Iran is the 8th country in the world based on high impact and high citation articles and the only country from the Middle East in the top ten countries in this field.
Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has turned up the heat on Tehran. Way up. As part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at curbing the malign international activities of Iran’s ruling regime, the White House has dramatically intensified sanctions, blacklisted the country’s clerical army, and put foreign buyers of Iranian crude on notice that they need to pull out of the Iranian market or face potentially catastrophic consequences.
A U.S. strategy to either coerce Iran to the negotiating table or trigger an uprising against the Iranian government is not only fraught with faulty assumptions, but it also threatens to undermine the United States in an escalating great power competition with China and Russia and tip the global economy into recession. …
Berlin, Paris and London assumed Tehran could not afford to leave the JCPOA even if it was not receiving any of the promised economic rewards. Now the EU3 are facing the hour of truth, writes Pepe Escobar.
The Iranian economy is mired in a deep recession. The real or productive sector of the economy is paralyzed, largely by out-of-control (and often illicit) imports that have replaced domestic production. Rent seeking, corruption and the looting of national resources is pervasive. Both unemployment and inflation are extremely high. National currency is on the verge of collapse, and financial resources of the country are disproportionately invested in unproductive or parasitic activities such as buying and selling of precious metals, foreign currencies, real estate, and the like.
In a cycle of habit borne out repeatedly in the mainstream western media, demonization and fear mongering against Iran is picking up pace again in the face of attempts by the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to rebuild relations with the west and work toward international cooperation. The techniques and methodologies used by the west in perpetuating the geopolitically-motivated, neo-imperialist, agenda against Iran often come across in the media as clumsy and awkward in their reasoning. Before delving into the hard geopolitical reality, a much needed word on the disingenuous leveraging of human-rights against countries such as Iran is critical.
This article focuses on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its potential impact on Iran-China relations in the long term. Various political and economic aspects related to the BRI are taken into consideration. Would both sides benefit from the cooperation in the BRI framework or would one of them maybe have the upper hand? What are the main opportunities and challenges in the case of China-Iran relations and BRI implementation?
Iran-Russia relations have reached an unprecedented peak, fueled by military cooperation in Syria, a shared vision of the global order, and mutual criticism of Western policy in the Middle East. Tehran is a useful ally to Moscow in a highly unstable region, but it is just one thread in Moscow’s patchwork of important relationships that need careful balancing. Moscow offers Tehran a critical means of protecting its regional security interests. However, Iran’s leadership is divided on how best to hedge bets between Eastern and Western powers to achieve the country’s strategic objectives. Despite their differences, the war in Syria looks set to be the crucible of Moscow-Tehran cooperation for some time to come, given its centrality to the strategic ambitions of both parties. Instead of pursuing policies that attempt to exploit divisions between Iran and Russia, Europe should use its limited leverage to reduce violence in Syria and, if possible, pave road for political transition later down the road. This can only happen with better understanding of the drivers of Iran and Russia's policy in the region.
2016-03-01President Rouhani’s “Open-Door” Economic Policy: Recipe for Indebtedness, Deindustrialization and Dependence
Iran’s economy is severely anemic, and the overwhelming majority of its citizens are under tremendous financial distress. Sadly, though, economic doctors of the country tend to insist on issuing wrong prescriptions for the ailing economy: free trade, unrestricted imports, lack of an export promotion policy (except for oil and other raw materials), tendency to borrow from abroad, lack of a serious banking/financial regulation—in short, lack of any economic plan, guidance or direction. Unless these misguided, anti-developmental policies are modified or reversed, Iran’s economic difficulties are bound to deteriorate: its markets flooded by foreign products, its manufacturing base weakened, its foreign debt escalated and, with it, its national sovereignty compromised.
I recently returned from a six-week trip to Iran. While the primary purpose of my trip was to visit family and friends, I also made some general enquiries into the state of the country’s stagnant economy. These included informal discussions with various strata of economic agents or market players: manufacturers, bankers, shopkeepers, miners, farmers, livestock breeders, workers, teachers, and more. Sadly, most of these economic actors painted pictures of pessimism and distrust of the country’s economic conditions. The economy is mired in a protracted stagflation, with no government plan or macroeconomic policy for recovery. While the Rouhani administration boasts of having contained or slowed down the inflation, the Iranian people do not cherish that tempering of inflation as it has come about at the expense of deepened recession; that is, at the expense of heightened unemployment and weakened purchasing power. As a retired school teacher, who now works as a taxi driver, put it, lowering inflation by worsening recession is no cause for celebration (paraphrased).