239 Items

Trump Salman White House Meeting

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Analysis & Opinions - Al-Monitor

Why Iran isn't Concerned Over US plans for ‘Arab NATO’

| Aug. 09, 2018

Having been targeted indirectly by the “leading from behind” policy under President Obama, Iran is now faced with a more organized US effort under Trump to establish a regional setting — an "Arab NATO," the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) — that is supposed to “push back” against Iran. Against this backdrop, however, Iran does not seem worried about US efforts to create MESA. In fact, Washington’s new anti-Iran campaign in the Middle East and beyond is interpreted as falling within the “milking logic” of the Trump administration.

Iran Currency

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Is Iran's Economy Collapsing?

    Author:
  • Arash Pourebrahimi
| Aug. 07, 2018

Iran’s economy is having difficulties for sure but is far from “collapsing”. While the Iranian rial has lost more than 50 percent of its value against the US dollar in the unofficial market since January 2018, this is nothing new for Iran’s economy. Every president since the end of Iran-Iraq war had to deal with a sort of analogous currency crisis.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are welcomed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Saturday, May 20, 2017, on their arrival to King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

White House

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

The United States Cannot Afford to Pick a Side in the Shia-Sunni Fight

| June 25, 2018

While many Shia movements may have differences of opinion with Iran, as long as the Trump presidency uncritically supports Saudi Arabia and the threat of military conflict with Iran remains on the horizon, it is unlikely that any popular Shia group will side with the United States. The administration’s narrow focus on Iran will provoke precisely what the Trump White House aims to prevent—a more cohesive regional Shia movement under Iran’s protection and aggrieved Shia supportive of countering U.S. influence in the region. In other words, the current U.S. course is narrowing policy discussions both within individual Shia organizations as well as across transnational Shia alliances by closing the door to pro-U.S. policy alternatives. This further consolidates Iran's position as the center of the Shia world and its long-standing partnership with various Shia transnational movements throughout the Middle East such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, many of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and Yemen's Ansarallah (the Houthis) all of whom are engaged in critical regional hotspots.

Tehran Vali Asr

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

How Iran Will Respond to New Sanctions

| May 02, 2018

Even before US President Donald Trump began threatening to re-impose sanctions on Iran, foreign investors looking to do business there were wary. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani failed to get his pro-market agenda off the ground, and now international political developments are playing into Iranian hardliners' hands.

Trump MBS Saudi

White House

Analysis & Opinions

How Effective is Saudi Arabia’s ‘Counter-Iran Policy’?

| Apr. 07, 2018

This article is aimed at scrutinizing Saudi Arabia’s new policy toward Iran in the Middle East. While King Salman’s ascendance to power brought a new leaf to Iran-Saudi relations, Mohammad bin Salman’s approach has led to a trend of continued escalation between the two countries. And yet, that is not the whole story. The change of leadership in Saudi Arabia came alongside shifts in the regional balance of power, which, coupled with Trump’s presidency, created a momentum for an active – and opportunistic – Riyadh in the Middle East. Accordingly, there has been a growing focus on Iran’s regional role on the part of Saudi Arabia. The defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Syrian opposition, the regaining of control by Syrian and Iraqi governments over their territories and the continuation of the Yemeni war without any light at the end of the tunnel have all driven Riyadh to see its rival’s position as having been strengthened and its own weakened. Therefore, Riyadh came up with a counter-Iran policy aimed at controlling and, ideally, reversing that regional trend.

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Geopolitical Fight Club: Why Iraq Must Square off with Saudi Arabia

| Mar. 26, 2018

High mistrust of Saudi Arabia by Iraqi Shi’as is hampering any meaningful outreach Saudi is undertaking toward Iraq and any policy of balancing Iraq and Iran will not succeed unless serious steps toward sectarian de-escalation is taken in the region. In order to bridge the gap, there needs to be broad religious dialogue to discuss the role of Shia’s and Sunnis in the region and forge a common space for the inclusion of both denominations. Major Grand Ayatollahs—the highest authorities in the Shi’a world—have taken positive steps of forbidding the ritual cursing of certain companions of the Prophet Muhammad and the early caliphs considered reverential to the Sunni community. In this endeavor the role of Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf will be crucial as he has a track record of promoting better relations between Shi’as and Sunnis and is an authoritative moderating figure who can reign in hardline elements in Iraq who might be opposed to a détente.

Central Bank of Iran

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions

Did Bad Economic Conditions Cause Iran’s protests?

| Mar. 01, 2018

Like other Iranian president before him, President Hassan Rouhani is having a bad second term. Only six months after his decisive re-election, protesters were in streets shouting “Death to Rouhani.” Then came a sharp fall in the value of the rial, by 10% in two weeks, which threatens to undo the principal economic achievement of his first term—lowering inflation—and his plans to lower interest rates. Iran’s Central Bank had to increase interest rates last month to stop the fall of the rial. These are precarious times for Rouhani, who has won two elections promising economic revival.

Iran US America Flag

Wikimedia

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Recognizing the Limitations of American Influence in Iran

| Feb. 14, 2018

It is time for a reality check: despite claims to the contrary by Iran’s supreme leader, the United States is not the central actor in the drama that recently unfolded in Iran, nor was it the central actor in Egypt back in 2011. The mass protests that forced the Egyptian dictator from power were driven by the Egyptian public’s growing disenchantment with decades of political, economic and social mismanagement by a succession of military rulers. Contemporary observers noted with surprise the absence of references to the United States or other foreign-policy considerations during the protests. The demonstrators’ recurrent chant—“bread, freedom, social justice and human dignity”—encapsulated the domestic motivations behind the public’s mobilization.

Rouhani

Tasnim News

Blog Post - Iran Matters

A Wake-up Call to Rouhani

    Author:
  • Masoud Movahed
| Jan. 17, 2018

The recent protests in Iran are surely a wakeup call for President Rouhani. To respond the legitimate grievances of low-income Iranian households, the Rouhani government should do its best to further diversify the Iranian economy and to bolster its manufacturing and industrial sectors. The Rouhani government should also promote the export of non-oil products, following the models of countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and recently, the Chinese leviathan. Labor-intensive industries as well as service sectors like information technology, ought to be solidified. Rouhani should call upon state-directed industrial committees and agencies to provide Iranian entrepreneurs and manufacturers with fiscal resources, and he should foster financial support and protection for firms that place emphasis on exporting goods abroad.