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Iran Matters

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Iran Matters,” https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/iran-matters.

48 posts

John Bolton speaking at the gathering of the People's Mujahedin of Iran in front of headquarters of the United Nations, New York City

VOA Persian

U.S.-Led Regime Change is not the Path

    Author:
  • Sina Toossi
| Oct. 11, 2018

John Bolton speaking at the gathering of the People's Mujahedin of Iran in front of headquarters of the United Nations, New York City

VOA Persian

For much of Iran's modern history, the Iranian people have been divided on issues such as traditionalism versus modernity and the nature of their relationship with the West. These divisions only highlight the need for organic political change to allow society to find common ground. However, outside political interventionism has been a constant setback, whether during the Constitutional Revolution period, the 1953 US/UK coup, or now with Trump's exhortations and actions.

Iran Currency

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

Is Iran's Economy Collapsing?

    Author:
  • Arash Pourebrahimi
| Aug. 07, 2018

Iran Currency

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

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.

Rouhani

Tasnim News

A Wake-up Call to Rouhani

    Author:
  • Masoud Movahed
| Jan. 17, 2018

Rouhani

Tasnim News

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.

Rouhani and Salehi outside the Bushehr Nuclear Plant

Tasnim News

An Iranian Nuclear Business Deal for Trump

    Author:
  • Sayed Hossein Mousavian
| Nov. 01, 2017

Rouhani and Salehi outside the Bushehr Nuclear Plant

Tasnim News

As the world’s largest nuclear facilities operators, U.S. corporations understand all aspects of nuclear programs. Employing those same corporations to partner and collaborate with Iran on nuclear projects would be a major confidence-building step that would secure trust between the two sides after the sunset provisions of the deal expire. The people of Iran and the United States have never been enemies. Now is the time to seek a legitimate business-based compromise that can allow the United States and Iran to fully execute the JCPOA in full compliance with both the substance and intent of each of the deal’s signatories while pursing the long-term goal of eliminating the growth and proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism. To this end, Iran and the US can in parallel collaborate on eliminating the risk of proliferation in the region and establishing a Middle East free from all weapons of mass destruction.

Trump Iran

Flickr

The Pitfalls of Trump’s New Iran Strategy

    Authors:
  • Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
  • Nader Entessar
| Oct. 31, 2017

Trump Iran

Flickr

In a volatile Middle East rich in tensions and yet rather poor in successful conflict-management, the JCPOA is a landmark achievement of multilateral diplomacy that contributes to regional peace and security. So far, the U.S. has been unsuccessful in enlisting international support for its current bid to re-negotiate the JCPOA, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has recently hinted at the possibility of a "second agreement."  Hypothetically speaking, a ‘JCPOA II’, while leaving the JCPOA intact, is [...] within the realm of possibilities; however, it requires a great deal of U.S. "smart diplomacy" to flesh out the details such as the relevant parameters and enroll the other (hitherto recalcitrant) powers that are parties to the JCPOA. 

Secretary Tillerson and King Salman shake hands

U.S. State Department

Secretary Tillerson and King Salman shake hands

U.S. State Department

During the Cold War, Iran and Saudi Arabia formed the twin pillars of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, but this changed abruptly with the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Ever since, the IRI has pursued a foreign policy independent from the West, which pitted Tehran against the West, and the U.S. in particular, as well as with pro-Western states in the region, including Saudi Arabia. In this blog post to Iran Matters, Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Associate at the Iran Project, examines the mutual perspectives of Iran and Saudi Arabia towards one another and how recent regional developments in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere have impacted this "hegemonic rivalry."
 

Rouhani

Russia President

Rouhani

Russia President

A key foreign affairs issue for the Trump administration will be its policy on Iran, as was the case also for the Obama administration. But we have no idea what approach it will take, an uncertainty amplified by the fact that Trump has no experience whatsoever in foreign policy, and no idea whose input he will accept in shaping it. It’s not as if we have no information about his attitude – during the election campaign, Trump made his intention on Iran very clear – but, as with other topics, it is unclear how he will act when once he is forced to translate his intentions into action and realizes that reality is far more complicated than he imagined.

iran central bank

Flickr

iran central bank

Flickr

Aaron Arnold, Associate of the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center, writes in The Diplomat that a key threat to the ongoing implementation of the Iran nuclear deal is the risky nature of the Iranian financial sector. While Iran is banking on receiving greater foreign investment, continued problems with the Iranian financial sector, including lack of sufficient regulatory controls and the potential ties to terrorist financing, have made companies cautious about investing in Iran. He suggests that the United States work with Iran to bring its banking system up to the same standard as the global economy, and to consider closer integration of Iran into the world economy in order to preserve the effects of the nuclear agreement.

Iran Matters

Iran Matters

The Iran nuclear deal was officially implemented on Saturday, as Iran successfully fulfilled its initial key nuclear commitments and the international community relieved major sanctions, including unfreezing about $100 billion of Iranian money. Implementation Day was met with applause from deal supporters in the U.S. and Iran, while critics have raised questions about whether Iran will adhere to its requirements and how it will flex its newfound economic power. Also in recent days, the U.S. and Iran agreed to a prisoner swap that led to the freedom of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and others, and negotiated the release of American sailors detained in Iran. What does the arrival of Implementation Day mean for Iran’s nuclear program and nuclear nonproliferation, and how does it bode for the future of U.S.-Iran relations? We asked Belfer Center experts to weigh in on these and related questions.

Iran Matters

Iran Matters

Aaron Arnold, Associate with the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center, writes in The Hill that while Iran will soon be getting sanctions relief as the nuclear accord with the P5+1 is enacted, it has not yet taken steps to update its banking system and bring it up to international money laundering and counter-terror financing. He also suggests that in order to balance the competing political and financial concerns at play with sanctions, the international community led by the United States should make clear conditions for both exclusion and rejoining of the international financial system.