• 2022-05-03

    The fifth round of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia were held in Baghdad on 21 April in the presence of Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, and unlike the previous four rounds of meetings, reports suggest the discussions were promising.

  • 2022-04-12

    While long on aspiration and flourish, implementation of the comprehensive strategic partnership has seemed short on substance, highlighting China’s long-held strategy of viewing Tehran as an expendable piece in its chess match with Washington.

  • 2022-04-01

    Tensions between Russia and western countries in the aftermath of the Ukraine invasion have raised hopes in Iran that it might offer an alternative to Russian gas exports to Europe. Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world, with 34 trillion cubic metres of natural gas - about 17 percent of the world's total reserves.  While some believe this means Iran has genuine potential to replace Russia, Iranian analysts and energy experts remain doubtful. The CEO of an Iranian gas engineering and development company said that the country is technically unable to export gas to Europe.

  • 2022-02-10

    While the normalisation of UAE-Iran ties remains tentative, UAE leaders aware of the role they can play as underwriters of the restored nuclear deal. The Biden administration, eager to consolidate the restored JCPOA, will likely encourage the UAE to reprise its role as Iran’s primary gateway to the global economy, with the U.S. Department of Treasury and U.S. Department of State engaging directly with UAE regulators and companies to help them navigate the new compliance landscape. The potential is enormous. UAE-Iran trade grew at an annualised rate of 28 percent between 2001 and 2011. Had this growth been sustained for just five more years, total trade would have exceeded $80 billion. What matters most for the long-term viability of the nuclear deal is not whether trade with Europe will return to pre-sanctions levels, but whether revitalised trade with the UAE can accelerate Iran’s reintegration into the global economy.

  • 2022-02-04

    On 4 February, a Danish court found three members of a Saudi-backed Iranian opposition group guilty on of espionage and financing and supporting terrorism. The Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), recognized as a terrorist group by Iran, has bases in Denmark and the Netherlands.[…] According to the prosecution, the trio also used banks based in Austria and Dubai in the UAE to funnel about 4.8 million dollars, facilitated by Saudi Arabia, to the Iran-based opposition group.

  • 2022-02-01

    On 20 January, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi traveled to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow, with the express purpose of advancing bilateral ties between both countries at the highest level. Among the talking points of the two leaders were their shared regional and international issues, the Vienna negotiations for Iran’s nuclear program, and regional cooperation in Eurasia. Contrary to expectations and to the positive statements made before the meeting, the visit did not end with the announcement of a grand strategic agreement, such as the one that took place between China and Iran a year ago. Nevertheless, the visit did push negotiations between both parties to a higher level, and facilitated Iran’s economic integration into the Russian-Chinese Eurasian architecture.

  • 2022-01-26

    West Asia’s winds have changed. When Syria began 2022 by joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it became the 20th Arab country that Beijing has factored into its grand connectivity vision for Asia, Africa and Europe. The Arab states in China’s sights include those that have already signed deals, and others with proposals in hand: Egypt (2016), Sudan (2018), Algeria (2018), Iraq (2015), Morocco (2017), Saudi Arabia (2018), Yemen (2017), Syria (2022), Somalia (2015), Tunisia (2018), UAE (2018), Libya (2018), Lebanon (2017), Oman (2018), Mauritania (2018), Kuwait(2018), Qatar (2019), Bahrain (2018), Djibouti (2018), Comoros. The ambitious connectivity and development projects the BRI can inject into a war-torn, exhausted West Asia have the ability to transform the areas from the Levant to the Persian Gulf into a booming world market hub. Importantly, by connecting these states via rail, road, and water, the foreign-fueled differences that have kept nations at odds since colonial times will have to take a back seat. Once-hostile neighbors must work in tandem for mutually-beneficial economic gains and a more secure future to work. And money talks – in a region continuously beset by war, terrorism, ruin and shortages.

  • 2022-01-21

    Three ain't a crowd: The Iran-Russia summit this week, concurrent with RIC military drills in the Sea of Oman, in advance of a Xi-Putin meeting in two weeks, suggests a rapidly-advancing strategic vision for the three Eurasian powers.

  • 2022-01-21

    Iran has reportedly awarded significant oil contracts to Russian companies during President Ebrahim Raisi's visit to Moscow

  • 2022-01-20

    Iran seeks "maximum interaction" with all countries around the world based on increasing formation of a "civilised global community". As one of his travel plans to Russia, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran addressed the State Duma of Russia and stated, "The Islamic Republic of Iran seeks "maximum interaction" with all countries around the world, especially its neighbours and allies". The full text of President Raisi's speech is as follows:

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