While the lifting of sanctions in January provides great promise for Iran’s future economy, the consequential effects they have had on the natural environment have been at an unforgiving cost. The sustained environmental problems that current and future generations have inherited as a result of political strife could take generations to recover from.
At the end of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran and People’s Republic of China announced that by achieving a major agreement in all areas of bilateral relations and regional and international issues, they have established ties based on “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”. The “Joint Statement on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Islamic Republic of Iran and People’s Republic of China” consists of 20 articles, specifying the roadmap of developing and deepening Tehran-Beijing ties in “Political”, “Executive Cooperation”, “Human and Cultural”, “Judiciary, Security and Defence”, and “Regional and International” domains. The statement was simultaneously published in both countries on Saturday at the end of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Tehran.
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.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called for closer economic and security ties with China, saying Iran had never trusted the West, as the two countries agreed to increase bilateral trade more than 10-fold to $600 billion in the next decade.
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).
Tired of the oppressive financial hardship, wrought largely by the imperialist economic war against Iran, the Iranian people elected Hassan Rouhani president (June 2013) as he promised economic revival. He premised his pledge of economic recovery mainly on his alleged ability to bring the brutal sanctions against Iran to an end and integrate the Iranian economy into world capitalist system. His promise of removing or alleviating sanctions, however, seems to have been based on an optimistic perception that a combination of the so-called charm offensive and far-reaching compromises over Iran’s nuclear technology would suffice to alter the Western powers’ sanctions policy against Iran.
This article sheds some light on Iran-US relations, Iran’s Syria policy, and Iran’s nuclear policy including the current nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1. It demonstrates that we need to examine Iran’s regional and ational relations in light of Iran’s geopolitical concerns and constrains.
As part of a diplomatic process aimed at mending strained relations between the two neighbors, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) reportedly pressured senior Iraqi officials to set up a face-to-face meeting between the top diplomats of Riyadh and Tehran. This was revealed by the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein, on 30 January.
Part 1 of this series described the birth of the nationalist-religious movement in the early 1940s, and its development all the way to 1977. In the present article, I describe the efforts of the nationalist-religious groups and activists between 1977 and 1979. As this article makes clear, the Iran of that era has striking similarities with the country and its state of affairs today.
The end of the Cold War era coincided with the beginning of a shift Iran's foreign policy from the ideological to the pragmatic. The collapse of the Soviet Union created an important geopolitical region in the north of Iran. The dialogue doors were opened by Khatami's "dialogue among civilizations" in contrast to the "clash of civilizations". With the election of Bush and especially after the September 11 th attacks, the US code was changed from globalist to regionalist. In this period Iran, was named as one of three countries in the "Axis of Evil". After 2005, the Iranian policy towards the US changed fundamentally so that Israel and the US were seen as the main enemies of Iran. Also, Iran's nuclear issue aggravated the hostility and it was used by the US to maximize its hegemony. In this context, the US efforts to impose its geopolitical codes on other countries to be involved in conducting its policies against Iran could be justified. It was also regarded as a geopolitical imperative, Today, the US has to curb Iran's ideological-political activities and if both Iran and the United States do not scale down their demands, military confrontation could be predictable.