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  • Author: Fatima Al-Smadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The sanctions affect Iran in many ways, not only in economic terms. This paper examines the impact of sanctions on Iran’s domestic and foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Elvir Mammadov
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Security and Defense Studies (BHKK)
  • Abstract: Iran's international standing is currently under slow, but significant change due to the recently signed nuclear deal with the global powers group of "P5+1". The South Caucasus region will be one of the primary influenced regions by such a sharp turn in the history of Iran. Turning back to the recent history of Iran's foreign policy towards the South Caucasus, it can be seen that Tehran has found itself in unpleasant situation and unprepared to build up effective ties with the countries because of certain objective reasons. Emerged regional conflicts suddenly after the collapse of the Soviet Union between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and in Georgia with its two breakaway territories caused more difficulties for Iran's foreign policy towards the region. The targets put in the beginning for integration into the region has ended up with a defensive and limited position for Iran in the South Caucasus.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Eric M. Brewer, Elisa Catalano Ewers
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Trump administration has adopted an aggressive Iran strategy. The United States seeks to achieve—via the application of maximum pressure—nothing short of a fundamental change to policies that have defined the Islamic Republic for decades, if not since its founding, and have been a constant source of tension with the United States. Although the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-impose sanctions on Iran has garnered most of the attention, the administration also is leveraging diplomatic, law enforcement, informational, and other tools to apply pressure across a range of issues: Iran’s missile program, support for terrorism, regional influence, and human rights record
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, a former Iranian judiciary chief who holds a prominent position in the Assembly of Experts, now has two paths to leadership of the Shiite community. The first is as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, now seventy-seven; the second is to eventually take the place of Najaf-based Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who at eighty-six is the preeminent religious authority in Shia Islam. A certain air of mystery surrounds Shahroudi, whose life has been chronicled heretofore only in a flattering pamphlet produced by his own office. But the trends in his philosophy are clear enough: on the religious front, he has grown more conservative; in matters of Iranian nationalism, a harder-line revolutionary. Author Mehdi Khalaji offers here the first comprehensive study of Ayatollah Shahroudi, encompassing his upbringing in holy Najaf, his move to Iran after the Islamic Revolution, his role as a stalwart in Khamenei's power base, and his brutal tenure as chief justice from 1999 to 2009. A scenario worth imagining, though hardly inevitable, is one in which Shahroudi consolidates power as both Supreme Leader and transnational marja, thereby reinforcing Iran's regional clout and its revolutionary orientation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Turkey and Iran appear to be bent on upgrading political and security coordination over regional developments of common and special interest. This was evidenced by Iranian Chief of Staff General Muhammad Bagheri’s three-day vis- it to Turkey on August 15, 2017. This visit indicates that a “convergence of necessity” is headlining relations between the two regional powers despite a number of pending issues between them.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti, Owen Daniels
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Revolution Unveiled: A Closer Look at Iran’s Presence and Influence in the Middle East, by Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti, and Owen Daniels, pieces together snapshots of Iran’s influence in the region using photographic analysis, geolocation, social media monitoring, and other methods. Through four case studies, this report systematically examines new or lesser-known methods Iran employs to project its influence beyond its borders. By using proxy Shia groups, ideology, arms provision, and transnational networks, Tehran destabilizes and strikes at regional adversaries to achieve its strategic and policy objectives.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Wael Abdul-Shafi
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Falling oil and gas prices and shrinking demand across global energy markets pose enormous challenges for energy exporting countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia and lead to decreasing revenues from this sector. Despite differences in the structures of their respective national economies, both countries share common challenges in adapting to this new situation. High youth unemployment rates, an underrepresentation of women in the workforce, a public sector unable to absorb the high numbers of university graduates as well as environmental degradation and pollution, all constitute major problems for both countries and their economies. But, while solving many of these issues would ideally demand bilateral cooperation, a political climate of mutual mistrust and enmity currently inhibits such a process.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Wael Abdul-Shafi
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The EastWest Institute and the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) held a two-day confidential dialogue meeting between participants from Iran and Saudi Arabia in Bonn on April 27-28, 2016. The two groups from Iran and Saudi Arabia were composed of former diplomats, senior analysts, and security and military experts. In addition, a group of distinguished experts from the European think tank community contributed with their input and analysis. Held under strict Chatham House Rule, the dialogue aimed at gaining insights on how Saudi Arabia and Iran view the ongoing crises in the Middle East and how they believe Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen can be stabilized and how the escalating refugee crisis can be contained.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Ian Dudgeon
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Any assessment of the multitude of dynamics that contribute to the ongoing regional stability in the Middle East requires an understanding of the factors that motivate the perceptions and actions of each state and other non-state actors. Iran and its neighbours, the Islamic State (IS) and the Sunnis and Shiite sects of Islam are all stakeholders in this mix, and in shaping any solution that contributes to regional peace and stability.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran