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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Candidate Obama pledged that his Middle East policy would include re-engagement with Syria; President Obama will find that the past is not easily overcome. The reasons behind his vow remain pertinent. Syria holds important cards in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine, is Iran's most important Arab ally and has substantial influence over Hamas and Hizbollah. There are indications of potential common ground on which to build, from resuming Israeli-Syrian negotiations, to consolidating progress in Iraq to blunting the rise of jihadi militancy and sectarianism. But significant obstacles to healthy, mutually beneficial relations remain, along with a legacy of estrangement and distrust. They dictate the need for a prudent approach that seeks first to rebuild ties and restore confidence. It will be critical to reassure Damascus that the U.S. is interested in improving relations and resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict, not in regime change. It is also equally critical not to compromise on core principles such as Lebanon's sovereignty or the integrity of the international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Shireen T. Hunter
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In June 2009, Iran will hold its 10th presidential elections since the establishment of the Islamic regime in 1979. As a rule, in past elections the incumbent president was elected to a second term. Even Muhammad Khatami, despite his problems with the conservative elements and disagreements with the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, was reelected in 2001.
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, Democratization, Islam, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran
  • Author: Richard Dalton(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The dispute over Iran's nuclear programme is deadlocked. Five years of negotiations, proposals, UN resolutions and sanctions have failed to achieve a breakthrough. As diplomacy struggles and Iran continues to advance its nuclear capabilities, the issue becomes ever more grave and pressing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Danielle Pletka, Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The conflict between Iran and the United States began in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution and the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran. Born partly of ideological differences and partly of real and perceived differing national interests, it has continued, alternately hot and cold, for almost three decades and seems unlikely to end soon. Like most previous conflicts, its conclusion cannot be foreseen. Many such struggles, like the Anglo-German tensions between 1871 and 1945 and the centuries-long tensions between Britain and France, lead to full-scale war. Others, like the Anglo-Russian or Russian-Ottoman tensions throughout the nineteenth century, lead to more limited conflict. And some, like the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, are resolved without direct armed confrontation. One key to resolving any such conflict is understanding both the nature of the enemy and the scope of the conflict—insights that have eluded most Americans and, indeed, many Iranians. This report addresses this lack of understanding and argues that while neither Americans nor Iranians desire full-scale military confrontation, Iranian activism and American passivity are contributing to a drift toward war.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Iran, Middle East, France, Germany, Syria
  • Author: Whitney Raas, Austin Long
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The use of military force to halt or reverse nuclear proliferation is an option that has been much discussed and occasionally exercised. In the 1960s, for example, the United States considered destroying China's nuclear program at an early stage but ultimately decided against it. More recently, the key rationale for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the threat posed by Iraq's suspected inventory of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Although significant evidence of WMD was not found in the Iraq case, the potential utility of military force for counterproliferation remains, particularly in the case of Iran. The possibility of military action against Iranian nuclear facilities has gained prominence in the public discourse, drawing comments from journalists, former military officers, and defense analysts. This makes the Iranian nuclear program a potential test case for military counterproliferation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran, Asia
  • 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: Ted Galen Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Although it is possible that negotiations between the leading powers in the international community and Iran may produce a settlement to the vexing issue of Iran's nuclear program, it is more likely that those negotiations will fail. If that happens, U.S. policymakers face a set of highly imperfect options.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nawaf Obaid
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During an official visit to Washington DC on September 20th, 2005, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal proclaimed: “US policy in Iraq is widening sectarian divisions to the point of effectively handing the country to Iran…. We fought a war together to keep Iran out of Iraq, now we are handing the whole country over to Iran without reason…. Iraq is disintegrating.”
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arabia, Maryland
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Khalid R. Al-Rodhan
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There is no way to know what strategy Iran will choose in the future, or how the international community will respond. Iran's possible efforts to acquire nuclear weapons are an ongoing test of the entire process of arms control and the ability limit nuclear proliferation. At the same time, they raise critical issues about how Iran might use such weapons and the security of the Gulf region -- an area with more than 60% of the world's proven conventional oil reserves and some 37% of its gas.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo, Mark P Thirlwell, Dr. Michael Fullilove
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The Iranian nuclear issue has entered a critical phase. A draft UN Security Council resolution has been circulated that could pave the way for political and economic sanctions. Should these fail to change Iran's position, the likelihood of military action will grow towards the end of 2006 and into 2007. At the same time, high oil prices have bolstered Iran's ability to defy demands that it give up uranium enrichment and provide greater transparency with respect to its nuclear program. Given current supply, demand and price indicators, oil provides Iran with a very potent weapon with which to respond to punitive measures. However, the economic and political fallout produced by the use of the oil in this way makes it likely Tehran would use such a weapon cautiously.
  • Topic: International Relations, Energy Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Australia/Pacific
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The surprise election of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, who is being sworn in as president this week, has given rise to dire predictions about Iran's domestic and foreign policies and relations with the U.S. and the European Union. There are reasons for concern. Based on his rhetoric, past performance, and the company he keeps, Ahmadi-Nejad appears a throwback to the revolution's early days: more ideological, less pragmatic, and anti- American. But for the West, and the U.S. in particular, to reach and act upon hasty conclusions would be wrong. Iran is governed by complex institutions and competing power centres that inherently favour continuity over change. More importantly , none of the fundamentals has changed: the regime is not about to collapse; it holds pivotal cards on Iraq and nuclear proliferation; and any chance of modifying its behaviour will come, if at all, through serious, coordinated EU and U.S. efforts to engage it.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo, Dr. Michael Fullilove
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The international impasse over Iran\'s nuclear program is entering a critical phase. The compromise being offered by the international community, whereby Iran would carry out sensitive uranium enrichment work in Russia, is unlikely to be accepted in full by Tehran. The hardline rhetoric of new President Ahmedinejad is further limiting the prospects of a diplomatic solution being found. As a result, the issue is likely to come before the Security Council. Once in New York there are a number of ways it could play out. But at this stage it is not clear what the Council would be able to do to force a change of behaviour from Tehran. Faced with poor options all round, Washington may feel at some point that it has to risk the uncertain results of limited air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities to delay what it regards as the unthinkable - a nuclear armed Iran.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: Neoconservative supporters of President Bush are supposedly fond of the notion that, while Baghdad is for "men," "real men" go to Tehran. But are there larger implications of this notion beyond the swagger implied? What is the link between the war in Iraq and future US policy toward Iran? Is the war in Iraq perceived in neoconservative -- or "Vulcan" -- circles as a mere stepping stone to a confrontation with Iran? Where do Iraq and Iran fit into the larger historical framework of US interests in the Persian Gulf?
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Tehran
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nawaf Obaid
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Both Saudi Arabia's security situation, and the Saudi security apparatus, are undergoing major changes. Saudi Arabia no longer faces a major threat from Iraq, but must deal with the growing risk that Iran will become a nuclear power. This confronts Saudi Arabia with hard strategic choices as to whether to ignore Iran's efforts to proliferate, seek US military assistance in deterring Iran and possibly in some form of missile defense, or to acquire more modern missiles and its own weapons of mass destruction.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia