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  • Author: Seyed Ali Monavari, Farhad Atai
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: What paved the way for the establishment of the foreign policy of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran? This paper seeks to analyze the phenomenon of the construction of the enemy image in the diplomatic history of Iran from 1798 to 1921 and assess its historical roots as it can be useful for the understanding of the attitudes of Iranian policy makers towards the West. The authors' proposal is to explain the construction of enemy image in a historical context in the cognitive structure of Iranian political leaders towards the great powers in the 20th century until the advent of the Islamic Revolution in February 1979. In doing so, the authors have proposed the following hypothesis: With the continuation of Iran's diplomatic relations with Western powers (Great Britain and Russia) under the Qajar dynasty in 1798, a process took shape which gradually led to the construction of an enemy image in the cognitive structure of future Iranian statesmen in the Pahlavi era, underpinning their political relationships with contemporary powers. The authors' findings include the notion that the historical process in question under the Qajar Dynasty involved a combination of military domination, political influence and economic exploitation by the aforementioned powers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Iran
  • Author: Farajollah Ali Ghanbari
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: This paper compares and contrasts Russian policy towards Iran in the early years of 20th century which led to the Anglo-Russia convention of 1907 with the Soviet Union's policy towards Iran during Iran-Iraq war in 1980s. It will explain Russia's involvement in the Great Game with British Empire in regard to expansion of its sphere of influences in Persia. With this in mind, this paper will address both internal and external factors in this period which turned Russia and Britain's competition into an alliance – the Anglo-Russia entente. The Soviet policy towards Iran will also be discussed from the time of the overthrown of the Shah's regime and the establishment of the Islamic Republic up to mid-1987 when the Iran –Iraq war ended. Based on this study, we will conclude that the Russian/Soviet policy towards Iran was constant and the spirit of expansionism lied at the very nature of their foreign policy. They were aggressive when they were a hegemonic power in the region and they compromised with rivals when they were weak.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Iran, Soviet Union, Persia
  • Author: Nasser Saghafi-Ameri, Pirooz Izadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: The adoption of the Geneva Accord between Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany) to resolve issues related to Iran's nuclear program on November 24, 2013, brought about a series of debates in political circles. In many ways, it could be considered a historic event with international and regional implications and also ushered in a new chapter in Iran-U.S. relations. At the international level, it could have a great impact on the ways in which world affairs are managed. In fact, it was a victory for diplomacy, multilateralism and a thrust towards a multi-polar international system after more than a decade of unilateralism and military interventionist policies with all its catastrophic consequences. At the regional level, by fostering new alignments, it may have a positive impact on current problems; be it elimination of weapons of mass destruction or countering terrorism and extremism that is now expanding beyond the region. The Accord in Geneva also fosters hope for solid and productive relations between Iran and the U.S. after more than three decades of estrangement. Considering that a new geostrategic situation is unfolding in the region, this article tries to answer the questions related to its international and regional implications, as well as its impact on the very delicate issue of Iran-U.S. relations. At the end, some of the major challenges that lay ahead in the implementation of the Accord are examined.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, East Asia, France, Germany
  • Author: Elaleh Kooalee, Amir Ebrahimi, Simin Shirazi Mougouee
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Kazakhstan needs the short transit route leading to open waters to supply its demands and export oil and gas to international markets. Iran's territorial status in the heart of Eurasia, has offered new capabilities for commerce, industry, and development to this country. But some factors such as the geopolitics of the region, having the second largest resources of energy in the world, and willingness to allow the presence of trans-regional powers with the aim to reduce dependence on Russia and attract foreign investment, has resulted in the presence of these powers in this country and has created serious obstacles for Iran's more effective participation. The main question of this paper is how has Iran benefited from the opportunity to develop relations with Kazakhstan? The authors analyze the most important factors regarding Iran's geopolitical position and status with regards to the development of its relations with Kazakhstan.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Caspian Sea
  • Author: Akbar Valizadeh, Seyyed Mohammad Houshialsadat
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: The global economy is undergoing a paradigm shift, from a Western-dominated economic model to one that is more complex and multi-polar. The centres of consumption, production, and innovation are no longer concentrated solely in the Western economies, but are shifting to new emergence economies in different continents, specifically China, Russia, Brazil, and India, as well as South Africa, named BRICS. One of the central issues for the future of this new coalition is energy security. This concept is a top priority of policymakers not only in the West hemisphere, but also in countries of the economically emerging world in current and also coming decades. Worldwide demand for primary energy will increase in next years either and based on international forecasts, hydrocarbon will still be the dominant source of energy. Consequently, widespread energy relationships with other oil and gas-rich countries outside BRICS like OPEC, in general, and Iran, in particular, seems much more significant. The latter, as the second country throughout the world in terms of combined fossil reserves, benefits an outstanding geo-economic position. Obviously, Iran would be able to play a prominent role in this respect. So, this question could be raised that what are the main challenges, as well as opportunities for Iran and BRICS in any actual and potential interactions in energy field?
  • Topic: Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Ghoncheh Tazmini
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Iran and Russia are experiencing their own modernity at a time when the very paradigm of modernity is being radically questioned in the west, its place of origin. Having passed through the labyrinth of social contradictions, both Russia and Iran have reached a point where they are transcending the logic of development of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Today, Russian and Iranian modernization represents a unique interaction of universal value patterns and specific cultural codes— a trajectory that can be qualified as an autonomous and adaptive modernity. As such we need a broader cognitive space to allow the emergence of "multiple modernities". The era of fixed, euro-centered, and non-reflexive modernity is reaching its end— modernity, as as epistemological category, is transcending the totalizing narrative in whose grip it has been enchained. The ethnocentric west needs to acknowledge the heterogeneity of the modernization experience, and accordingly subdue its impulse to "homogenize" and "orientalise" the "other". It needs to move away from a unilateral logic toward a genuine cross-cultural encounter that takes a much broader view of the modernization process by placing it in the long-term context of cultural adaptation of civilization complexes to the challenge of modernity.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Shirin Akiner
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Ambiguous, often contradictory, assessments of the achievements of NATO/ISAF operations in Afghanistan make it difficult to form a clear picture of the situation on the ground. However, despite the rhetoric of politicians and military leaders who speak of 'sticking it out' till the job is done, there are unmistakable signals that the endgame has started. The emphasis now is on fashioning an exit strategy that will justify the claim of 'mission accomplished'. It is ironic that it is only now, with the dawning awareness that 'a victor's peace is impossible', that the importance of involving the regional states is finally being recognized. With the exception of Pakistan, which from the outset played a strategic role in Western-led operations, there was an implicit reluctance, amounting to a virtual ban, on cooperating with these states as equal partners. China, Russia and Iran were largely ignored, while the Central Asian states were regarded mainly as transit routes. Yet by geography, history, ethnic ties and culture, Afghanistan is an integral part of the region. The 'neighbourhood' states are neither unaware nor indifferent to what happens there. Before and since 2001 there have been regional initiatives aimed at promoting stability and development in Afghanistan. This paper gives an overview of the main initiatives, bilateral and multilateral which seek to promote the country's re-integration into regional cultural, economic and security networks.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, Central Asia
  • Author: Mahmood Shoori
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Various theoretical approaches in the field of international relations offer different answers to the existing ambiguities and questions about why Russian-Iranian ties have expanded in the post-USSR era. While realist approaches try to define the growth in Russian-Iranian cooperation within the framework of ties between major powers and their continuous efforts to establish balance of power, liberal approaches relate states' motives and aims of establishing such levels of relations to economic and material interests. Here, a subject being somehow ignored by the two approaches is that both Iran and Russia, as far as identity developments are concerned, have passed through a situation in which they felt a need to reconstruct their identities after the demise of the USSR. This article argues that during the aforementioned period, Iran and Russia, apart from meeting each other's security needs or rare material interests -reliable foreign exchange for Russia and embargoed technologies for Iran- they were also a source for meeting their identity needs. The post-USSR era, and especially under Vladimir Putin, Iran has served as the most important arena providing Russia with the possibility of acting like a major world power. Russia's behavior has been one of the major challenges to the international isolation of Iran in recent years.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Mohammad Ali Mousavi, Yasser Norouzi
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: For almost three decades since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, there has consistently been a conflict between Iran and the United States over a host of issues. The relations between the two countries became more challenging since 2003 after it came to light that Iran had been developing its nuclear program. Since then some US officials have even gone so far as to announce - and repeat - the possibility of a military strike against Iranian facilities to end the nuclear program. In reality, up to now no such drastic action has taken place. Rather instead, in a milder reaction, the US, aided by its European allies and enjoying Russian and Chinese lukewarm acquiescence, has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Iran through the adoption of obligatory resolutions by the United Nations Security Council. But, these actions have failed to force the Iranians to end their program. As a result, many experts argue that a new policy should be pursued toward Iran vis-a-vis its nuclear dossier. So the main challenge which poses itself is to predict when and how this conflict will come to an end. In this paper, different game theory models are used to interpret the current situation of the crisis. It is shown that while at each step it may be more favorable for each party to insist on its claims, the overall result of this approach may not be so favorable for all. As a result, both parties should think about the long term effects of their decisions. It is also shown that the absence of mutual trust could be the main factor that has forced both sides to reach the current point of crisis. Therefore, any attempt towards re-establishing mutual trust between the two governments might be a major step leading to a lasting solution. Furthermore, different possible choices for the US government and the long term effects of each choice will be analyzed. The analysis will also address economic aspects of the conflict, and the long-term effects of any decision and the best possible choices for both governments will be presented.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran
  • Author: Gulshan Dietl
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization achieve twin objectives: to counter and contain the US influence in Eurasia and to balance the Russian and Chinese influence within a multilateral group in that space. Since its inception, the “three evils” of terrorism, separatism and of its concerns and activities. Afghanistan, therefore, has been a virtual test- case of its commitment and the raison d'etre of its existence. It is also the first ever “Out of Area” operation that it has undertaken. Commit its mandate; not to have done so would have undermined its very credibility. Its “Out of Area” mission is modeled on the NATO example and has been duly acknowledged by NATO. Like any other regional organisati disunity. And like the rest of the world, it recognises the perils of an unstable Afghanistan. To that extent, it shares a common goal with the US that neither of them can achieve alone. It remains to be seen whet her SCO's recognition of a common goal and working towards it with the US will lead to a transcendence of its own ultimate objective of containment and eventual rollback of the US from its strategic neighbourhood.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Eurasia, Shanghai