms stems not from neorealist defensive concerns, but rather from offensive goals driven by domestic politics. The use of extremist Islamism by the Iranian regime to justify its autocratic rule is the primary motivating factor. Accordingly, the outlook for diplomatically addressing the Iranian regime's nuclear aspirations appears dim.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • 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: 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
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: A Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of McFarlane Associates, an international consultancy focused on energy and political risk. In a public policy career spanning more than half a century, he served as a Marine lieutenant colonel, a State Department diplomat, and—most prominently—as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan from 1983 to 1985. In February 2012, he spoke with Journal editor Ilan Berman about the ongoing international stand-off with Iran, the state of our struggle against radical Islam, and the challenges facing the U.S. in the Greater Middle East.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Emanuele Ottolenghi
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Roya Hakakian lays bare Iran's bloody record of state terror.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Emil Souleimanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Conventional wisdom has it that Azerbaijanis, the largest ethnic minority in Iran, have historically tended to identify themselves with notions of Iranian statehood and Shiite religion rather than ethnic nationalism, a fact that has made them loyal subjects of Persian states. Yet recent years have shown a considerable growth of their Azerbaijani Turkic self-consciousness as part of their effort to achieve ethno-linguistic emancipation, an emancipation sometimes bordering on separatism and irredentism. Recent developments over the Tabriz-based Tractor Sazi football club (TSFC) and Lake Urmia have provided a further impetus to such developments that offer the potential to endanger the territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article is an attempt to highlight the evolution of self-consciousness of Iranian Azerbaijanis in recent decades, shedding light on the key issues that have caused this evolution with the aim of exploring the prospects of Azerbaijani secessionism or anti-regime sentiments in the strategically important northwest region of Iran inhabited by ethnic Azerbaijanis.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Persia, Urmia
  • Author: Shwan Zulal
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Kurds were late to the idea of nationalism in the 20th century, and when the borders were drawn in the region they became the largest stateless nation in the world, divided mainly between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. In an unlikely period when hope was fading, a Kurdistan regional government in Iraq was born as the former Iraqi regime was weakened after the first Gulf War and the subsequent no-fly zone. Two decades on, the region has become more assertive and been making many new friends, largely because of its newfound wealth, its influence in post-Saddam Iraq, and its stability when compared with the rest of Iraq. Oil has been a curse for the Kurds and Iraq as a whole, but now the Kurds appear to have found a way to use its resources for economic development, ensuring that the Kurdistan region remains stable and can establish itself as a self-governing and influential entity.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan
  • Author: Luciano Zaccara
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: With this book, Shireen Hunter offers an exhaustive manual of the Islamic Republic's foreign policy. However, the excessive engagement in explaining each and every aspect of Iran's Foreign Policy from the Islamic Revolution until today – and not focusing only on the post-Soviet era, as the title indicates – undermines the profound analysis of the topic and period.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The authors of Why Civil Resistance Works present empirical evidence that, contrary to conventional wisdom, nonviolent resistance campaigns succeed at overthrowing regimes twice as often as violent campaigns, even in cases of a highly repressive state. Erica Chenoweth, an assistant professor of government at Wesleyan University, and Maria Stephan, a strategic planner with the U.S. Department of State, raise an original question and then employ quantitative and qualitative methods to reach their surprising findings. Unlike previous studies that focus solely on either violent or nonviolent campaigns, this book asks which type of campaigns are more successful at overthrowing regimes, ousting occupations, or facilitating secessions. The authors analyze 326 violent and nonviolent campaigns between 1900 and 2006 , and they offer more in-depth study of the Iranian Revolution ( 1977 – 1979 ), the First Palestinian Intifada (1987 – 1992 ), the Philippine People ' s Power Movement ( 1983 – 1986 ), and the Burmese Uprising ( 1988 – 1990 ) — providing a range of scenarios where violent and nonviolent campaigns succeeded, partially succeeded, or failed. The authors de fi ne a successful campaign as one that discernibly results in the achievement of its own stated goals of regime change, anti-occupation, or secession within a year of peak activities.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Liviu Horovitz, Roland Popp
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: A scheduled conference to promote a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East has renewed hopes for nuclear disarmament in this unstable region, if only innovative diplomacy could take advantage of the current shifts. However, a realistic assessment suggests that optimism is unwarranted. Fundamental strategic considerations related to Iran's nuclear program, Israel's atomic options, and the region's ingrate security architecture remain nearly insurmountable hurdles. Therefore, policymakers should focus first on attaining a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Topic: Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Pierre Bélanger, Alexander Scott Arroyo
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: For the Department of Defense (DOD), the most important difference between Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan is neither cultural nor political, but logistical. Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, summed up the difference with terse precision: “We don't have a Kuwait.” Lacking a secure staging ground adjacent to the theater of operations exponentially complicates getting materiel to and from forward operating bases (FOBs) and combat outposts (COPs), in turn requiring a longer and more complex logistical supply chain. Landlocked among non– International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) states, unstable allies (Pakistan and China to the east, Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan to the north), and regional “rogue states” (Iran), Afghanistan is, for logistical operations, a desert island.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Island
  • Author: Colin H. Kahl, Kenneth N. Waltz
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: U.S. and Israeli officials have declared that a nuclear-armed Iran is a uniquely terrifying prospect, even an existential threat. In fact, by creating a more durable balance of military power in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran would yield.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • 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: Mohammed Ayoob
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay is an attempt to revisit Samuel Huntington's controversial thesis about a clash of civilizations. Though the author has been an early critique of Huntington, he finds substantial evidence that corroborates Huntington's central thesis when he analyzes the American policy toward the Middle East through the prism of the clash of civilizations paradigm. He suggests that the pattern of double standards that are witnessed in American foreign policy toward the Middle East is an integral part of a world where supposedly immutable differences based on civilizations form the primary source of conflict. In order to support his argument the author draws on examples from several cases, such as the American policies toward the Israel-Palestine issue, America's position on Iran's nuclear enrichment program, American reaction to the Israeli raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, as well as Turkey's longstanding candidacy for membership in the European Union. In all, he finds startling double standards that fit Huntington's paradigm, for as he pointed out double standards are an integral part of a mindset that sees conflict in terms of clashing civilizations.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Muhittin Ataman
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the development of Turkish-Saudi Arabian relations from the beginning of the struggle of the al-Saud family to gain power in the Arab peninsula to today. As a result of negative perceptions from both sides, bilateral relations were distant for decades. However, Turkish-Saudi relations began to improve remarkably under the AK Party and King Abdullah governments and a rapprochement started in 2005. Many agreements were signed during visits by political leaders from both sides. After the Arab uprisings began at the end of 2010, both countries took their cooperation further. As the two countries least influenced by the uprisings, Turkey and the Saudi Kingdom have been supporting the newly emerging political elites (Islamic groups) in Egypt, Libya and Syria; they have been maintaining close relations with the Western countries; and they have been trying to preserve regional stability and balance against Iran and its allies. However, there are some differences in their regional policies, such as their perceptions on the pace and scope of changes.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Philipp C. Bleek, Aaron Stein
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: A few years after Turkey and Iran appeared to be growing closer, the pendulum has swung back and the two sides are increasingly at odds. The turmoil in Syria has brought the long-term competition between Ankara and Tehran for regional influence to the fore. Iran has doubled down on its wager that the current regime in Damascus can weather the storm, while Turkey is betting that a post-Assad Syria would be more closely aligned with its own regional interests. But despite significant differences and growing antagonism, over Syria and more broadly, Turkey and Iran still have substantial reasons to cooperate. These include mutual interests in dealing with restive Kurdish populations and robust trade, particularly Turkey's reliance on Iranian oil and gas. History suggests that Ankara and Damascus will find ways to manage tensions, so the rivalry for regional influence is more likely to simmer than boil over into outright conflict. The Turkish-Iranian relationship will continue to resist simplistic caricatures.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Christopher Hobbs, Matthew Moran
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The past year has seen a steady rise in tensions with regard to Iran's nuclear programme. Iran's economy is being crippled by far-ranging sanctions and the threat of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities looms large on the horizon. Yet the country's nuclear programme marches on, stoking fears that Iran may indeed be seeking to cross the nuclear weapons threshold. In this context, it is timely to consider how key regional players would respond to a nuclear-armed Iran. Many argue that an Iranian bomb would prompt a proliferation cascade in the Middle East. However, a closer examination of the drivers for key regional players shows that this is not necessarily the case. There is a range of non-proliferation tools that could be applied by the West and others to offset this risk.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: James K. Sebenius, Michael K. Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since assuming the presidency of the United States in January 2009, Barack Obama has tried both outreach and sanctions in an effort to halt Iran's progress toward a nuclear weapons capability. Yet neither President Obama's personal diplomacy nor several rounds of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council-China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States-plus Germany (the "P5 1") nor escalating sanctions have deterred Tehran. Iran has not only continued but accelerated its nuclear progress, accumulating sufficient low-enriched uranium that, if further enriched, would be sufficient for five nuclear weapons. Consequently, as Iran makes major advances in its nuclear capabilities, speculation has increased that Israel or a United States-led coalition may be nearing the decision to conduct a military strike to disable Iran's nuclear program.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, France
  • 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: David Patrikarakos
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: David Patrikarakos reveals how Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, missed a blatant opportunity to defuse the crisis with Tehran
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran
  • Author: Ilan Berman
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: The Obama administration's Iran policy is driven by dangerous misconceptions about the nature of the regime in Tehran.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Tehran
  • Author: Kenneth Katzman
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: From Yaakov Katz and Yoaz Hendel, an inside look at the coming conflict between Tehran and Jerusalem.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Israel, Tehran, Jerusalem
  • Author: Emil Souleimanov, Josef KRAUS, Kamil Pikal
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country of multiple nationalities. Ethnic Persians account for approximately half of the total population. The remainder of the population consists of members of various ethnic groups of Turkic, Iranian, and Semitic origin, generally concentrated in a particular area. The exact number of these individual minorities and even of the Persian majority is unknown, since population censuses in Iran do not determine nationalities, but rather religious affiliation alone.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Mahir Khalifa-Zadeh
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article discusses cooperation between Israel and the Republic of Azerbaijan in order to neutralize foreign threats and ensure regional security. Expanding and improving ties with Azerbaijan has been part of Israel's newly adopted strategy toward non-Arab Muslim states. Also addressed is Iran's attitude towards Azerbaijan and the political and ideological opposition between the two mainly Shi'a-populated countries. Highlighted is the cooperation's strategic importance for improving security and defense capabilities for both Israel and Azerbaijan. Last, U.S. priorities in the South Caucasus are viewed in the context of the Israeli-Azerbaijani alliance.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Israel, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Kemal İnat
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: Turkish foreign policy toward the Middle East has confronted with more and novel security challenges in 2012. The problematic issues related to Arab revolutions of 2011 have already had negative repercussions for Ankara. As a result of diverging policy choices toward the Arab revolutions, these conflicting issues caused more strained relations between Turkey and its neighbors in the region. Regional actors divided over how to respond to political deadlocks in the Middle East. While Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have sided together, Iran, Syria and the central government of Iraq have made their policies jointly. This very division between the regional actors has increased the security risks within the Middle East. These two camps have particularly conflicting policy agendas and as a result, they have become part of a “proxy war” in Syria which constitutes the biggest security threat to the whole region. Despite the deteriorating situation in Syria and its own tense political environment domestically, Turkey, has continued to strengthen its economic relations with the Middle Eastern capitals except Damascus. It was partly a result of this policy that Turkey's export toward the Middle East increased significantly.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Damascus, Ankara
141. İran 2012
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring has resulted in a shift in the nature of Iran's regional foreign policy from a traditional 'resistance' strategy to a 'new engagement' approach. The new approach aims to strike a balance between strengthening cooperation with states in the region such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia and containing threats through maintaining traditional relations with ideological movements. In addition to the new strategic engagement policy, however, the nuclear issue has been constrained Iran's real economic and foreign policy capacity during 2012. The deepening economic crisis and rising inflation rates have also negatively affect Iran's domestic affairs and caused a new fragmentation among the conservative block. The legislative election held on March 2012 was the best example to understand this separation in Iranian domestic politics. In this article, it is analysed Iranian bilateral and regional relations by particularly focusing on its position regarding Arab Spring, nuclear issue and regional developments during 2012.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Arabia, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: The year 2012 was a critical year for Israel because of the political change in Egypt. Israeli relations with Turkey were also affected as the tension experienced in the region on social change shaken trust among neighbors. Tel Aviv holds that the uprisings in the Arab world signal continuous collapse of authoritarian regimes and thus inevitably pave the way for the rise of Islamic movements. Since the beginning of the uprisings in the Middle East, Israeli decision-makers remained on alert. Israel was directed to find new actors to resolve its loneliness in the region. These actors later appeared as Greece, Cyprus, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Their common feature is that all of these countries' relations with Turkey are somehow problematic. For Israel developing relationships with these countries also means cornering Turkey. On the other hand, there were also differences of opinion between the U.S. and Israel emerged in 2012 that should be noted. Indeed, 2012 saw that the seemingly unshakable alliance between the U.S. and Israel could in fact be in trouble following the two's differing responses to Iran's nuclear power ambitions. The latter issue showed that profound differences of opinion may well surface in the near future.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Greece, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Cyprus
  • Author: Eric S. Edelman, Evan Braden Montgomery
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Iran's acquisition of a nuclear bomb would upend the Middle East. It is unclear how a nuclear-armed Iran would weigh the costs, benefits, and risks of brinkmanship, meaning that it could be difficult to deter Tehran from attacking the United States' interests or partners in the region.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: John Deutch
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Thanks to technological advances, in the past few years, vast amounts of natural gas -- particularly shale gas -- have become economically viable. This development is an unmitigated boon for consumers interested in affordable energy and for governments hoping to reduce their countries' dependency on foreign oi.
  • Topic: Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, North America, Qatar
  • Author: Suzanne Maloney, Erica Downs
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: China, which invests heavily in Iran's energy sector, is the linchpin of the sanctions regime against Iran. If Washington wants to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it must transform Beijing from a silent, subordinate partner to a vigorous ally.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, Iran
  • Author: Clay Shirky, Malcolm Gladwell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: AN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE Malcolm Gladwell While reading Clay Shirky's "The Political Power of Social Media" (January/February 2010), I was reminded of a trip I took just over ten years ago, during the dot-com bubble. I went to the catalog clothier Lands' End in Wisconsin, determined to write about how the rise of the Internet and e-commerce was transforming retail. What I learned was that it was not. Having a Web site, I was told, was definitely an improvement over being dependent entirely on a paper catalog and a phone bank. But it was not a life-changing event. After all, taking someone's order over the phone is not that much harder than taking it over the Internet. The innovations that companies such as Lands' End really cared about were bar codes and overnight delivery, which utterly revolutionized the back ends of their businesses and which had happened a good ten to 15 years previously.
  • Topic: Communications
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Andrew Krepinevich, Shahram Chubin, Karim Sadjadpour, Eric S. Edelman, Dima Adamsky, Diane De Gramont, Evan Braden Montgomery
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: How would the Israeli defense establishment respond if Iran went nuclear? Is Washington focusing too much on military containment at the expense of political containment? And is a grand bargain with Tehran possible?
  • Topic: Cold War, War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Israel
  • 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: Hafsa Kanjwal
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: During a widely reported and controversial lecture at Columbia University in New York, the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, boldly declared: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country.” His statement, which caused ripples internationally, especially in the United States, underscores prolonged tensions on the subject of gender and sexuality in modern Iran, a nation experiencing what many have called “a sexual revolution.” How do we come to understand the history behind these tensions? How does this history relate to the broader historiography of gender and sexuality in the Islamicate? This review will look at two recent works, both published in the past decade, that have attempted to address these questions. The first book, entitled Women with Mustaches and Men Without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity, by Afsaneh Najmabadi draws upon visual and literary material from nineteenth century Iran during the Qajar period to demonstrate the centrality of gender and sexuality to the shaping of modern culture and politics in Iran.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • 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: 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: Joel H. Rosenthal
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: What is it about a twenty-fifth anniversary that seems to demand that we pay attention to the occasion? The obvious response, of course, is the issue of longevity—that someone or something has endured the various travails of a quarter century and, by all appearances, is continuing onward. But surely there is something else, something more essential at issue than merely endurance. There is, I think, the issue of recognition that is of importance here—the recognition that something has been sufficiently valued and appreciated as to warrant perpetuation. That, I suspect, is what we are celebrating when wetake this moment to reflect on our achievements and recommit ourselves to our stated mission.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Shashank Joshi
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the Persian Gulf - the spectre of Persia. The era of the Gulf's most iconic bête noire, Saudi born and raised Osama bin Laden, has drawn to a close. But outsiders persistently underestimate the degree to which it is a state - the Islamic republic of Iran - rather than a non-state group, al Qaeda, which today captures the strategic attention of those in the corridors of power in Riyadh, Manama, and Amman.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Persia
  • Author: Nukhet Ahu Sandal
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As the link between religion and international affairs has come under special scrutiny especially since 9/11, there has been an increase in the number of books and articles that investigate the issues of the public sphere from a faith-based perspective. Edited books have especially enjoyed considerable attention since they bring diverse voices in manageable bits. Some have explored theoretical links between international relations and religion, while others have drawn attention to more practical issues on the ground. Thomas Banchoff's Religious Pluralism, falling between these purely theoretical and completely practical projects, is a book worth reading especially given the diverse backgrounds of the 12 scholars it brings together. These contributors draw attention to the multiple roles religious actors have been playing in the international arena. Religious ideas constitute a market with its supply and demand side and the volume explores the actors, obstacles and possibilities in such a market. Especially with the trauma of 9/11 —and one can make the argument that the trauma actually started with the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran— there has been a disproportionate attention given to the violent manifestations of religion. Therefore, the acknowledgement of the constructive role of faith-based initiatives can still be considered a relatively new topic both to the academic and policy worlds. The authors discuss a number of contentious issues that have been subject to heated debates but due to the space limitations that pose a challenge to a thorough review of edited volumes, only a couple of issues are highlighted in this essay.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • 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: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Craig Biddle: I'm honored to be joined today by Reza Kahlili, author of A Time to Betray, a book about his double life as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The book is the winner of both best new nonfiction and autobiography/memoirs in the 2011 International Book Awards sponsored by JPX Media Group. Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym used for security reasons. Thank you for joining me, Reza. Reza Kahlili: Thank you so much for having me.
  • Political Geography: America, Iran
  • Author: Andrew Brannan
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Oil is crucial to human life, not only as a source of energy that fuels our homes, businesses, cars, airplanes, and hospitals, but also as a key component of countless products on which our lives and prosperity depend—from medical devices and cell phones, to roads and tires, to books, CDs, footballs, and tablecloths. Nonetheless, the oil industry and the men who animate it are widely loathed and frequently maligned. Read any news outlet for examples. In the face of this relentless anti-oil sentiment, Ezra Levant has written Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands. Levant explains that conventional oil fields (such as those in Iran and Saudi Arabia) have been decreasing production at a rate of 6.7 percent per year due to depleted reserves, and that, today, the largest exporter of oil to the United States is Canada (having displaced Saudi Arabia in 2004). Most of the oil produced in Canada, he notes, is extracted in Alberta in a geologically marvelous region called the Athabasca Oil Sands. Unlike conventional liquid oil, the oil sands are a type of bitumen—“oil mixed with sand and clay . . . [that] has the thickness of peanut butter”—that is more difficult and expensive to extract (p. 8). Levant explains that higher oil prices, and hence higher oil company profits, have led to capital investment in new technologies and extraction processes that have made “the oil sands economically viable” (p. 9). The first oil company to work the oil sands region was Suncor, in 1967. The open-pit mines that many people think of when picturing the oil sands are a relic of the early days of oil exploration and extraction. Today, Alberta's oil sands are easily one of the most technologically advanced resource operations in the world. Behind every dump-truck driver are teams of computer modellers, engineers, geologists, and technical operators. For every strong back working a shovel, there are a dozen M.A.s and Ph.D.s somewhere working a computer. (p. 117) Most of the thick bitumen (80 percent) is deep in the ground and must be drilled for and pumped out using steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), whereby steam is injected to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen, which then drains, by force of gravity, into a pipe below the steam and is pumped out. Using this technology, Canadian oil sands companies are able to transform what was once “considered an experimental project” into an oil-generating powerhouse (p. 9). In 2008, Canada shipped 715 million barrels [of oil] to the United States, far more than the 550 million barrels the Saudis sold. From 2003 to 2008, the oil sands had helped cut Saudi imports by 80 million barrels a year. (p. 9) But as Canada has become a larger player in the global oil market, Levant explains, environmentalists and other critics of the oil sands have increasingly condemned this technology and the companies that employ it. The critics claim that the oil sands are “140,000 square kilometers of toxic sludge” and “giant toxic lakes” inhabited by deformed fish, and that “migrating birds sometimes stop to rest” at these toxic sites before dying by the “tens of millions” (p. 1). Critics further claim that because of the high volume of water required to extract oil from these sites, “the mighty Athabasca River is about to become a small, dirty creek” (p. 2). They claim that the oil sands are “poisoning the aboriginals” in the region and “poisoning our very planet” (p. 3). And they claim that Fort McMurray, the urban center of oil sands production, is afflicted with all the “social ills of a boom town—the violence, the mistreatment of women, the addiction problems, and an artificially high cost of living that makes almost anyone with a job part of the working poor” (p. 3). Levant contends that the foregoing criticisms are “false . . . [e]very one of them” and sets out to refute them and others, and to show that the oil sands are ethically superior to the alternatives on multiple fronts (p. 3). . . .
  • Topic: Oil
  • Political Geography: Iran, Canada, Saudi Arabia
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
172. Iranium
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Many Americans are concerned about the Iranian regime's progress in its efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, yet few are demanding that the U.S. government do anything about it. Iranium, a new documentary by Alex Traiman, seeks to change that. Narrated by Shohreh Aghdashloo, and with commentary by (among others) John Bolton, Bernard Lewis, Michael Ledeen, and Reza Kahlili, the documentary begins by looking at both the founding ideology and the constitution of the Iranian regime. It shows the Ayatollah Khomeini following the overthrow of the shah, saying, “When we revolted, we revolted for the sake of Islam.” It shows footage of him calling for a global caliphate: “This movement cannot be limited to one country only. It cannot be limited to Islamic countries either.” And it shows how Iran's constitution codifies those views, establishing a nation “in accordance with Islamic law,” providing “the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the revolution” toward “a universal and holy government” and “the downfall of others.” “From the very beginning, explains Kenneth Timmerman, executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, Iran's leaders “considered terrorism as a tool of policy. . . . Iran set up Hezbollah . . . to have a 'cut-out' [that] could 'independently' carry out terrorist attacks with 'no fingerprints' back to Tehran.” Iranium lines up the facts like a long series of dominoes, enabling viewers to see how the murderous ideology at the foundation of modern Iran led to a constitution demanding its implementation, which, in turn, led to the creation of terrorist proxies and the terrorizing and murdering of Americans and other “infidels” worldwide. . . .
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America, Iran
  • Author: Jakub Wodka
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this timely book Alexander Murinson explores the forces behind the entente between Turkey, Israel, and Azerbaijan. He juxtaposes these three countries, which he characterizes as “garrison-, like-minded, 'Westernistic', secular, constitutionally nationalist and lonely states.” (p.143) Those features depict the identity construct of the three states, which on the face of it, may seem to have conflicting interests in the turbulent Eurasian region spanning the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans. Each of the three states is a sui generis actor on the global stage – post-imperial, western-oriented Turkey with global ambitions ruled by a post-Islamist party, a Jewish state encircled by Arab neighbors, and an oil-rich post-soviet republic with an autocratic regime. Thus, the author seeks to understand how the common identities of the three countries on the one hand led to the formation of this peculiar alliance, and on the other hand what factors could and in fact do undermine the Turkish-IsraeliAzeri security relationship. Departing from the more classic, neo-realist approach to international relations, where the homogenous states – the so-called billiard balls are the sole actors on the world stage, the author draws from the constructivist importance of identity as the driving force of states' behavior and their foreign policy. He looks deep into the tissue of the three states and the regional and global context to decipher the emerging patterns and trends in Ankara's relations with Israel and Azerbaijan. As “all the three states have special relations with the world hegemon,” (p.147) it is warranted to say that the United States is the “fourth leg” of this triangular axis. Washington plays a key role in regional affairs and is interested in forging cooperation between countries potentially capable of counterbalancing the regional alignment between Russia, Iran, and Syria.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Wyn Q Bowen, Jonathan Brewer
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The technical and political evidence that Iran is seeking to establish a 'nuclear hedging' capability has gradually increased over the past nine years. The regime in Tehran has continued to insist that its nuclear ambitions are purely civilian in nature and it has resisted the international community's dual-track policy, encompassing both negotiations and sanctions, to persuade Iran to be fully transparent about its nuclear activities and plans, and to suspend work related to uranium enrichment and plutonium separation. While the prospects for a negotiated solution currently appear slim, the regime does not yet appear to have decided whether, or when, to produce nuclear weapons and to break out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is essential, therefore, to maintain and if necessary to build up the pressure on Iran and to strengthen efforts to disrupt its procurement of technology and materials for its nuclear programme. It is also imperative for the international community to maintain negotiations and also consider alternative diplomatic approaches to enhance the prospects of keeping Iran focused purely on civil nuclear ambitions, while at the same time resolving questions related to the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear programme.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Tehran
  • Author: Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson, Miranda Priebe
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United States and its Persian Gulf allies have been increasingly concerned with the growing size and complexity of Iran's ballistic missile programs. At a time when the United States and its allies remain locked in a standoff with Iran over the latter's nuclear program, states around the Persian Gulf fear that Iran would retaliate for an attack on its nuclear program by launching missiles at regional oil installations and other strategic targets. An examination of the threat posed by Iran's missiles to Saudi Arabian oil installations, based on an assessment of Iran's missile capabilities, a detailed analysis of Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure, and a simulated missile campaign against the network using known Iranian weapons, finds no evidence of a significant Iranian missile threat to Saudi infrastructure. These findings cast doubt on one aspect of the Iranian threat to Persian Gulf oil while offering an analytic framework for understanding developments in the Iranian missile arsenal and the vulnerability of oil infrastructure to conventional attack.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Persia
  • 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: Arolda Elbasani
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: Stable Outside, Fragile Inside is one of the newest books in search of the distinctive development, erratic trends and widely perceived failure of Central Asian republics to make a successful transition to democracy after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The volume seeks to explain the region's specific trajectory to independent statehood, focusing on processes of socialization with competing external norms, emanating not only the main protagonists of the Cold War, Russia and US, but also an increasingly influential EU, a myriad of international organizations and European countries, as well as regional powers such as Turkey, China, Iran, and Pakistan. At the same time, the book draws attention to the specific domestic context of awkward statehood of Central Asian polities – a set of authority structures and state society relations as well as unpredictable international behavior – which makes it difficult for the conventional frameworks to capture the current state of affairs. Opting for a flexible and comprehensive analysis of practices of statehood, the analysis claims to go beyond mainstream understanding of compliance and delve into intricate processes of 'localization', which unfold at the intersection of local conditions and the larger world system.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Soviet Union
  • Author: Bessma Momani, Andrew F. Cooper
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: It is increasingly obvious that Qatar is playing above its weight in the international role. There is no one script that defines Qatar's diplomatic role. It is best seen as a maverick, willing to work with the US as well as Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. It operates a complex form of public diplomacy via Al-Jazeera and other high profile initiatives at the same time as it mediates behind the scenes with Israel and Lebanon. Qatar's role as a unique hybrid diplomatic actor is reinforced by the enthusiastic support it displayed towards the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, including operational support for the UN Security Resolution to place a no-fly zone with respect to the Qaddafi's regime, while being more circumspect on the uprising in Bahrain. Such an extensive, unconventional and differentiated approach creates risks as well as opportunities. Yet, through a combination of resources and vision, it is skilled resilience not vulnerability that defines Qatar.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Dublin
  • 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: A. Lukmanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: IN THE 15TH CENTURY, Russian merchant Afanasy Nikitin driven by business interests traveled to the arab east, Iran and India, a highly risky enterprise at that time. he went to “bring goods to the Russian land” but after three years of wandering had to admit with a great deal of bitterness: “There is no way from the hormuz to horasan; no way to Chagatai; no way to baghdad; no way to bahrain, no way to yezd, no way to arabia – everywhere the princes are fighting.” This was written five centuries ago; the intrepid traveler is nearly forgotten, probably because of continued instability and the consistently failing attempts to bring peace to the region (instability was responsible for the failure of the first Russian commercial project in the near and Middle east).
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, India, Baghdad
  • 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: Ray Takeyh, Suzanne Maloney
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Economic sanctions have often been considered an important tool for disciplining adversaries and compelling them to offer important concessions. History, however, suggests otherwise. Economic penalties rarely cause states to abandon important national assets. After decades of struggling under punitive financial measures, Iran has persisted with its objectionable policies ranging from terrorism to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. All this suggests that ideological regimes that put a premium on their political priorities and which are seemingly insensitive to the mounting costs of their belligerence may not be suitable candidates for the type of cost-benefit analysis that sanctions diplomacy invites.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Toby Dodge
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article examines Fred Halliday's research and writing on the politics of the Middle East. It classifies Halliday as a 'high modernist', who organized his work around a constant commitment to a universal rationality, historical progress and an opposition to relativism and a particularist reading of the Middle East. The article identifies the two dominant units of analysis that shaped Halliday's work on the region throughout his life. These were the transformative capacity of capitalism and the role of a comparatively autonomous state. The article then examines how the content of each unit was transformed as Halliday moved from an overt Marxism to a more diffuse liberalism. It then goes on to argue that Halliday's ideological affinities and his deployment of these units marginalized the role and importance of ideology, specifically both nationalism and Islamism. Finally, it traces the influence of this approach and the deployment of these units in Halliday's work on Iran, Iraq and the Arab–Israeli conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Jamsheed K. Choksy
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Iran's president takes on the ayatollahs, with the Islamic Republic in the balance
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Esra Pakin Albayrakoğlu
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: Being strategic partners as of 1980s against the common threat of Iran, the USA and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have diverged in time as regards how to treat this country. The GCC has sought to protect their interests and cultivated dialogue with Iran, while trying not to break relations with Washington. The Council insists on reintegrating Iran into the system through diplomatic means. However, the ability of the GCC to influence Iranian and USA policies are limited. At a time when multidimensional security issues render the GCC dependent upon USA defence capabilities, the USA, GCC and Iran face difficulties in reaching a common ground.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Persian Gulf, Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, widely suspected of having a secret and illegal military objective, is a major flashpoint. A nuclear Iran would alter the balance of power in the strategic Gulf area and seriously weaken the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Iran is a party as a non-nuclear state. The magnitude of the issue has prompted a number of countries to step in to curb Iran's nuclear plans. The European Union and the United States have been at the forefront of this effort. However, it was only at the end of a gradual, irregular and difficult process that the two sides were able to reach convergence.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Idrees Mohammed
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: This article explores the Turkish-Iranian rivalry and the conflicting interests of the two countries in the region with respect to the impact of the Arab Spring on the Syrian regime. It first looks into the background of the rivalry between Turkey and Iran. It then examines the reasons of the Turkish-Iranian rivalry, particularly over Syria. It posits that the rapprochement between Turkey and Syria, which had taken place as a result of the change in Turkish foreign policy in the last decade, faced a rupture with the breaking of the Arab Spring. It then argues that the rupture in Turkish-Syrian relations increased the Iranian influence on the Syrian regime owing to the long Iranian-Syrian alliance and their converging interests in the region. Finally, the article argues that while Turkey is in favor of a change of regime in Syria towards democratization of the country, Iran is in favor of the Syrian status-quo
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Islamic Republic has modernized and bureaucratized the clerical establishment, redefined religion and created institutions to enforce this new definition. The effect has been a transformation of religion into a symbolic form of capital. By monopolizing religious affairs, the political system has become a regime of religion in which the state plays the role of central banker for symbolic religious capital. Consequently, the expansion and monopolization of the religious market have helped the Islamic Republic increase the ranks of its supporters and beneficiaries significantly, even among critics of the government. This article demonstrates how the accumulation of religious capital in the hands of the government mutually influences the nature of the state and the clerical establishment and will continue to do so in Iran's uncertain future.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The last four months of 2011 were both ordinary and extraordinary for Beijing and Moscow. There was certainly business as usual as top leaders and bureaucrats frequented each other's countries for scheduled meetings. The world around them, however, was riddled with crises and conflicts. Some (Libya and Syria) had seriously undermined their respective interests; others (Iran and North Korea) were potentially more volatile, and even dangerous, for the region and the world. Regardless, 2011 was a year full of anniversaries with symbolic and substantive implications for not only China and Russia, but also much of the rest of the world.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Beijing, North Korea, Libya, Moscow, Syria
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Nonproliferation Review
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: By the time Barack Obama became the forty-fourth president of the United States in January 2009, there was a widespread belief, not altogether incorrect, that the nuclear nonproliferation regime was in dire straits. Iranian and North Korean intransigence regarding their nuclear programs, the revelation that Syria had been building a secret nuclear reactor, increasing tensions with Russia over US missile defense plans, and, not least, significant global dissatisfaction with and opposition to the George W. Bush administration's unfettered disdain for serious and binding arms control and disarmament measures had many people asking just how much more strain the regime could handle before it would collapse.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, North Korea, Syria
  • Author: Niall Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: NIALL FERGUSON is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His most recent book is The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World. There is no better illustration of the life cycle of a great power than The Course of Empire, a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole that hang in the New-York Historical Society. Cole was a founder of the Hudson River School and one of the pioneers of nineteenth-century American landscape painting; in The Course of Empire, he beautifully captured a theory of imperial rise and fall to which most people remain in thrall to this day.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Iran
  • Author: Ray Takeyh, James M. Lindsay
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: JAMES M. LINDSAY is Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair at the Council on Foreign Relations. RAY TAKEYH is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran