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  • 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
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Manouchehr Mottaki is the Foreign Minister of Iran. In this interview with Nermeen Shaikh, he argues that the US must propose a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, while maintaining that an immediate withdrawal might "create problems". Foreign Minister Mottaki rules out the possibility of any kind of military confrontation between Iran and the US, saying the latter cannot afford to undertake another conflict in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. At the outset, I would like to thank Dr. Desai, President of Asia Society and her colleagues for holding this event. It is my pleasure to be among the distinguished members and guests of Asia Society. Your Society within 50 years of its life has done a pioneer job in expanding knowledge of Americans about the rich civilizations, cultures and art of the Asian ancient continent. This is an important task and further strengthens understanding of nations toward each other. Today, world needs more than ever that cultural and ideational concepts take the lead in building new paradigms of international relations.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Iran, Asia
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Leslie Gelb is currently President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was previously a correspondent and editor at the New York Times. In this extensive interview with Nermeen Shaikh at Asia Society, covering Iraq, Iran, the rise of China, and the new constraints on US power, Dr Gelb explains why he was initially in favor of a three-state partition of Iraq, and his advocacy now of a decentralized, federal state structure. He elaborates on his subsequent work with Senator Joe Biden on a plan for Iraq. In responding to a question about Russia, Dr Gelb says that the proposed US missile defense system is "nonsense", and on the issue of Iran's nuclear program, Dr Gelb insists that talks are essential and that the military option cannot be ruled out.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iraq, New York, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Latin America
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Ambassador Sadegh Kharazi has served twice as Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister. He was Iran's ambassador to the UN from 1989 to 1995, and to France from 2002 to 2005. Ambassador Kharazi has also worked as senior assistant to Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, as well as to President Mohammad Khatami, who served from 1997-2005 as Iran's reformist leader (his successor is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad). In addition Ambassador Kharazi has served as chairman of the OIC Summit in Iran.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Ambassador Javad Zarif presented his credentials as the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 5 August 2002 to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Dr. Zarif is a career diplomat and has served in different senior positions in the Iranian Foreign Ministry and at various international organizations. His responsibility from 1992 until his appointment as Permanent Represetative was Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: In this interview, Karim Sadjadpour, the International Crisis Group's Iran analyst, discusses the possible outcome of the present impasse between the United States and Iran on the latter's nuclear aspirations. Mr Sadjadpour has written on Iranian society and politics, Iran's nuclear program, Iran-Iraq relations, and U.S.-Iran relations. He is a regular contributor to BBC World and National Public Radio, and has also published pieces in the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, New Republic, and others. This interview was conducted the day after the Asia Society event "Understanding Iran's Nuclear Aspirations: Pragmatism or Brinkmanship?" on March 28, 2006.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Sam Brownback was born in Kansas on September 12, 1956. He studied Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University, where he was elected student body president, and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Kansas. He was chosen as the youngest Secretary of Agriculture in Kansas state history in 1986. He also served for one year as a White House Fellow in the Office of the US Trade Representative. Brownback was elected to the US Congress in 1994, representing the Second District of Kansas. He was elected to a full six-year term in 1998 and was re-elected to a second six-year term in November 2004. Brownback is the chairman of the Helsinki Commission. He also chairs the Values Action Team, co-chairs the Senate Cancer Coalition, and is a member of both the Army and Air Force Caucuses. This interview was conducted following the Asia Society Luncheon program with Senator Sam Brownback on May 8, 2006. You have taken an active interest in the situation in Darfur, Sudan, North Korea and in the Middle East, to name only a few. Can you briefly outline what you think are the most pressing foreign policy issues confronting the United States at this time? It's probably the lead ones now: Iran. If you're just looking at straight foreign policy issues, I think, with Iran being the lead sponsor of terrorism around the world and with US foreign policy just being formulated at this point in time. It's tied in intimately with the global war on terrorism, which has been, for us to date, a sequential war. It's been Afghanistan, then Iraq and now you're seeing really the focus step up on Iran. That's probably, if you're looking at the most pressing issues, I think that's it for us today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East