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  • 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: Davood Kiani
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: One of the most important tools utilized by states to maximize their impact in foreign affairs is public diplomacy and to this extent, public diplomacy is considered a source of soft power. The robust use of public diplomacy can enhance and reinforce the soft power of countries. Central Asia is among the regions that have an ever increasing relevance to regional and international affairs in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and is currently considered a critical subsystem for our country. The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards this region is, on one hand, built on the foundation of converging factors in political, economic, and cultural arenas and looking towards opportunities for influence and cooperation. On the other hand, considering the divergent components, it also faces challenges and threats, the sum of which continues to effect the orientation of Iranian foreign policy towards the region. This article will study Iranian public diplomacy in this region and examine the opportunities and challenges, as well as, provide and proper model for a successful public diplomacy in the region of Central Asia, while taking into account the Islamic Republic of Iran's tools and potential.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Islam, Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: Iran, Central Asia
  • Author: Farhad Atai
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Developments in the Middle East in the past decades, and especially in the past few years, have drawn the world's attention to this region. Never since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century has the region been so volatile and explosive. While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to have a deciding effect on the Middle East, other issues have appeared, further complicating the politics of the region. The stunning socio-political developments in the Arab world during the past year, which started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain are still unfolding and will permanently change the Arab World. Where does Iran fit into the political dynamics of the Middle East in these turbulent times? This paper attempts to answer that question. After a review of the recent developments in the Arab world, it examines the Islamic Republic's position in the region in the light of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, the breakup of the Soviet Union and subsequent developments in Central Asia, the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The paper suggests that the changing geopolitics of the region has positioned Iran in a relatively stronger position vis-à-vis the Sunni-Shi'a debate. It further suggests that three decades after its Islamic Revolution, Iran has matured. This is especially true in the wake of the rising extremist tendencies and groups such as al-Qa'ida in the region. Once the shorter term issues are resolved, Iran can have a moderating influence on the dynamics of the region.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Middle East, Israel, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain
  • Author: Michele Brunelli
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: This paper intends to point out that threats and problems related to security and stability are common and affect the entire sub-regional system, necessitating common responses. The paper is structured in three parts. In the first part this paper intends to analyse and explain the concept of security, demonstrating that from a theoretical point of view, it must not be considered as a univocal problem, but regrouping different aspects. The second part of the paper analyses the many sources of instability affecting the Persian Gulf region today, with unavoidable consequences seen in the neighbouring sub-regional systems, such as the Caucasus, Central Asia, European Union, India and China. In the third part this paper will propose some theoretical ideas and pragmatic mechanisms aimed at suggesting different solutions to the issues analysed above. There will also be a review of the proposal for the creation of a common market involving Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as a prelude to a monetary union modelled on the experiences and results of the Euro. The effects of an end to the embargo on Iran will also be assessed. As for military security, I will assess whether the realisation of a sort of a Persian Gulf version of NATO would be possible.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Central Asia, India
  • Author: 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