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  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The Islamic Resistance Movement (more commonly known as Hamas) has recently intensified its efforts to enhance its relations with Iran, especially after President Hassan Rouhani was elected for a second term. It also seeks to invest favorable official attitudes inside Iran where most main- stream political parties are urging for what they believe is necessary support to some organizations operating across the region, including the occupied Palestinian Territories, and resume full- fledged relations with Hamas.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Mohsen Shariatinia, Hamidreza Azizi
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: Iran served as a bridge in the ancient Silk Road, connecting the East and the West. It also has great potential to play an important role in the new Silk Road. The present study analyzes the factors affecting Iran–China cooperation in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative at the strategic and operational levels. This article shows that, at the strategic level, Iran defines this project as an opportunity to improve its status in the world economy, expanding its room to manoeuvre in the international arena and developing its ties with China, a rising great power. At the operational level, the opportunities and challenges for Iran–China cooperation could be summarized as pertaining to five realms within the Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative: policy coordination, facilitation of connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds. The present study asserts that the main opportunity for cooperation between the two countries lies in facilitating connectivity and that the key challenge is financial integration.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Iran
  • Author: Michael Lt. Col. (ret.) Segall
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Today, amid Hamas’ ongoing distress, the changes in its leadership both within and outside of Gaza, and the decline in its funding and political support, the movement is seeking to warm its ties with Tehran.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Michael Segall
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The new Iranian defense minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, strongly supports the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its commander Qasem Soleimani, and the “resistance front.”
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Ambassador Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Iranian nuclear agreement (JCPOA) of 2015 was based on several key premises. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Iran was just two months away from having enough fissile material for an atomic bomb. With the agreement, that breakout time could be stretched out to a year or more.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Soren Scholvin
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Geopolitical research is frequently portrayed as a dead end. To some scholars it appears that in the 21st century geography is largely scenery, all but irrelevant to the most important issues of grand strategy. This working paper aims to revitalise geopolitics, reflecting both on the critique of the subject and the strengths that have characterised it for more than a century. It is argued that geographical conditions constitute a set of opportunities and constraints, a structure that is independent of agency. General patterns and long-term processes can be aptly explained by this structure but geopolitics is not a theory of state behaviour or foreign policy. Understanding specific phenomena that occur in international relations therefore requires taking into consideration non-geographical factors. Such a combination of geographical and non-geographical factors provides sound explanations, as several examples demonstrate: China’s projection of power into the Indian Ocean, South Africa’s approach to the political crisis in Zimbabwe in 2008, Iran’s maritime strategy and the poor integration of Colombia and South America. Given that geopolitics is about analysing international relations (or politics) for its geographical content, all those committed to geopolitics should concentrate on the three guiding questions: Do geographical conditions influence the observed outcome? If yes, do geographical conditions influence the observed outcome significantly? If yes, how, meaning in combination with which other factors do geographical conditions influence the observed outcome?
  • Topic: Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, South Africa, Colombia, South America, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Mieke Eoyang, Peter Billerbeck
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: A nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable, and the best way to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran's hands is with a credible agreement. Sanctions have forced Iran to the negotiating table, but increasing sanctions now risks collapsing valuable progress and undermining international support. Congress should consider other options to turn up the heat on Iran—like improving monitoring and verification. The U.S. has made significant progress at the negotiating table toward preventing a nuclear armed Iran. Increasing sanctions isn't the only option to keep the pressure on Iran both now and after a deal is reached. Given Iran's history of deception, the U.S. cannot simply trust, but must actively verify that Iran sticks to the deal. Congress can and should strengthen monitoring processes while maintaining an independent role in verifying Iran's compliance.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Such is the magnitude of the crisis in Iraq and Syria that experts have started wondering whether the area will witness a major realignment between the main rival camps, the US and its allies on the one hand and Iran and its proxies on the other. The US and Iran – so the argument goes – share a critical interest in fighting the Islamic State and keep Iraq from total breakdown. Only by joining forces can they bring stability to the region, which incidentally should also serve as an incentive for both parties to reach a compromise on the nuclear issue. This interpretation, however, fails to account for the effects that a US-Iran rapprochement would have on the US's system of alliances in the region. US-Iran relations are likely to remain antagonistic, although the Iraq-Syria crisis and the nuclear issue have indeed the potential to re-orientate them along a less adversarial pattern.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Syria
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Olli Heinonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Iran's nuclear program dates from the late 1950s. By the 1960s, the united states had supplied the iranians with a small research reactor. Later, the shah had ambitious plans to construct twenty-three nuclear power reactors, and initial orders were placed with west german and french companies. Iran also started to invest in nuclear fuel-cycle services, though was unable, due to u.s. Pressure, to obtain reprocessing or uranium enrichment plants. It did, however, invest in the eurodif enrichment plant in france and the roessing uranium mine in namibia, shareholdings it maintains today. When iran signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1968 and ratified it in 1970, all its nuclear activities became subject to inspection by the international atomic energy agency (iaea).
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Namibia
  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The intensity of Moscow's current contact with Tehran is unprecedented in Russia's post-Soviet history. Both the Russian and Iranian authorities are determined to create a solid foundation for bilateral dialogue, and their dedication to deepening ties is largely determined by their geopolitical interests. Yet despite the potential for improvement, there are serious obstacles that may hamper or even halt cooperation.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Moscow
  • Author: Anthony H Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Much of the examination of the Iran nuclear agreement has focused on the funds that would be released once Iran complied with the terms of the agreement. Some estimates of the near term cash benefit that Iran will receive have gone as high as $150 billion – although U.S.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Gary Samore
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This report has been produced in the interest of contributing to informed Congressional review and public discourse on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It provides a concise description of the agreement and the accompanying UN Security Council Resolution 2231. It also includes a balanced assessment of the agreement's strengths and weaknesses with respect to its central objective to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The team of experts who prepared the report includes Democrats, Republications, independents, and internationals. Noting areas of disagreement among themselves, they agreed that this report provides an accurate description and balanced assessment of the agreement.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Micha'el Tanchum
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: With the removal of international sanctions on Iran, different markets will have a great interest in importing Iranian gas. But which market will benefit the most? In A Post-Sanctions Iran and the Eurasian Energy Architecture, Micha'el Tanchum, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center and the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative, argues that the lifting of the sanctions carries the potential to radically restructure the Eurasian energy architecture and, as a consequence, reshape Eurasian geopolitics. After Iran meets its domestic demand for natural gas, it will have the option to export gas to two of the following three markets: European Union/Turkey, India, or China. Iran will not have enough natural gas to supply all three of these major markets. The pattern of Iran's gas exports in the immediate post-sanctions period will shape the relationship between two competing orientations in the Eurasian energy architecture: a system of energy relationships reinforcing the EU's outreach to the Eastern Neighborhood alongside a system of energy relationships reinforcing China's OBOR integration project. A pivot to China will not be favorable to EU's and NATO's interests as it decreases Europe's energy security. By contrast, an expanded Southern Gas Corridor to Europe would promote the extension of Euro-Atlantic influence in Eurasia.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Eurasia
  • Author: Samuel Helfont
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The term “post-colonial” has presented a seminal problem for historians of the 20th century Middle East. As this essay will detail, debates over the term have provided an important axis around which discussions of political identity revolve. Following World War Two European power in the Middle East crumbled and a number of post-colonial states emerged. These states often justified their existence in terms of ideologies that were tied to specific post-colonial, political identities. Endless debates have occurred over how much emphasis to put on the post-colonial nature of these states and their political identities. In this essay, I will discuss whether a state’s status as post-colonial matters. If so, how? And what are the consequences? Following a general discussion of debates over post-colonialism, will look more closely at three case studies: Egypt, Iraq, and Iran.
  • Topic: Development, Islam, Nationalism, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Elizabeth Rosenberg, Sara Vakhshouri
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The international community is poised to sign a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, under which Iran would make concessions on its enrichment activities and the United States and others would offer substantial relief from punishing economic sanctions. The removal of the most complex, extensive, and multilateral regime of coercive economic measures promises a windfall to Iran. However, this will be neither immediate nor easy, given the difficulty of reestablishing severed commercial and legal ties between Iran and the global financial system. Removing sanctions will require careful international cooperation and substantial outreach to the private sector.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Treaties and Agreements, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: With the world focused on the nuclear crisis in Iran, it is tempting to think that addressing this case, North Korea, and the problem of nuclear terrorism is all that matters and is what matters most. Perhaps, but if states become more willing to use their nuclear weapons to achieve military advantage, the problem of proliferation will become much more unwieldy. In this case, U.S. security will be hostage not just to North Korea, Iran, or terrorists, but to nuclear proliferation more generally, diplomatic miscalculations, and wars between a much larger number of possible players. This, in a nutshell, is the premise of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future, which explores what nuclear futures we may face over the next 3 decades and how we currently think about this future. Will nuclear weapons spread in the next 20 years to more nations than just North Korea and possibly Iran? How great will the consequences be? What can be done?
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph, completed ahead of the November 2014 deadline, examines some of the underlying factors which will be constant in dealing with a nuclear capable Iran under President Hassan Rouhani, and which will help determine the success or failure of talks in 2015. It analyzes Rouhani's eventful first year in office in order to provide pointers to what may be possible—and to some key limiting factors—for Iran under his leadership. During that time, Rouhani has been forced to balance his own progressive instincts with the instinctual caution of more conservative elements of the Iranian ruling elite. As a result, foreign hopes for his influence on Iran’s place in the world have moved from initial optimism to a more sober assessment of the options available to him. This monograph provides an essential backdrop to the forthcoming renewed negotiations with Iran by providing an introduction to the complex interplay of issues and interests which constrain the Iranian leadership
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Cornelius Adebahr
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After years of tension, sanctions, and deadlocked negotiations, Hassan Rouhani, Iran's relatively moderate new president, has provided an opening for improved relations between the Islamic Republic and the West. While Rouhani has not ushered in a new Iran, Tehran has adopted a more conciliatory tone on its nuclear program since he took office. This shift is more than just talk, but the West will have to carefully calibrate its response to determine whether Rouhani's changed rhetoric signals the beginning of a new direction for Iran.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Islam, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Danielle Pletka, Frederick W. Kagan, J. Matthew McInnis
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A review of the soft-power strategies of both the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East and Afghanistan makes clear a disturbing fact: Tehran has a coherent, if sometimes ineffective strategy to advance its aims in the Middle East and around the world. The United States does not. This project began with two tour d'horizon reviews of Iranian activities throughout areas Iran has, by its actions, defined as its sphere of influence. From the Persian Gulf through the Levant and into neighboring Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic has consistently invested in soft- and hard-power activities designed not only to extend its own influence but also to limit both American and hostile Arab aims. And while the latter part of the Ahmadinejad administration saw waning rewards for Tehran's efforts-a result more of the growing Sunni-Shia divide in the Middle East than of changes in strategy-the continued existence of a coherent Iranian strategy to dominate or destabilize the region should not be ignored. This report, the culmination of a process of both examining Iranian actions and surveying American policy, policy responses, and soft-power strategies in the region, focuses on the US side of the equation. Despite the Obama administration's commitment to replace hard power with smart power, what the United States pursues in the Middle East is a set of incoherent, ineffective, and increasingly irrelevant policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Central Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Enrico Carisch, Loraine Rickard-Martin
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This manual is intended as a tool for officials of UN member states, international organizations, companies, and corporations to support sanctions implementation. The manual delivers to frontline actors in the public and private sectors specific guidance to enable more effective compliance with UN non-proliferation sanctions on Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North Korea, United Nations
  • Author: Astrid Forberg Ryan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: While it is the responsibility of member states to ensure that sanctions adopted by the United Nations Security Council are implemented, the council plays an equally important role in facilitating and promoting effective implementation. This paper discusses the role of the Security Council with a view to providing guidance for those involved in the council's work, making the case for greater transparency. It briefly reviews current council practices and procedures relating to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran sanctions regimes, including the working methods of the 1718 and 1737 Committees, and it identifies possible options for the council aimed at enhancing sanctions implementation through transparency-related measures.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, United Nations
  • Author: Robert M. Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The waterways of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) are among the most important in the world. They facilitate the export of large volumes of oil and natural gas from the region, while also bridging traders in the Eastern and Western worlds through the Red Sea and Suez Canal. While political tensions in the region have at times played out in these waterways since the mid-20th century, their vulnerability has been exasperated in recent years by the failure of bordering governments to promote internal stability, the lack of adequate maritime security capabilities of nearby states, and the potential naval threats posed by the government of Iran.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, International Security, Military Strategy, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the years since the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Southern Gulf states and the US have developed a de facto strategic partnership based on a common need to deter and defend against any threat from Iran, deal with regional instability in countries like Iraq and Yemen, counter the threat of terrorism and extremism, and deal with the other threats to the flow of Gulf petroleum exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, North America
  • Author: Marisa Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Hezbollah's deepening involvement in Syria is one of the most important factors of the conflict in 2013 and 2014. Since the beginning of 2013, Hezbollah fighters have operated openly and in significant numbers across the border alongside their Syrian and Iraqi counterparts. They have enabled the regime to regain control of rebel-held areas in central Syria and have improved the effectiveness of pro-regime forces. The impact of Hezbollah's involvement in Syria has been felt not just on the battlefield, where the regime now has momentum in many areas, but also in Lebanon where growing sectarian tensions have undermined security and stability.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In a region of troubles, the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program stand out. The first-step agreement, signed in November 2013, broke a decade of futile diplomatic forays punctuated by mutual escalation. The product of a rare confluence of political calendars and actors, it set a framework for a balanced arms-control agreement that could form the basis of a comprehensive nuclear accord. But reasons for caution abound. It is easier to pause than to reverse the escalation pitting centrifuges against sanctions. Mistrust remains deep, time is short, and the process remains vulnerable to pressure from domestic and regional detractors. In bringing the sides together, the accord revealed the chasm that separates them. Success is possible only with political will to isolate the deal – at least for now – from its complex regional context. It will ultimately be sustainable only if the parties, building on its momentum, recognise that their rival's legitimate interests need to be respected. But a far-reaching resolution of differences will be possible only after a relatively narrow, technical nuclear agreement.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although President Rouhani has persuaded the Supreme Leader to adjust the IRGC's economic functions, he has not challenged its role in shaping Iran's nuclear policy. President Hassan Rouhani's relationship with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a central dynamic in the country's politics and economy. As always, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ultimately determines the roles of the president and the IRGC, so Rouhani has sought to pursue his economic imperatives without crossing the Supreme Leader or the military elite on the nuclear issue.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew J. Tabler
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Given that Assad and his backers want to gut the transition process called for in the Geneva Communique, Washington should plan to take other steps in parallel to the Geneva process.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation, Armed Struggle, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Britain, United States, Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, France, London, Germany, Saudi Arabia, United Nations, Italy, Syria, Switzerland, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Assad is still standing, but he is not standing alone -- and he likely no longer makes decisions alone either.
  • Topic: Armed Struggle, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The controversial Hariri trial will unfold amid growing sectarian violence in Lebanon, the seemingly interminable war in Syria, and a longstanding political stalemate regarding Hezbollah's role in government.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Terrorism, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Alon Paz
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Regional circumstances point to both the possibility and the need for enhanced Arab-Israeli efforts to address challenges in the security, energy, food/water scarcity, and public-health domains.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt, Maghreb
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Amid the swirl of Middle East chaos, Israelis are enjoying relative calm and real prosperity. External events -- from the counterrevolution in Egypt and the deepening sectarian war in Syria to the spread of Iranian influence across the region -- should provoke deep concern, but the political class is consumed with the politics and diplomacy of negotiations with the Palestinians.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Michael Singh
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: If Washington is to secure an Iranian nuclear deal that is sustainable and advances American interests, it must make several adjustments to its diplomatic strategy. The Iran nuclear talks are set to resume in Vienna today, with the aim of reaching a long-term agreement to succeed the first-step "Joint Plan of Action" (JPOA). Negotiating an agreement that advances U.S. interests will require the Obama administration to deemphasize political battles in Washington and focus on the larger issues at stake, such as Iran's regional activities and the ultimate fate of the nuclear program. It should also endeavor to transform its fractious array of domestic and international allies from a weakness into a strength. Despite their tactical differences, these allies share an interest in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, as well as avoiding a military conflict and promoting regional stability and global nonproliferation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Washington
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although Tehran worries about internal threats from Salafi jihadists, it may well cooperate with such groups if they attack Western interests.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iran, North America
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Despite offering nominal support for Iran's nuclear negotiating team, Khamenei and his circle continue to criticize the talks and could sabotage them outright if internal dynamics go against President Rouhani.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Power Politics, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Steven Ditto
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iranian elites continue to express skepticism about the International Atomic Energy Agency's verification measures, nuclear safeguards agreements, and impartiality, with some even accusing it of collusion with foreign intelligence agencies.
  • Topic: International Organization, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Olli Heinonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although Iran's nuclear potential will likely dominate talks between President Obama and King Abdullah on March 29, Riyadh's own nuclear plans should also be part of the discussion. A major probable consequence of Iran achieving a nuclear weapons capability is that Saudi Arabia will seek to match it. With President Obama currently rating the chances of diplomatic success as 50-50 and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei giving a "zero" probability, this weekend's U.S.-Saudi summit will be an opportunity to check whether Saudi planning can help the diplomacy rather than hinder it.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The current impasse in Israeli-Palestinian talks is buffeted by a series of profound global and regional challenges, including Ukraine, Iran, and Syria, among others. In the immediate arena, while Israel and the Palestinian Authority may have dysfunctional political and diplomatic relations, they also have reasonably effective security cooperation and economic coordination. Therefore, a principal challenge for U.S. policy and for local leaders is to find ways to preserve, even enhance, the latter even as disagreement over the former worsens.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Ukraine, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria, North America
  • Author: Steven Ditto
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic has added to its nuclear negotiating team a law professor who has extensive experience making Iran's case in international disputes. On April 9, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States, plus Germany) concluded the latest two-day round of talks on a nuclear deal, setting the next round for May 13. Earlier in the week, on April 7, Iranian media reported the appointment of Dr. Jamshid Momtaz as head of a "legal advisory group" to the Iranian negotiating team. A French-educated expert on sanctions, disarmament, and UN procedure, Momtaz has represented the Iranian government in some of its highest-profile international legal proceedings, including in claims against the U.S. government at the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ). Momtaz's familiarity with the United Nations, his extensive practice in Europe, and his proven history of leveraging complex legal arguments to advance Iran's international interests indicate that in these latest rounds of P5+1 talks Tehran is likely looking for unconventional ways to "address" and "bring a satisfactory conclusion to" the UN Security Council resolutions against it, as called for in the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) agreed to in Geneva last November.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, France
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Bahraini government will need to distinguish better between protestors and terrorists if it wants Washington and other foreign partners to believe its claims of Iranian support for local militants. On May 5, in what has become an increasingly typical event in Bahrain, several individuals threw Molotov cocktails at a police post in a Shiite village, damaging storefronts but causing no casualties. Such incidents have intensified over the past few months in villages surrounding the capital, Manama -- in March, three police officers were killed by a bombing in al-Daih; last month, an explosion wounded another officer in the same village; days later, a police car was firebombed in Hamad Town.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Violence, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Middle East, Bahrain
  • Author: Zia Ur Rehman
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The Sistan and Baluchistan Province of Iran has long been associated with instability and armed conflict. The two million largely Sunni Muslim Baluch living in the province have suffered sustained racist persecution and discrimination in predominantly Shia and Persian-speaking Iran. Analysts claim that lack of development and cultural and religious repression in Sistan and Baluchistan have encouraged popular support for the insurgency among the Baluch community. Iran claims that the main bases of the two main Baluch insurgents groups, Jundullah and Jaish-ul Adl, are in Pakistan's Baluchistan Province, which shares a 1,165-kilometre border with Iran. Iranian forces are increasingly carrying out cross-border attacks against these groups, straining relations between Iran and Pakistan and possibly fuelling sectarian violence in both countries. Pakistan is battling its own Baluch separatist insurgency. It is feared that the mistreatment of the Baluch community on both sides of the border could lead to an alliance between religiously motivated anti-Iranian Sunni militant groups and the various secular Pakistani Baluch separatist groups.Iranian Baluch militants groups are not only causing an increasing internal security crisis in Iran, but are also threatening to become the key to the survival of the Taliban on the Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
  • Topic: Security, Insurgency, Bilateral Relations, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran
  • Author: Phillip Smyth
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Afghan Shiite militants have been fighting on the Assad regime's side for some time, and the scope and strategic purpose of Iran's involvement is becoming increasingly clear.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Iran's national security decision-making process is not remotely as opaque as it sometimes appears. The recent crisis in Iraq and the nuclear negotiations in Geneva have opened a fascinating window into the efforts of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to bring rival groups within his government together behind a single set of policies. He appears to have been remarkably successful in mediating tensions between President Hassan Rouhani and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps senior leaders. They have come together, at least for the moment, behind a coherent set of strategies for dealing with a number of thorny problems in Iraq, the nuclear negotiations, and even economic reforms. It remains to be seen if these accommodations will survive the current crisis, of course, but the success of Khamenei's efforts so far is impressive.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Governance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran has good strategic reasons to seek political accommodation with its Arab Gulf neighbors, to reach an agreement with the P5+1 over its nuclear programs, and to put an end to decades of tension with the US and other Western countries. It is as vulnerable-or more vulnerable-to any interruption in the flow of maritime traffic in the Gulf region as its neighbors, and cannot match the combination of US, UK, British, and Arab Gulf countries in any sustained military conflict.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Iran
  • Author: Aram Nerguizian
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and its allies compete with Iran in a steadily more unsettled and uncertain Levant. The political upheavals in the Middle East, economic and demographic pressures, sectarian struggles and extremism, ethnic and tribal conflicts and tensions all combine to produce complex patterns of competition.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper provides an updated analysis of the military balance in the Gulf region focusing on US power projection capability and the relative size and capability of GCC and Iranian military forces. It shows that Iran is anything but a regional superpower if GCC states provide the cooperation and interoperability between their forces.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: Iran, Arabia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It now seems unlikely that the P5+1 countries of the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany can reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran by the end of November. A final agreement remains a possibility, but it seems far more likely that if an agreement is not reached, the negotiations will be extended rather than abandoned all together. The question then arises as to how to judge the outcome of this set of negotiations, be it an actual agreement, an extension, or the collapse of the negotiations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, France, Germany
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Recently there has been a lot of attention given to the “Possible Military Dimension” of the Iran Nuclear Program, in particular concerns over Iran's ballistic missile program and its nuclear delivery capability. Iran's potential acquisition of nuclear weapons, and future ability to arm its missiles and aircraft with such weapons, represents the most serious risk shaping US, Arab, Israeli, and EU relationship with Iran. It is also an area where the exact details of threat perceptions are particularly critical, although many key aspects of Israeli, US, and G ulf perceptions – as well as the perceptions of other states – are impossible to determine at an unclassified level.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Let me begin by congratulating the Emirates Center and Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi for so many accomplishments over the last 2 0 years. It has been a privilege to watch its growth, its sustained quality, and its steadily increasing influence.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Internal ethnic and sectarian tensions, civil conflict, continued instability, failed governance and economy. Syrian civil war. Iraq, Lebanon, “Shi'ite crescent.” Sectarian warfare and struggle for future of Islam through and outside region. Sunni on Sunni and vs. Shi'ite struggles Terrorism, insurgency, civil conflict linked to outside state and non-state actors. Wars of influence and intimidation Asymmetric conflicts escalating to conventional conflicts. Major “conventional” conflict threats: Iran-Arab Gulf, Arab-Israeli, etc. Economic warfare: sanctions, “close the Gulf,” etc. Missile and long-range rocket warfare Proliferation, preventive strikes, containment, nuclear arms race, extended deterrence, “weapons of mass effectiveness”.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Oliver Borszik
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explain how Iran's regime persisted in the face of international sanctions during Mahmud Ahmadinejad's presidency, from 2005 to 2013. It reconstructs the interplay between the intensifying UNSC, US and EU sanctions and the targeted regime's strategies to advance the nuclear program and maintain intra-elite cohesion. Initially, the nuclear program was expanded due to high oil income in combination with explicit resistance to the presumed regime‐change ambitions of the Western sanction senders. At the end of Ahmadinejad's presidency, the decline of foreign exchange earnings from oil exports and the continued regime-change scenario contributed to the neglect of this regimelegitimizing strategy in favor of the maintenance of intra-elite cohesion. My main argument is that once the US and EU oil and financial sanctions curtailed the cost‐intensive further development of the nuclear program, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei used these sanctions as an external stimulus to contain burgeoning factional disputes.
  • Topic: Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Gregory S Jones
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: Negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are continuing in an effort to produce a follow-on agreement, termed the “Comprehensive Solution,” to the November 2013 “Joint Plan of Action” (JPA). Much of the discussion of the Comprehensive Solution has focused on the terms such an agreement should include to prevent Iran from being able to produce nuclear weapons. However, this objective will not be attainable unless the agreement addresses key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, fixes the flaws in the JPA which seriously constrain any agreement and recognizes fundamental problems with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as currently implemented.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Global Focus
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The report shows that Iran's current missile and rocket forces help compensate for its lack of effective air power and allow it to pose a threat to its neighbors and US forces that could affect their willingness to strike on Iran if Iran uses its capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf or against any of its neighbors. At another level, Iran's steady increase in the number, range, and capability of its rocket and missile forces has increased the level of tension in the Gulf, and in other regional states like Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. Iran has also shown that it will transfer long-range rockets to “friendly” or “proxy” forces like the Hezbollah and Hamas. At a far more threatening level, Iran has acquired virtually every element of a nuclear breakout capability except the fissile material needed to make a weapon. This threat has already led to a growing “war of sanctions,” and Israeli and US threats of preventive strikes. At the same time, the threat posed by Iran's nuclear programs cannot be separated from the threat posed by Iran's growing capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf and along all of its borders. It is far from clear that negotiations and sanctions can succeed in limiting Iran's ability to acquire nuclear weapons and deploy nuclear-armed missiles. At the same time, the report shows that military options offer uncertain alternatives. Both Israel and the US have repeatedly stated that they are planning and ready for military options that could include preventive strikes on at least Iran's nuclear facilities and, and that US strikes might cover a much wider range of missile facilities and other targets. A preventive war might trigger a direct military confrontation or conflict in the Gulf with little warning. It might also lead to at least symbolic Iranian missile strikes on US basing facilities, GCC targets or Israel. At the same time, it could lead to much more serious covert and proxy operations in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, the rest of the Gulf, and other areas.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: This report analyzes four key aspects of US and Iranian strategic competition - sanctions, energy, arms control, and regime change. Its primary focus is on the ways in which the sanctions applied to Iran have changed US and Iranian competition since the fall of 2011. This escalation has been spurred by the creation of a series of far stronger US unilateral sanctions and the EU's imposition of equally strong sanctions – both of which affect Iran's ability to export, its financial system, and its overall economy.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, Oil, Regime Change, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Müge Dalkıran
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The Voluntary Repatriation Program to Afghanistan assisted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which started in 2002, is the largest return program in the modern history. Whereas over 5,8 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2013, 4,7 million of them participated in the Voluntary Repatriation Program. Being the asylum fatigue countries, Iran and Pakistan are the main host countries conducting this program together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This paper examines the Voluntary Repatriation Program to Afghanistan in the light of the situation in Pakistan and Iran.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, South Asia, Central Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Far too much of the analysis of Iran's search for nuclear weapons treats it in terms of arms control or focuses on the potential threat to Israel. In reality, Iran's mix of asymmetric warfare, conventional warfare, and conventionally armed missile forces have critical weaknesses that make Iran anything but the hegemon of the Gulf. Iran's public focus on Israel also disguises the reality that its primary strategic focus is to deter and intimidate its Gulf neighbors and the United States – not Israel. It has made major progress in creating naval forces for asymmetric warfare and developing naval missiles, but it has very limited air-sea and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (IS) capabilities. It lacks modern conventional land, air, air defense and sea power, has fallen far behind the Arab Gulf states in modern aircraft and ships, and its land forces are filled with obsolete and mediocre weapons that lack maneuver capability and sustainability outside Iran. Iran needs nuclear weapons to offset these facts.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas S. Yarosh, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The political dynamics and violence that shape the current series of crises in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – and daily events in Bahrain Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen – dominate the current course of virtually every aspect of these states including much of the current course of violence and instability in the region. Political dynamics and the current levels of, however, are only part of the story.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Charles-Brian Biondi
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the conflict, Syria has been the playground for several actors, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Iran, defending their domestic interests or fighting for regional influence. The conflict entered a new phase in June 2013 with the direct involvement of Hezbollah, which sent troops to help al-Assad's regime fighting the armed insurrection. This event has had significant repercussions not only for the Syrian conflict itself but also for Lebanon. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the reasons that have led Hezbollah to engage openly in the Syrian conflict and what the consequences of such a decision could be, both for the country's and the party's future. The author argues that the party's involvement in the conflict is primarily a primordial necessity as the current Syrian regime is one of Hezbollah's strongest allies in the region without being a vital one. Thus the loss of the Syrian regime has the potential to pose new difficulties to the movement but would not necessarily imply its destruction.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Intelligence, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Henner Fürtig
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The 1979 Iranian Revolution undoubtedly belongs to the "great" revolutions of modern times – all of which were characterized by universalistic efforts and the claim to have set new social, political and cultural norms with global validity. In this sense, the Iranian revolutionaries felt the obligation to actively reintroduce Islam as a revelation for the whole world, not only for Muslims. Yet, they soon became aware that most Muslims viewed their export strategy as either an attempt to enforce Shiism, or – even worse – to conceal mere national megalomania. Therefore, the current leadership argues that the revolution should no longer be exported actively, but that Iran should serve as an example. Consequently, Supreme Leader Khamenei called the events of the Arab Spring a "natural enlargement of Iran's Islamic revolution of 1979" and credited his country for being the catalyst of this "Islamic awakening." The present article will analyze selected regional reactions to the Islamic awakening concept, which did not altogether meet Iranian expectations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Islam, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: US and Iranian strategic competition is heavily drive by four key factors–the success or failure of sanctions, the im0pact of that competition on the flow of Gulf energy exports, the success or failure of efforts to limit Iran's nuclear options and the broader prospect for arms control, and the prospects for accommodation of regime change. In recent years, the key variable has been ways in which sanctions on Iran have changed US and Iranian competition since the fall of 2011, and helped lead to a tentative set of Iranian agreements with the UN's P5+1--the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany--in November 2013.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Oil, Regime Change, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, Middle East, France, Germany
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Sam Khazai, Daniel Dewit
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The last active US combat forces left Iraq in August 2010, marking the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the beginning of Operation New Dawn. Some 49,000 advisory troops, four advisor assistance brigades, and a limited number of special operations forces (SOF) remained to train, advise, and assist Iraq's security forces after that date, including the military, intelligence, and police. Until the end, these US troops continued to serve a number of other important security functions: carrying out kinetic operations against Iranian-backed and other militant groups; providing training to the ISF; taking part in joint patrols along the borders of the Kurdish provinces and helping integrate ISF and Kurdish forces; and acting as a deterrent to Iraq's neighbors–in particular Iran.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No single aspect of US and Iranian military competition is potentially more dangerous than the missile and nuclear dimensions, and the possibility Iran will deploy long-range, nuclear-armed missiles.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas F. Lynch III
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Crisis stability—the probability that political tensions and low-level conflict will not erupt into a major war between India and Pakistan—is less certain in 2013 than at any time since their sequential nuclear weapons tests of 1998. India's vast and growing spending on large conventional military forces, at least in part as a means to dissuade Pakistan's tolerance of (or support for) insurgent and terrorist activity against India, coupled with Pakistan's post-2006 accelerated pursuit of tactical nuclear weapons as a means to offset this Indian initiative, have greatly increased the risk of a future Indo-Pakistani military clash or terrorist incident escalating to nuclear exchange. America's limited abilities to prevent the escalation of an Indo-Pakistani crisis toward major war are best served by continuing a significant military and political presence in Afghanistan and diplomatic and military-to-military dialogue with Pakistan well beyond 2014.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America, Iran, India, Asia
  • Author: Christopher Harmer
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The Iranian regime has among its strategic objectives expanding its power in the Middle East and rolling back U.S. influence in the region. Iranian leadership considers the Persian Gulf and much of Central Asia to be a "near abroad" where Iranian culture and interests should have significant influence. Recent developments confirm that Iran is committed to this ambition, has a strategy to realize this outcome, and is making significant progress towards it. Iran also clearly has ambitions to be a significant and relevant actor on the global stage, whose capabilities and intentions must be taken into consideration by superpower nations.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Central Asia, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama faces a relatively short timeframe in which to peacefully address the most significant near-term foreign policy and security challenge for his second term. Due to Iran's persistent nuclear advances, Obama's repeated pledge that the United States would stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons could well be tested in the coming months, requiring intensified diplomatic engagement and careful calculation of the repercussions (regionally and globally) of a military response.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Gregory S Jones
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In various papers since 2008, this author has outlined how Iran’s growing centrifuge enrichment program could provide it with the ability to produce Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) and thereby the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons.2 On August 28, 2013, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published its latest safeguards update which shows that Iran is continuing to expand its enrichment program.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Global Focus
  • Author: Brandon Fite
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran pursues cooperation with states on the geographic and strategic periphery of the competition between the US and Iran in order to create a network of diplomatic and economic relationships or “partners” that can lessen the blow of international sanctions and generally oppose Western attempts to constrict its ambitions. These peripheral “partners” located mainly in Africa and Latin America, also serve as alternative markets for Iranian oil, provide diplomatic cover for Iran's nuclear efforts, and aid Iran's acquisition of goods proscribed by international sanctions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iran, Latin America
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Situated astride one of the world's key strategic crossroads, the “Big Caucasus” is increasingly a region in flux. The August 2008 war among Georgia, Russia, and the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia emphasized the fragility of the territorial status quo that took hold in the years immediately following the collapse of the USSR, but which has failed to establish legitimacy among either local populations or the international community. The 2008 war solidified the de facto separation between the Georgian state and its breakaway provinces and put Georgia's NATO accession on indefinite hold—but did not resolve the underlying problems of sovereignty and security that led to the conflict. Similar problems abound across the Big Caucasus. An increasingly authoritarian Azeri government has staked much of its legitimacy on regaining Nagorno-Karabakh. While talks between Baku and Yerevan have made little progress, an arms buildup in the region continues, raising fears of renewed conflict. Meanwhile, Russia's North Caucasus smolders. A nationalist insurgency that began in Chechnya in the early 1990s has spread to neighboring regions and taken on a harder jihadist edge, raising concerns about a possible al Qaeda presence and creating a direct threat to Western interests.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Moscow
  • Author: Iisgindarsah
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper studies the impact of domestic politics upon Indonesia's foreign policy-making. Serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from 2007 to 2008, Indonesia voted on two key resolutions concerning the Iranian nuclear issue. While approving international sanctions against Iran under UNSC Resolution No. 1747, the Indonesian government preferred to abstain from voting on Resolution No. 1803. This paper argues the country's changing response to the Iranian nuclear issue was a consequence of domestic opposition. The case study specifically identifies the interplay between majority Moslem population, religious mass organizations and political parties as key factors which weigh upon the “strategic calculus” behind Indonesia's foreign policy formulation. The paper will conclude while the executive still drives the country's foreign policy, the parliament and social-political groups have new powers to cajole and criticize the government into reversing or softening an established policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Islam, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Indonesia, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Does anybody still believe in the Middle East Peace Process? Nineteen years after Oslo and thirteen years after a final settlement was supposed to be reached, prospects for a two-state solution are as dim as ever. The international community mechanically goes through the motions, with as little energy as conviction. The parties most directly concerned, the Israeli and Palestinian people, appear long ago to have lost hope. Substantive gaps are wide, and it has become a challenge to get the sides in the same room. The bad news is the U.S. presidential campaign, Arab Spring, Israel's focus on Iran and European financial woes portend a peacemaking hiatus. The good news is such a hiatus is badly needed. The expected diplomatic lull is a chance to reconsider basic pillars of the process – not to discard the two-state solution, for no other option can possibly attract mutual assent; nor to give up on negotiations, for no outcome will be imposed from outside. But to incorporate new issues and constituencies; rethink Palestinian strategy to alter the balance of power; and put in place a more effective international architecture.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Hilde Eliassen Restad
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: James Madison famously stated in 1793: “War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.” By this, Madison meant that, when confronted with a grave threat to national security, the instinct of a state is to concentrate power at the very top. This can lead – and has led – to abuse of power. For instance, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 resulted in the forcible internment of Japanese Americans (two thirds of whom were U.S. citizens), an episode widely seen as regrettable later, after history had removed Americans from the anxiety of war. But by no means do we have to look as far back as to World War II. We can note Cold War incidents such as the Iran-Contra scandal (1985–87), when the Reagan administration took it upon itself to bypass Congress – and specific laws – in order to support the controversial Nicaraguan Contras with money acquired by selling arms to Iran.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Alexander Wilner
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran's potential acquisition of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, and Iran's future ability to arm its missiles and aircraft with such weapons, pose s critical risk s that shape every aspect of US, Arab, Israeli and other military competition with Iran . In the near term, they could trigger a major confrontation or war in the Gulf. In the mid to long - term, they could trigger a nuclear arms race in the region, coupled to the search for missile defenses and an accelerated arms race to improve conventional, asymmetric, and proxy forces as well.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Alexander Wilner
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The most threatening form of US and Iranian competition takes place in the military and security arena. The areas where this competition now gets primary attention are the nuclear and missile arena, and Iranian threats to “close the Gulf.” US and Iranian tensions over Iran's nuclear program have grown steadily over the years. They now threaten to reach the crisis point as Iran produces highly enriched uranium and develops all of the technology necessary to produce nuclear weapons, and as US, European, and UN sanctions become steadily stronger.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: If there is to be a war in the Middle East in the months or years ahead, it will likely involve Iran in some way. Enduring U.S.-Iranian hostility has been one of the few constants in a region that has been turned upside down in the last year by revolts and revolutions. Iran's widely presumed efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability persuade many in the United States that Iran is an enduring menace to the Middle East and to U.S. interests in the region. Meanwhile, Iran continues to see the United States as a hegemonic power that seeks to expand its own influence at the expense of Iran assuming its natural leadership role in the Middle East. Each side is arming its allies and playing for advantage while seeking to avoid triggering a strong military response from the other side. There is no issue higher on the U.S. security agenda, nor on the Iranian one.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Huma Yusuf
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Pakistan is experiencing a sharp resurgence in sectarian violence. Most frequently, such violence involves clashes between members of the two main sects of Islam – Sunnis and Shias – but violent incidents between the Barelvi and Deobandi sub-sects of Sunni Islam are also on the rise. The heightened frequency and brutality of Sunni-Shia clashes threaten national security – Pakistan's is the second-largest Shia population in the world after Iran – as well as bilateral relations with Iran and the regional power dynamic vis-à-vis Saudi Arabian influence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Mariano Aguirre
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The debate about the Iranian nuclear programme has heated up over recent months, with the danger that the situation could get out of control and violence may erupt. Currently, the main threatis an escalation of violence between Iran and the U.S. Strategically, an attack will further decrease U.S. legitimacy in a region already in turmoil and will isolate Israel even further. The consequencesof these processes are both serious and unpredictable.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Rouzbeh Parsi (ed)
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: This Chaillot Paper examines recent domestic developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It presents an in-depth assessment of the profound changes that the Iranian state and Iranian society have undergone in the past three decades, with a particular focus on the last tumultuous five years. In its exploration of this theme it not only shows the growing rift between the official discourse and self-image of the ruling elite and the society they govern, but also highlights the fact that external observers have many misperceptions about Iran.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, Political Economy, Governance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Austin Long
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: The possibility of Israeli military action against the Iranian nuclear program has existed since at least 2002. However, beginning in the fall of 2011, Israeli rhetoric and international concerns about military action against Iran have reached unprecedented levels. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak began to proclaim that Iran was nearing a “zone of immunity” to Israeli attack and therefore Israel would have to act soon. In contrast, former heads of Israel's foreign and domestic intelligence services question the utility of such an attack.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Olli Heinonen
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: International diplomacy efforts dealing with Iran's nuclear program continue to fill the daily news headlines. The efforts of P5+1, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have tried, in various formats, to encourage and enforce Iran to comply with the provisions of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) to ensure that Iran's nuclear program is not used as a cover for the development of nuclear weapons. The challenge of discovering what has taken place as well as currently with Iran's nuclear ambitions is difficult not only because of Tehran's obstructionism, but also because the same nuclear technologies, particularly uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing, can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Olli Heinonen
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: At a time of hot debate over possible military action against Iran's nuclear program, the need for a clear understanding of the issues and the controversial science and technology behind them has never been more acute. Toward that end, scholars from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs have copublished an interactive online glossary of terms used in the discussion about Iran. The report was prepared by proliferation expert Simon Henderson and Olli Heinonen, former deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Covering the jargon and history behind IAEA inspections, centrifuge enrichment, basic nuclear physics, and early nuclear weapons development in Pakistan and the United States, the glossary provides an indispensable guide to an increasingly complex problem.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Defense Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Philip Shishkin
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Located in a strategically important neighborhood amid China, Russia, Afghanistan, and Iran, and sitting atop vast deposits of oil, gas, gold, and uranium, post-Soviet Central Asia is home to some 50 million people living in five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan . For centuries, the region has drawn the attention of the world's superpowers as they seek leverage over their foes, access to natural resources, or a base from which to influence adjacent regions . For just as long, the societies of Central Asia have been beset by lackluster and often abusive rule, first by warring and insular feudal chiefs, then by colonial conquerors from Russia, and then by their Soviet successors .Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union 20 years ago, the five Central Asian republics have struggled to find viable governance models and to place their economies, long moored to Moscow, on stable footing.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Human Rights, Islam, Governance, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In 2012 Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran's oil and gas industry, aimed at putting economic pressure on it to change its nuclear policy, have reached an unprecedented level. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iran has been in a state of hostility with the US, and has had cool relations, at best, with most European states. Sanctions against official Iranian financial institutions, individuals associated with the Islamic Republic and organisations suspected of being involved in nuclear proliferation activities have been mounting for some time. However, it is only recently that Iran's oil and gas sector has been specifically targeted by both the US and the EU in such a co-ordinated manner. Importantly, this marks the first time since the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran that the EU member states have collectively put in place sanctions on the export of Iranian crude oil—until now an action that, with a few exceptions, had only been taken by the US. The stakes have therefore been raised in Iran's confrontation with Western powers over the nuclear issue.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Islam, Oil, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: The Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination at Princeton University convened a special Colloquium, “Diplomacy from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush: A Holistic and Proactive Approach” in Triesenberg, Principality of Liechtenstein, April 19-22, 2012. The colloquium brought together over seventy participants, including senior representatives, experts, academics, and civil society representatives from Austria, Azerbaijan, the European Union, Germany, Georgia, France, Iran, Israel, Liechtenstein, Russia, Qatar, Switzerland, Syria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants engaged in both plenary and working group discussions about ways to address the four key issues: crisis diploma - cy with Iran; the ongoing crisis in Syria; Afghanistan in transition; and preventing the escalation of crises in this macro region. This was the third LISD-sponsored colloquium on developments in the Mediterranean to Hindu Kush region since the Arab Spring. The colloquium was off the record according to Liechtenstein Colloquium rules, and was financially supported by LISD, The House of Liechtenstein, the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein, and the SIBIL Stiftung in Vaduz. The Colloquium was chaired by Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, Director of LISD. This chair's summary includes an updated postscript.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, Middle East, France, Arabia, Germany, Syria, Qatar, Austria
  • Author: Joseph Holliday
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The rebels will have to rely on external lines of supply to replenish their arms and ammunition if they are to continue eroding the regime's control. The emergence of al-Qaeda-linked terrorist cells working against the regime poses risks to the United States and a challenge to those calling for material support of the armed opposition. As the militias continue to face overwhelming regime firepower the likelihood of their radicalization may increase. Moreover, the indigenous rebels may turn to al-Qaeda for high-end weaponry and spectacular tactics as the regime's escalation leaves the rebels with no proportionate response, as occurred in Iraq in 2005-2006. Developing relations with armed opposition leaders and recognizing specific rebel organizations may help to deter this dangerous trend. It is imperative that the United States distinguish between the expatriate political opposition and the armed opposition against the Assad regime on the ground in Syria. American objectives in Syria are to hasten the fall of the Assad regime; to contain the regional spillover generated by the ongoing conflict; and to gain influence over the state and armed forces that emerge in Assad's wake. Therefore, the United States must consider developing relations with critical elements of Syria's armed opposition movement in order to achieve shared objectives, and to manage the consequences should the Assad regime fall or the conflict protract.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Germany, Syria
  • Author: Sam Wyer
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: This report examines the political, religious, and military resurgence of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) in Iraq since the withdrawal of U.S. Forces, identifying the group's key actors, their present disposition and strategy, and their regional expansion. AAH is an Iranian-backed Shi'a militant group that split from Moqtada al-Sadr's Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) in 2006. Since that time, AAH has conducted thousands of lethal explosively formed penetrator (EFP) attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces, targeted kidnappings of Westerners, rocket and mortar attacks on the U.S. Embassy, the murder of American soldiers, and the assassination of Iraqi officials.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Jean-loup Samaan
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 8 November 2011 a new International Atomic Energy Agency report on nuclear verification in Iran was circulated to the Agency's Board of Governors and the UN Security Council. In a 12-page appendix, the IAEA gave information with an unprecedented level of detail on the military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, including projects that have been under way for more than a decade now.
  • Topic: NATO, Energy Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, United Nations
  • Author: Janne Bjerre Christensen
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This report offers a critical examination of Iran's influence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Two points are made: that Iran's top priority is its own regime's survival and its regional policies are directed by its national security concerns. Secondly, that Iran's engagements in Afghanistan are clearly guided by the presence of the US. Iran's predominant interest is in stabilizing Afghanistan, but as long as Afghanistan is neither safe nor stable, Iran will play a double game and engage with its regional neighbours according to the US–Iran equation. Deterrence, counter-containment and competition are the keywords in these complex relations. The report outlines Iran's reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, its political platform and 'soft power', and the bonds of mutual dependency in terms of water rights, refugees and drug trafficking. It examines Iran's alleged military interventions and the reasons for playing this double game. Lastly, the report discusses Iran's tense relationship with Pakistan with regard to both Afghanistan and the troubled region of Baluchistan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Power Politics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iran
  • Author: Alexander Wilner
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With the assistance of Adam Seitz of the Marine Corps University, the Burke Chair has compiled a series of chronological reports that focus on Iranian perceptions of national security and assess Iran‟s intentions concerning competition with the US.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Rouzbeh Parsi
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the past two years the Iranian domestic political scene has undergone a major upheaval where many established norms and institutional frame-works have been abandoned or seriously weakened. A new baseline and sense of normalcy has yet to be established.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Insurgency, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Karim Sadjadpour
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As the United States seeks to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions through economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has come to play a critical yet often ambiguous role. The UAE, namely the emirate of Dubai, is a top source of Iranian imports and a key transshipment point for goods-legal and illegal-destined for the Islamic Republic. Dubai's bustling and loosely regulated ports have repeatedly frustrated international sanctions against Iran.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Dubai
  • Author: Miriam Shabafrouz, Matthias Basedau, Annegret Mähler
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Causal mechanisms and related contextual variables are crucial to the study of the resource–conflict link, but little systematic research has been done on their exact functioning. This paper contributes to the filling of this gap by comparing four major oil exporters (Algeria, Iran, Nigeria, and Venezuela) with differing levels of internal violence. To capture the causal complexity of the resource–conflict link we created a questionnaire with some 150 variables that distinguish between resource-specific (RS) and non-resource specific (NRS) conditions. The causal mechanisms are measured by assigning pertinent RS and NRS indicators to them. Our results suggest that the role of resources may be less prominent than is widely assumed. Only three resource-related causal mechanisms provide limited explanatory value (motive at subnational level, indirect economic, and institutional mechanism) by distinguishing Venezuela—the most peaceful case—from all the others. Only a mixed mechanism that combines 13 RS and NRS (economic and geographic characteristics, identity, intergroup relations, as well as political and institutional variables, including elite behavior) conditions can explain the differences between the countries with regard to the dependent variable comprehensively.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Diplomacy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Iran, Algeria, Nigeria
  • Author: Massimiliano Fiore
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The latest IAEA Report suggests that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon capability. Preventing the Islamic Republic from becoming nuclear is the most important issue on Israel's agenda, and Jerusalem will do everything it can to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear capability. Considering the limited impact of international sanctions and covert operations, it is therefore possible that at some point in the next 12-15 months Israel's policy-makers and military officials will decide whether or not to act militarily to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Though the probability of successfully destroying all of Iran's nuclear targets is not very high, Israeli policy-makers and military officials would nevertheless still be extremely satisfied with delaying Iran's nuclear programme. But would it be worth all the trouble it would inevitably unleash? While Israeli fears are understandable, given the heavy costs and poor chances for success of the military option, containment still represents the most sensible policy for Israel.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Brandon Fite
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The various states that comprise the EU and non-EU Europe collectively and individually influence US-Iranian competition in a number of ways. The EU, and particularly the EU3 (Britain, France, and Germany), are the United States' most consistent allies in seeking to roll back Iran's nuclear efforts. Though the European approach has not always paralleled that of the US, unlike China and Russia, European disagreements with the US serve to moderate rather than to weaken or spoil American efforts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Mark Hibbs
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After the first Indian nuclear explosive test in 1974, seven nuclear supplier governments were convinced that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) alone would not halt the spread of nuclear weapons—a view that developments in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and elsewhere would later underscore. The seven governments formed the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and over the course of more than three decades, it has become the world's leading multilateral nuclear export control arrangement, establishing guidelines that govern transfers of nuclear-related materials, equipment, and technology. Yet, as a voluntary and consensus- based organization of 46 participating governments, the NSG today faces a host of challenges ranging from questions about its credibility and future membership to its relationship to the NPT and other multilateral arrangements.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, India, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Gregory L. Schulte
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has a great interest in the success of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), given the important role it can play in reducing the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Stalled investigations of Iran and Syria have put the credibility of the IAEA at stake. The agency detected neither Iran’s hidden uranium enrichment facility near Qom nor the reactor being constructed by Syria near al Kibar. These examples underscore the importance of strengthening the agency’s verification capability, by both increasing its authority and sharing more information. The IAEA can also help shape the global growth of nuclear power, ensuring the highest levels of safety and security, while discouraging the spread of sensitive technologies that can be misused to build nuclear weapons. The IAEA Board of Governors’ recent decision to establish a nuclear fuel bank in Russia is a step in the right direction. Success requires a new “Spirit of Vienna”—a willingness of delegates to work toward consensus on even difficult topics—surrounding the agency’s important role in nonproliferation. It also requires a conscious effort by the new Director General to remove the politics from IAEA business and return the agency to its technical mandate.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Syria, Vienna
  • Author: Paul Lettow
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The international nuclear nonproliferation regime—the principal objective of which is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons—is under severe strain. The North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs have exploited and underscored weaknesses in the regime that must be fixed if it is to serve its purpose. Those weaknesses are both structural—ambiguities and limitations in the current rules—and result from a failure to enforce the rules that exist.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, North Korea
  • Author: Barbara Zanchetta
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The election of Barack Obama unleashed unprecedented hopes around the world for a renewed leadership of the United States. Due to the controversial foreign policy record of the previous presidency and because of Obama's widespread appeal, deriving from both his personal life story and from his exceptional oratory skills, the inauguration of the first African-American president seemed, indeed, to represent a new beginning. The President himself, after campaigning on a platform of change ("yes we can"), repeatedly underscored the notion of a renewed America in his Inaugural Address. Referring not only to the repercussions of the economic crisis but also to the US global role, Obama called for a "new era of responsibility." The United States, stated the President, "are ready to lead once again," but in a rapidly evolving world order in which responsibilities have to, necessarily, be shared.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran
  • Author: Judith S. Yaphe
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This collection of analyses on the unintended consequences of Iran's nuclear policy for its domestic and international relations is the first in a series of papers that will examine the impact of critical issues and developments on key countries in the Greater Middle East and on U.S. security interests. Succeeding papers will identify similar emerging issues in Turkey, Iraq, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf region. For the most part, the papers will represent the independent research and opinions of academic scholars and regional experts prepared for and presented at the National Defense University.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Yemen
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Defeating the insurgency not only in tactical terms, but by eliminating its control and influence over the population. Creating an effective and well-resourced NATO/ISAF and US response to defeating the insurgency and securing the population. Building up a much larger and more effective (and enduring base for transition) mix of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Giving the Afghan government the necessary capacity and legitimacy at the national, regional/provincial, district, and local levels. Creating an effective, integrated, and truly operational civil-military effort. NATO/ISAF, UN, member country, and NGO and international community efforts. Dealing with the sixth center of gravity outside Afghanistan and NATO/ISAF's formal mission. with the actions of Pakistan, Iran, and other states will be critical to success in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: NATO, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Asia
  • Author: Robert E. Ebel
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “The policies of Iran constitute perhaps the single greatest challenge for American security interests in the Middle East, and possibly around the world….” So said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on October 24, 2007. What policies did Secretary Rice have in mind? The combination of terrorism, repression at home, and the pursuit of nuclear weapons technology. Opposition comes from former administration officials as well, who are equally convinced that Iran's desire for nuclear weapons is one of the most urgent issues facing the United States today. And in a report released by the U.S. Department of State on April 30, 2009, Iran was characterized as the “most active state sponsor of terrorism” in the world.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Aram Nerguizian
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Gulf military balance is dominated by five major factors: The Southern Gulf states, Iran, Iraq, outside powers like the US, and non-state actors like the various elements of Al Qa'ida, the Mahdi militia, and various tribal forces. At present, the Southern Gulf states have large military resources but limited real-world effectivenerss and have made limited progress towards collective and integrated defense.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East