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  • 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: 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: 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: Nadia Helmy
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, Chinese Iranian and Middle East Studies have become more and more systematic, which is reflected not only in the great volume of publication, but also in the varied research methodologies and the increase in Iranian and Middle East academic journals. The development of Chinese Middle East studies have accelerated in particular after Arab Spring revolutions and the political changes in the Middle East (2000- 2013). Research institutes evolved from state-controlled propaganda offices into multi-dimensional academic and non-academic entities, including universities, research institutes, military institutions, government offices, overseas embassies and mass media. At the same time, publications evolved from providing an introduction and overview of Iran and Middle Eastern states to in-depth studies of Middle East politics and economics in three stages: beginnings (1949- 1978), growth (1979- 1999), and dealing with energy, religion, culture, society and security. The Middle East-related research programs' funding provided by provincial, ministerial and national authorities have increased and the quality of research has greatly improved. And finally, China has established, as well as joined, various academic institutions and NGOs, such as the Chinese Middle East Studies Association (CMESA), the Asian Middle East Studies Association (AMESA) and the Arabic Literature Studies Association (ALSA). However, Chinese Middle East Studies remain underdeveloped, both in comparison with China's American, European, and Japanese studies at home, and with Middle East studies in the West.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Politics, Religion, Culture, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Tahereh Hadian
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This article explores Iranian women's identities reflected in documentary films made during the post revolution era. By doing so, it draws attention to the complexities of representation with regard to the position of women and the current cultural policies in Iran from a legal, religious, and traditional point of view. The documentary films are divided into two categories: those made by Iranians residing in Iran and those made by the Diaspora documentary filmmakers, we then examine and compare their content and themes. This will in turn demonstrate the relationship between the two groups of Iranian documentary film makers and the subjects they address. The selected documentaries made in Iran for this study are sponsored by the state, through the Experimental and Documentary Film Centre (DEFC). This essay will analyze the way the two categories of documentary films [by state and Diaspora] address women's issues through the themes they cover, their agendas, as well as the adopted aesthetics. These documentary films show the social empowerment of Iranian women as active agents in a society that sets obstacles in women's paths. The comparison of the two categories of documentary films may thus show the relation between Iranians residing in Iran and those in the Diaspora, which can play a role in Iran's position internationally. This research looks into three films: Mokarrameh, Article 61 and Divorce, Iranian Style. It will also assess their content and character, and explain what each documentary reflects regarding women's status in society in that particular era with respect to its theme i.e. law, tradition and religion.
  • Topic: Religion, Culture
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis, Martha Brill Olcott, Dmitri V. Trenin, Frédéric Grare, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Christopher Boucek, Gilles Dorronsoro, Karim Sadjadpour, Michael D. Swaine, Aroop Mukharji, Haroun Mir, Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Tiffany Ng
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Obama administration has made some decisive changes to the Afghan policy it inherited. Most significantly, in its first year it committed to a 250 percent increase in the American force on the ground (adding 51,000 troops to the 34,000 in Afghanistan when Mr. Obama took office) and lobbied hard to secure increases in non–U.S. coalition forces. It matched this large increase in force with a major reduction in the goal: from raising a democratic state in Afghanistan to the creation of a state strong enough to prevent a takeover by the Taliban, al–Qaeda, or any other radical Islamic group; and to “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat” al–Qaeda (which, of course, is not achievable in Afghanistan or Afghanistan and Pakistan alone). The third pillar of the policy was and is a greater emphasis on the need for a regional approach, a belief the Bush administration moved toward in its closing days.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Religion, Terrorism, Reform
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, India
  • Author: Muammer İskenderoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: The relation between religion and politics has always been an important issue of debate among the intellectuals and religious scholars of Iran and the Iranian revolution contributed to the discussion of this issue in both theoretical and practical level. In today's Iran, by harmonizing the Shiite theory of imamate with modern democracy a kind of political system is created which does not seem to be traditional, nor does it look like any modern political system. It has a constitution in which there are articles on issues that defines the structure of the institutions of modern state and their functions, rights of citizens and the responsibilities of the state towards them. But these rights are interpreted by the traditional scholars in such a way that in reality made these concepts meaningless. As a reformist scholar, Shabestari criticizes this interpretation of the traditional scholars which is in fact based on their reading of religion. For Shabestari, concepts such as human rights, democracy, tolerance, civil society and constitution are concepts that emerged in modern times and it is difficult to find them in traditional Islam. He claims that rationalization of political system and accepting these concepts with their commonly defined meanings that are compatible with the values of modern world is the only solution for the well-being of the political system of Iran as well as fort the system of other countries of the Islamic world.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Ömer Taspinar
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In what represents a remarkable departure from its policy of non-involvement, Turkey is once again becoming an important player in the Middle East. In recent years, Ankara has shown a growing willingness to mediate in the Arab– Israeli conflict; attended Arab League conferences; contributed to UN forces in Lebanon and NATO forces in Afghanistan; assumed a leadership position in the Organization of Islamic Conference and established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Islam, Nationalism, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 14, the Iranian government arrested six prominent Bahai leaders and accused them of "endangering national security." The timing of the arrests has led some to speculate that the Iranian government is trying to link these leaders to the April explosion at a religious center in Shiraz that killed fourteen people. Considering Iran's clerical establishment believes the existence of religious minorities undermines official Shiite orthodoxy, these latest arrests are just another black mark on Iran's long and dismal record of protecting individual human rights and religious freedom.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Fatah-Hamas unity agreement reached in Mecca last week has powerful implications for all regional players. The most serious challenge it poses is to U.S. diplomacy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Mecca