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14 August 2019  

Syria's security reshuffle highlights Russia's consolidation of power

on Syria

July began with a major shake-up in the Syrian military and intelligence apparatus. In an attempt to consolidate power after regaining territorial control over most of the country...

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30 July 2019  

Geopolitics of Sudan Revolution - Presentation to AMEC

on Sudan

Sudan lies in the hotbed of the Horn of Africa, a region that has been plagued by decades of instability and ruin as a result of intense conflicts perpetuated by post-colonial vest...

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30 July 2019  

The December 2018 revolution and Sudanese professionals in the diaspora

on Sudan

WE LEFT SUDAN In drovesIn the late 80’s and 90’sIndeed, my generation of educated Sudanese professionals are scattered around the globe(Out of 200 medical graduates from Khartoum ...

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29 July 2019  

Geopolitics of Sudan Revolution - Presentation to AMEC

on Sudan

By Zeenat Adam 17 July 2019 Sudan lies in the hotbed of the Horn of Africa, a region that has been plagued by decades of instability and ruin as a result of intense conflicts per...

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08 July 2019  

A new cold war in Africa

on General Topics

By Mehari Taddele Maru Last month, the twelfth US-Africa Business Summit, a high-level event attended by eleven African heads of state and government and some 1 000 busi...

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23 June 2019  

Strategic implications of the 'deal of the century' and the…

on Palestine-Israel

Aisling Byrne interviews Abdel Bari Atwan Donald Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ (DoC) - whether in its actual or conceptual form - is ushering in a new strategic era, providing cov...

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14 August 2019  

Syria's security reshuffle highlights Russia's consolidation of power

on Syria

July began with a major shake-up in the Syrian military and intelligence apparatus. In an attempt to consolidate power after regaining territorial control over most of the country...

Read more

30 July 2019  

Geopolitics of Sudan Revolution - Presentation to AMEC

on Sudan

Sudan lies in the hotbed of the Horn of Africa, a region that has been plagued by decades of instability and ruin as a result of intense conflicts perpetuated by post-colonial vest...

Read more

30 July 2019  

The December 2018 revolution and Sudanese professionals in the diaspora

on Sudan

WE LEFT SUDAN In drovesIn the late 80’s and 90’sIndeed, my generation of educated Sudanese professionals are scattered around the globe(Out of 200 medical graduates from Khartoum ...

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29 July 2019  

Geopolitics of Sudan Revolution - Presentation to AMEC

on Sudan

By Zeenat Adam 17 July 2019 Sudan lies in the hotbed of the Horn of Africa, a region that has been plagued by decades of instability and ruin as a result of intense conflicts per...

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23 June 2019  

Strategic implications of the 'deal of the century' and the…

on Palestine-Israel

Aisling Byrne interviews Abdel Bari Atwan Donald Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ (DoC) - whether in its actual or conceptual form - is ushering in a new strategic era, providing cov...

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14 June 2019  

Postponed: Unveiling of Trump's 'deal of the century' frozen as…

on Palestine-Israel

Touted by its architects as the ‘deal of the century’, US president Donald Trump’s plan for Palestine and Israel has had to again be kept hidden as Israel heads back to elections a...

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14 August 2019  

Syria's security reshuffle highlights Russia's consolidation of power

on Syria

July began with a major shake-up in the Syrian military and intelligence apparatus. In an attempt to consolidate power after regaining territorial control over most of the country...

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23 June 2019  

Strategic implications of the 'deal of the century' and the…

on Palestine-Israel

Aisling Byrne interviews Abdel Bari Atwan Donald Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ (DoC) - whether in its actual or conceptual form - is ushering in a new strategic era, providing cov...

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14 June 2019  

Postponed: Unveiling of Trump's 'deal of the century' frozen as…

on Palestine-Israel

Touted by its architects as the ‘deal of the century’, US president Donald Trump’s plan for Palestine and Israel has had to again be kept hidden as Israel heads back to elections a...

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10 June 2019  

Teaching Palestine in South Africa

on Palestine

By Diana Block Reaffirming Internationalism in the Twenty-first Century In March 2019 I traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend a conference – Teaching Palestine: P...

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08 April 2019  

Turkish local election outcome signals disillusionment with Erdogan

on Turkey

Turkey’s local election concluded with the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) incurring heavy losses in major cities, and the opposition Republican People’s ...

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10 February 2019  

As Abbas Ages, Fatah Moves to Consolidate Power

on Palestine

By Ramzy Baroud Five years after spearheading what is inaptly referred to as a ‘government of national reconciliation’, Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, has finally&nbs...

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23 October 2018  

Jamal Khashoggi, small spark for a large fire

on Saudi Arabia

By Hassan Aourid Until last Saturday, I was hopeful that the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country’s consulate in Istanbul was not more than a case of c...

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19 October 2018  

Khashoggi murder: Killing dissent even from within

on Saudi Arabia

The gruesome murder of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was designed to be a clear and firm message for Saudi dissidents, and reflected th...

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08 July 2018  

As Hudaida falls to Saudi-Emirati coalition, peace for Yemen seems…

on Yemen

The recent and ongoing Saudi-Emirati offensive on the Yemeni port city of Hudaida will render UN special envoy Martin Griffiths’s ‘new’ solution to the five-year-long Yemeni crisis...

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18 May 2018  

Beyond Tradition and Modernity: Dilemmas of Transformation in Saudi Arabia

on Saudi Arabia

By Madawi Al-Rasheed Introduction The dominant narrative through which many observers understand Saudi Arabia depicts a progressive and modernist leadership struggling to gra...

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27 April 2018  

Chaotic Yemen: The deconstruction of a failed state and regional…

on Yemen

by Helen Lackner Yemen remains in the grip of its most severe crisis ever: the civil war between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbuh ...

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12 December 2017  

How the Saudis Escalated Yemen Struggle Beyond All Control

on Yemen

By Justin Podur Yemen is a small, poor country in a region empires have plundered for centuries. This civil war is a local struggle that has been escalated out of control by the a...

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30 July 2019  

Geopolitics of Sudan Revolution - Presentation to AMEC

on Sudan

Sudan lies in the hotbed of the Horn of Africa, a region that has been plagued by decades of instability and ruin as a result of intense conflicts perpetuated by post-colonial vest...

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30 July 2019  

The December 2018 revolution and Sudanese professionals in the diaspora

on Sudan

WE LEFT SUDAN In drovesIn the late 80’s and 90’sIndeed, my generation of educated Sudanese professionals are scattered around the globe(Out of 200 medical graduates from Khartoum ...

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29 July 2019  

Geopolitics of Sudan Revolution - Presentation to AMEC

on Sudan

By Zeenat Adam 17 July 2019 Sudan lies in the hotbed of the Horn of Africa, a region that has been plagued by decades of instability and ruin as a result of intense conflicts per...

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17 April 2019  

Bashir falls but the security apparatus maintains control

on Sudan

Since the military ouster of Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir, early on Thursday, 11 April, after three months of protests, different military factions have been jos...

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16 April 2019  

Haftar's march on Tripoli

on Libya

Khalifa Haftar’s 4 April announcement declaring his march on Tripoli, and the subsequent attack on the Libyan capital by his forces, threaten to gravely impact the a...

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16 February 2019  

Uncertainty follows Moroccan-Saudi spat

on Morocco

By Hassan Aourid Moroccan-Saudi relations have never been as cool and strained as they have become in the past week, following a report on the Western Sahara disputebroa...

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12 October 2018  

Ethiopia, Eritrea: An unlikely peace deal in a fractious region

on Ethiopia

The recent peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea, signed 16 September 2018, is set to have lasting consequences for both countries and for the Horn of Africa ...

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06 April 2017  

Ensuring Somalia remains in conflict: Trump’s expanded ‘war on terror’

on Somalia

By Afro-Middle East Centre The 29 March decision by the administration of US president Donald Trump declaring Somalia an ‘area of active hostility’ will likely ensure an escalatio...

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10 October 2016  

South Sudan: Beyond the logjam of UNSC Resolution 2304

on South Sudan

By Majak D’Agoôt and Remember Miamingi No country is entirely self-contained or lacking in interdependencies. These interlocking interests form the critical part of any country’s ...

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28 April 2015  

Nigeria’s elections and future challenges

on Sub-Saharan Africa

By Afro-Middle East Centre The election of General Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president will see a renewed focus by the government on domestic challenges posed by endemic...

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26 September 2013  

Kenyan hostage crisis: The desperation of al-Shabab

on Sub-Saharan Africa

By Afro-Middle East Centre The hostage drama at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi over the past week has raised a number of questions about the Somali organisation al-Shabab. After the...

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23 January 2013  

French military intervention will add to Mali’s problems

on Sub-Saharan Africa

By Afro-Middle east Centre   The north of Africa was plunged into yet another international conflict with France’s invasion of Mali on Friday, 11 January. Without im...

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23 April 2019  

India in Kashmir: Risking peace as an antidote to war

on South Asia

By Ranjan Solomon On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber ...

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28 August 2015  

Does Pakistan’s refusal to join Saudi Arabia in Yemen indicate…

on Pakistan

By Afro-Middle East Centre Allegedly, the current Saudi-led onslaught on Yemen has already caused destruction that resembles the destruction wrought in Syria over the la...

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31 March 2012  

The feasibility of a continued United States presence in Afghanistan

on South Asia

By Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn Recent events in Afghanistan have fuelled speculation over the ability of international forces to continue their presence in the coun...

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28 February 2012  

Dangerous uncertainty in Pakistan

on South Asia

By Junaid S. Ahmed With relations between Pakistan's civilian government and military incredibly tense, speculation is rife in the Pakistani and international media of a looming m...

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30 May 2011  

Pakistan-USA relations in the post-Usama era

on South Asia

By Junaid S. Ahmad The assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by US Special Forces was supposed to have been a landmark triumph that would bring peace and stability to the r...

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13 December 2010  

Kashmir and Obama's Indian appeasement

on South Asia

By Mohammad Abdullah Gul Obama's recent jive with school children in Delhi symbolises the nature of the new relationship that is emerging between India and the United States of Am...

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26 April 2017  

IS reorganising to face new challenges

on Political Islam

Reports in January 2017 that the leader of the Islamic State group (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been killed, reports that he had been captured by Russian troops in Syria, and th...

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07 March 2017  

IS in Africa: Containment and fragmentation

on Political Islam

By Afro-Middle East Centre With the Islamic State group (IS) losing territory in Syria and Iraq, many believe that the group will use the territory it controls in Africa as a fall...

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14 May 2016  

The Paradox of Survival and Expansion: How the Islamic State…

on Political Islam

Omar Ashour This paper examines the reasons for the military steadfastness of the Islamic State group (IS) in the face of local and international forces that are larger in numbers...

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19 December 2015  

ISIS in Africa: Reality far different from IS propaganda

on Political Islam

By Afro-Middle East Centre The revelation that the alleged mastermind of the 13 November Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State group (IS) was of Moroccan descent, the tur...

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20 July 2015  

Remaining and expanding: Measuring the Islamic State group’s success in…

on Political Islam

By Afro-Middle East Centre Since its declaration of a ‘caliphate’ on 29 June 2014, the Islamic State group (IS), the brutal successor to al-Qa'ida, has gone from stren...

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31 January 2012  

The rise of 'Ikhwanophobia': Fear of the Muslim Brotherhood

on Political Islam

By Dr. Mohsen Saleh Introduction Fear of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwanal-Muslimoon), the leading Islamist movement, has gained unprecedented international prominence since the b...

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18 February 2018  

Africa and the problem of foreign military bases

on 'War on terror'

At the establishment of the African Union (AU) in May 2001, discourses about human security and counter terrorism were ubiquitous both globally and on the continent. In Africa, the...

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21 November 2015  

The Paris attacks: Aftermath and the Islamic State group’s future

on 'War on terror'

By Afro-Middle East Centre The terror unleashed on Paris streets on 13 November reverberated throughout the world. From the G20 summit in Antalya to social media debates about how...

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28 May 2010  

Al-Qaeda in the New National Security Strategy

on 'War on terror'

By Mark Lynch The Obama administration's new National Security Strategy has been released today. It goes a long way towards providing a coherent framework for American foreign pol...

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16 February 2010  

Pakistan’s attitude towards Obama’s plan to negotiate with the Taliban

on 'War on terror'

By Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan has generally been welcomed in Pakistan. It is being seen as a vindication...

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07 February 2010  

Mission Absolute: American hegemony in space

on 'War on terror'

By Sourav Roy Come April 2010, officials from the sleepy Polish municipality of Morag will be gearing up for perhaps their most critical assignment in the new decade. Their job wi...

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No longer a zero-sum game between Tehran and Washington

 
Iran realises that it will not be able to ‘turn threats into opportunities’ unless it changes its language of engagement and amends foreign policy, which is the first step towards turning a new page in its relations with the USA, the West in general, and even with Israel. Rouhani started his term by wishing Jews around the world ‘Shana Tova’ – Happy New Year – on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The message was relayed via Rouhani’s Twitter account, which he has used since May 2013 for his election campaign. Later, the president chose a Jewish member of the Iranian Parliament, Ciamak Moresadegh, to join him on his visit to New York. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also tweeted messages indicating that his country did not deny the Jewish holocaust, and that the man who had denied the holocaust, referring to the former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,[2] had left office.
 
Is it Rouhani’s decision?
One cannot help but wonder whether this change is exclusively associated with Rouhani’s platform that promised major change in Iran’s foreign policy, or whether Iranian officials located in various decisionmaking positions have become convinced that this change is necessary.
 
At first glance, the entire subject seems to revolve around a new foreign policy imposed by Rouhani and emphasised by his mentor, Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has consistently argued for direct talks with the USA. Some argue that recent developments herald a victory for Rafsanjani’s policy positions, indicating that he is again involved in day-to-day politics, and is stronger than before – despite the harassment and isolation that he experienced over the past few years.
 
However, negotiations with the USA, which may lead to the current thirty-year impasse being replaced by a more open and relaxed relationship, needs to be accepted by more than one political trend in order to reach a general agreement, and a situation where all political forced are engaged in the discussion. Simultaneously, the pivotal role for the ‘House of the Supreme Leader’, Ali Khamenei, needs to be asserted. This is the common term used in Iran to refer to the political, security and military team surrounding and managed by Khamenei. This group is regarded as the most influential political decisionmaking power in Iran.
 
The dominant Iranian rhetoric prior to Rouhani’s election regarded the USA as ‘arrogant and decadent’, and projected Iran as supporting the weak against the arrogant. This rhetoric has begun undergoing a process of review. There has also been, over the past two years, reinterpretation of the statements of the Islamic Republic’s first leader, Ruhullah Khomeini, with claims that he did not approve of the invasion of the US embassy in Tehran by Iranian students in 1979, and that he did not entirely oppose relations with the USA. It is possible that Rouhani was deemed the ideal candidate to drive this change and to achieve its purpose.
 
This change is also noticeable in the rhetoric of the current Leader, Ali Khamenei, which used to dismiss US desires for negotiations as mere ruses.[3] He used to mock arguments that claimed that ‘negotiations will eliminate rivalry’; in his opinion, rivalry could not be eliminated through negotiation. On more than one occasion, he explained his reasons for refusing the offer of talks by concluding that after analysing the experiences of other countries and the advice of experts, Iran had decided that negotiating with the USA would compromise Iranian national interests.[4] He attributed this to US arrogance; ‘when an arrogant [country] conducts talks with another country, it does not mean the former will accept the latter’s point of view’. Furthermore, Khamenei believes that negotiating with ‘a country that allocates a budget to overthrowing the ruling regime in Iran is simply foolish and treacherous.’[5]
 
In the past year, Khamenei has repeatedly declared that he had not explicitly denied the possibility of relations with the USA, and that he had deliberately kept the door open to allow for the possibility of such relations had they been in Iran’s interests. In a speech he gave to Iran’s cultural elite in Yazd City in 2007, he said, ‘For the time being, relations with the US do not benefit Iran. I will be the first person to endorse such relations, the day that they are useful to the Iranian people.’[6] Prior to the recent presidential elections, extremist groups in Iran argued that the issue of USA-Iran relations can be decided only by the Supreme Leader. The implication was that a green light from Khamenei for Iran to pursue such relations would result in a change in the Iranian rhetoric towards the US. Ahmadinejad attempted to make progress on this front through unilateral decisions, without consulting the Supreme Leader.
 
The increased potential for the development of USA-Iran relations comes at a time when the Iranian media is speculating about an imminent announcement of direct negotiations between the two countries. Some Iranian diplomats say a good time to announce talks will be early next year. These developments follow leaked news about meetings between the parties, and rumours of a secret visit to Washington by Khamenei’s advisor and former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, escorted by the head of the intelligence division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The rumours surfaced simultaneously with declarations to the western press about a wide-scale negotiation that will discuss various issues of dispute. These were put forward by the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, a Khamenei ally. This series of declarations, leaks and rumours indicates that discussions about direct negotiations only recap previous negotiations conducted in European countries such as Switzerland and Germany, and which were started by Khamenei himself. The ground has been prepared, and Rouhani’s task now is to seal the deal, employing his charm and flexibility in negotiation and diplomacy.
 
It is clear that Rouhani’s decision to reconcile with the USA is not only his decision, but is based on his having received Khamenei’s approval. This makes it more difficult for opponents of negotiations with the USA to attack Rouhani or place obstacles in his path. Thus the environment on this issue is different from that which characterised the presidency of Ahmadinejad or his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami. Despite some provocative statements – such as his questioning of the holocaust – Ahmadinejad also wanted to change the nature of relations with the USA and open up channels of dialogue. And when Khatami attempted to end the standoff with the USA, he was confronted with marchers in protests carrying coffins in an attempt to condemn the notion of such dialogue.
 
A few days before Rouhani’s Washington Post op-ed was published, and before Khamenei’s statements on ‘heroic flexibility’ in diplomacy, Hossein Mousavian, who served on Iran’s nuclear diplomacy negotiations team, and who is a close ally of Rafsanjani, disclosed that Rouhani had obtained a mandate from Khamenei to conduct direct negotiations with the USA.[7]
 
The revealing article
Rouhani’s Washington Post op-ed, titled ‘Why Iran seeks constructive engagement’[8] reveals numerous underlying causes for this change in the Iranian approach. Rouhani starts his article by asserting that his platform of ‘prudence and hope’ gained a broad, popular mandate in Iran, thus committing him further to his promises of change in domestic and international affairs. As such, he has prioritised economic reform, the needs of the Iranians, and Iran’s international position. He believes that fulfilling these goals is jointly associated with reducing tension with the USA and the West.
 
Economic necessities
The Iranian economy seems to be the main driver in this new approach. For many years, Iran was preoccupied with the term ‘resistance economy’, which was coined by Khamenei as a response and a solution to the grave crisis in which economic sanctions had plunged the Iranian economy. He has now coined a new term, to indicate a new approach to the crisis – ‘heroic flexibility’ in diplomacy.[9] The resistance economy is no longer able to circumvent and bear the heavy burden of increasing levels of sanctions; Iran’s economic figures indicators provide a sharp view of the critical situation confronting the country. Iran has not made much progress in its economic growth rate over the past two years, thus rendering this period economic the worst for Iran since the eight-year Iran-Iraq war which lasted from 1980 to 1988. According to the Research Center of the Majlis (Iran’s parliament, also known as the Islamic Consultative Assembly), economic growth has languished at zero per cent over the past two years, seriously threatening that the country will not be able to achieve its 2025 plan which aims to develop the economy in various fields and to achieve an economic growth rate of eight per cent by 2025.[10] The low economic growth occurred despite large oil revenues earned by Iran, totalling US $ 720 billion over the past eight years, during Ahmadinejad’s term. This exceeded the revenues earned during the rule of his three predecessors, when the total oil revenue was US $ 432.[11]
 
At the same time, the inflation rate has been going up, and the Central Bank announced that inflation had reached forty-five per cent in June 2013,[12] along with a steadily weakening currency. In late 2011, the Iranian Rial lost two thirds of its value against the US dollar as a result of western sanctions targeting oil exports and the banking sector. The country was not able to receive its revenues in dollars and Iran witnessed a vigorous currency trade on the black market.
 
No longer a zero-sum game
Rouhani believes that ‘international politics is no longer a zero-sum game but a multidimensional arena in which cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously. Gone is the age of blood feuds.’[13] Rouhani believes it is time for coexistence, and for all parties to end the ‘standoff and revenge’ approach and accept the Islamic Republic rather than overthrow it.[14] Rouhani discusses the many challenges facing the international community in this new era – terrorism, extremism, foreign military interference, drug trafficking, cybercrime and cultural encroachment – all within a framework that emphasises hard power and the use of brute force.[15] He also condemns US policy in this regard, mentioning ‘foreign military interference’ as a clear indication of Iran’s concerns over the intents of the West.[16] On the one hand, it shows Rouhani’s concern, and, on the other, it may be a deliberate attempt to please the more hardline element in Iran that argues that US intervention – under the pretext of ‘fighting terrorism’ – has exacerbated problems globally and broadened the cycle of violence. Whatever the case, fear over military intervention is the most prominent issue in relations between the two countries. Rouhani also reminds the USA that Ahmadinejad left the decisionmaking position, just as George W Bush left office, and that a new phase is expected to begin. In his Washington Post article, Rouhani further states that Iran wants the USA to recognise that the Islamic Republic is a legitimate state, and the USA should thus cease any attempts to overthrow it.
 
Rouhani adopts a position on Syria that is somewhat different from that of its Russian ally. Although he does not condemn Asad for the 21 August chemical weapons’ attacks, he also does not blame the rebels – as Russia did. This represents a significant retreat from an all-embracing support for Asad. It does not mean, however, that Iran will radically change its policy towards Syria, even when proposing to be the mediator between the parties to the dispute.
 
Conclusion
At the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ meeting where Khamenei addressed this issue, he did not use the term ‘heroic flexibility’ in diplomacy in vain. He knows full well that the IRGC is an institution that has played critical political, security and economic roles in addition to its military role, thus making it the institution most capable of defeating any attempts at reconciliation with the USA. He deliberately spoke against their interference in politics. A day earlier, Rouhani had made a similar request and similar comments. This indicates a top-level decision that can change the approach of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. At the same time, Iran’s intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, held intensive meetings with the most senior religious authorities in the cities of Qom and Mashhad. Although the content of the meetings was not disclosed, there are indications that he informed them of Iran’s position on developments on the international scene, couched within a discussion of the interests of the Islamic Republic.[17]
 
Rouhani discusses a two-pronged approach of ‘competition and cooperation’. Khamenei, on the other hand, does not disregard the existing conflict. While he said that Iran’s foreign policy was ‘just like a wrestler that, due to technical reasons, shows flexibility’ he adds that Iranians ‘must not forget who his opponent and enemy is’. Furthermore, he said that even if ‘the diplomacy arena involved smiling, politely requesting for and conducting negotiations, it must be read within the framework of key challenges.’
 
The Iranian president did not mention potential concessions on the nuclear issue, but he stressed the need for dialogue ‘between two parties looking for a way out, and not only two players seeking to score points against each other’. The Iranian proposal for dialogue with the USA and the West seems to include a set of themes, most prominent of which are:
  1. The US must admit that its historical policies have failed to address conflicts in the region;
  2. The opportunity has arisen to cooperatively approach many issues, including confronting al-Qa’ida;
  3. Addressing major problems and injustices must be done through solutions endorsed by all parties. This possibly refers to the Palestinian issue, and indicates that Iran might accept a solution that pleases the Palestinian side;
  4. Dialogue and the proposal of negotiated- solutions regarding Syria and Bahrain. In this regard, however, since Iran is considered a party in the conflict, it is not an unbiased mediator; and
  5. The bottom line: that Iran seems to believe more than before in the opportunity for cooperation and dialogue with the USA, and that the time for this is ripe, both for Washington and Tehran.


[1] Hassan Rouhani (2013). ‘Why Iran seeks constructive engagement’, Washington Post, 20 September 20l.
[2] Zarif’s tweet was in response to a comment made by Christine Pelosi, daughter of Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the United States House of Representatives. In response to Zarif’s Happy Jewish New Year wish, she commented that the New Year would be better ‘if Iran did not deny the Holocaust’.
[5] Negotiations do not necessarily mean reaching a decision to reinstate relations; the USA and Iran conducted three rounds of talks regarding Iraq and there were also negotiations regarding Afghanistan and other issues.
[8] Hassan Rouhani (2013).
[9] Meeting of the Guard Corps commanders with the Revolution’s leader’, Official website of the Islamic Revolution Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, 26 June 2013.
[10] Mohamed Adli (2013). ‘Narrative of the economic indicators for the past eight years’, Hamshahri 6030, 28 July.
[11] Mohamed Adli (2013).
[13] Hassan Rouhani (2013).
[15] Hassan Rouhani (2013).
[16] Max Fisher (2013).

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22 July 2019  

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14 June 2019  

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03 June 2019  

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16 April 2019  

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