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  • Author: Nadia Helmy
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, Chinese Iranian and Middle East Studies have become more and more systematic, which is reflected not only in the great volume of publication, but also in the varied research methodologies and the increase in Iranian and Middle East academic journals. The development of Chinese Middle East studies have accelerated in particular after Arab Spring revolutions and the political changes in the Middle East (2000- 2013). Research institutes evolved from state-controlled propaganda offices into multi-dimensional academic and non-academic entities, including universities, research institutes, military institutions, government offices, overseas embassies and mass media. At the same time, publications evolved from providing an introduction and overview of Iran and Middle Eastern states to in-depth studies of Middle East politics and economics in three stages: beginnings (1949- 1978), growth (1979- 1999), and dealing with energy, religion, culture, society and security. The Middle East-related research programs' funding provided by provincial, ministerial and national authorities have increased and the quality of research has greatly improved. And finally, China has established, as well as joined, various academic institutions and NGOs, such as the Chinese Middle East Studies Association (CMESA), the Asian Middle East Studies Association (AMESA) and the Arabic Literature Studies Association (ALSA). However, Chinese Middle East Studies remain underdeveloped, both in comparison with China's American, European, and Japanese studies at home, and with Middle East studies in the West.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Politics, Religion, Culture, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Fahimeh Ghorbani, Hamid Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: What impact has the Syrian crisis had on Iran-Turkey political relations? Some analysts argue that divergence in Iranian and Turkish outlooks and roles played in the Syrian crisis have adversely affected their bilateral relationship. But the authors believe that in spite of the conflict in Iran's interests and Turkish policies towards Syria, their broader relations in other areas–security and economy-have prevented the rupture of political relations. In this regards, after the nature of the Syrian crisis is briefly described, Turkish foreign policy strategy in the Middle East will be explained. Then, Turkish-Syrian relations prior to the outbreak of the crisis will be analyzed followed by a discussion of Iranian and Turkish foreign policies towards the Syrian crisis and their impact on their mutual relations. The authors will conclude that although the Syrian political crisis has given rise to certain tensions and adverse consequences in their political relations, their bilateral ties have persisted as manifested in high-ranking diplomatic meetings between their political authorities and in ongoing deliberations on important regional issues.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Ali-Reza Niknejad, RamtinSalarian
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The region of the Persian Gulf can be seen as a heartland under the geopolitical influence of which the Arab-Iranian relations are shaped. As one the world's primary and most significant source of fossil-energy exports, the Persian Gulf cobbles together the eight countries of the region in a geopolitical panorama, in which they enjoy similarities in economic and strategic life, as well as security concerns. As well, the challenges of maritime political geography seem to be quite dependent on an established set of standards and agreements in order to remain on solid grounds. Currently, these challenges manifest themselves in four major categories, with substantial geopolitical consequences between the Iranians and the Arabs of the region, and the complexity of their relationships. These include: Religious Controversies, which concern the sectarian geopolitics, propagated under Jordan-Israeli concoction of "Shiite Crescent", Territorial Contentions; with its major controversy over the naming of the Persian Gulf. This article examines the process of territorial conflicts, proceedings and eventually the settlements over the maritime areas of the Persian Gulf in the past five decades. The arrangement of the maritime political geography in the Persian Gulf is a fitting example of former disputes over the border and boundaries within the maritime regions of the world.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Persia
  • Author: Michele Brunelli
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This paper intends to point out that threats and problems related to security and stability are common and affect the entire sub-regional system, necessitating common responses. The paper is structured in three parts. In the first part this paper intends to analyse and explain the concept of security, demonstrating that from a theoretical point of view, it must not be considered as a univocal problem, but regrouping different aspects. The second part of the paper analyses the many sources of instability affecting the Persian Gulf region today, with unavoidable consequences seen in the neighbouring sub-regional systems, such as the Caucasus, Central Asia, European Union, India and China. In the third part this paper will propose some theoretical ideas and pragmatic mechanisms aimed at suggesting different solutions to the issues analysed above. There will also be a review of the proposal for the creation of a common market involving Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as a prelude to a monetary union modelled on the experiences and results of the Euro. The effects of an end to the embargo on Iran will also be assessed. As for military security, I will assess whether the realisation of a sort of a Persian Gulf version of NATO would be possible.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Central Asia, India
  • Author: 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'ĂȘtre 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