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  • EPC | 08 Sep 2021

    Raisi Government and Iran’s Covid-19 Policy Challenge

    Controlling the Covid-19 pandemic has emerged as the biggest challenge for the new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. He has stressed that his government’s priority is to end the pandemic and that his government would use its total capacity to contain the spread of the virus by providing the financial resources necessary to import large quantities of vaccines and accelerating the pace of vaccination. However, he has not succeeded so far as Iran remains among the region’s lowest-ranked countries in terms of vaccination rate.

  • EPC | 01 Sep 2021

    Iran’s Foreign Policy Under Ebrahim Raisi: General Directions and New Faces

    The composition of the foreign policy team in the government of new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi indicates that conservatives will have an almost total control over decision-making in Iran. Hossein Amirabdollahian was appointed as foreign minister, Mahdi Safari as deputy foreign minister, while Ali Shamkhani remained as secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. This paper sheds light on Iran's foreign policy under President Ebrahim Raisi, and the implications of Hossein Amirabdollahian's appointment as foreign minister.

  • EPC | 16 Aug 2021

    Iran's Position on Afghanistan after the Withdrawal of the U.S Forces from the Country

    Over the few days that followed the withdrawal of the U.S troops from Afghanistan the political and military landscape in the country has witnessed dramatic changes. Tehran has been very cautious in dealing with the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan while Iranian decision-makers circles appear divided on how to deal the situation in their neighbor country. Iran shares more than a 850-kilometer-long rugged border with Afghanistan which has represented a main source of concern for the Iranian regime for the past decades. This paper sheds light on Iran’s position vis-à-vis the latest developments in Afghanistan and emerging chances and challenges.

  • EPC | 27 Jul 2021

    The Conservatives’ Republic: Significance and Repercussions of Ebrahim Raisi’s Victory in the Iranian Presidential Elections

    The Iranian elections did not bring any major surprises. The victory of the conservative candidate therein was expected, namely the head of the judiciary Ebrahim Raisi, after obtaining more than 62 percent of the votes of those participating in the poll. In the overall electoral process, which is usually engineered in the corridors of the Iranian regime, it is possible to notice the domination of the regime's internal priorities this time, especially those related to internal political competition and preparations for the likely sovereign transition.

  • EPC | 18 May 2021

    Landscape of Iran’s Election: Likelihoods, strategies of Factions and Key Candidates

    The upcoming Iranian presidential elections on June 18, 2021 are arguably one of the key political milestones since the revolution of 1979 for several considerations. After taking control of parliament and their success in weakening and dismantling the moderate camp, conservatives are making extra efforts to control the government in this round of competition with moderates who are trying to stay in power and preserve their control over the executive branch. The upcoming presidential elections happen at a time when Iran is at a critical juncture in terms of its relations with the international community in the wake of efforts to revive the nuclear deal and the signing of the strategic cooperation agreement with China. The elections also take place at a time when the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei might die during the next presidential term. Whichever faction secures the presidency in June will therefore have the opportunity to greatly shape the next four years that will determine both Iran’s relations with the outside world and the post-Khamenei era.

  • Mohamed Fayez Farahat | 10 May 2021

    Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement Between China and Iran: Strategic Ramifications and Available Options

    On 21 June 2020, the Iranian government announced its approval of the draft "comprehensive cooperation agreement" for a period of 25 years with China, as part of the "comprehensive strategic partnership" signed between them in March 2016. On 27 March 2021, the agreement was formally signed by the foreign ministers of the two countries. The agreement sparked great controversy, ranging from the motives behind it, to the expected gains for its two parties, the potential repercussions that the agreement could have for the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf region, and the future of the agreement and its ability to hold in case of change in the current regional and international conditions. There are several interests behind the decision by China and Iran to sign the agreement at this time. Some of those interests date back to before the signing of the agreement, but some other interests are related to the timing of the signing of the agreement. This raises important questions about the extent of the agreement’s ability to survive and continue in the event of a change in the current international and regional context. The future of the agreement is not merely related to the nature of the interests that stand behind it, but is also related to the nature of the agreement, or rather the way the two parties to the agreement view its real goals, and China's ability in particular to fulfill the promises related to the agreement to the Iranian side, as well as the nature of the future ruling elite in Iran and its position on assessing the gains and costs of the agreement.

  • EPC | 03 Mar 2021

    European Mediation in Iran’s Issue: An Endeavor for Solution or a Political Agenda?

    ​In recent days, the Iranian issue has witnessed a congestion in the positions issued by the relevant parties, in addition to some mediation initiatives at the diplomatic level (the Qatari and European initiatives). This indicates an increase in efforts to find a solution to this issue and pave the way for the revival of the nuclear agreement. However, there are indications that the European efforts in particular have begun to deviate from their main goal, which is to solve the Iranian nuclear issue, towards the implementation of a political agenda, namely to support the moderate Iranian trend in the upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for 18 May 2021.

  • Nizar Abdul Kader | 24 Feb 2021

    The Future of Iran’s Presence in Syria

    ​Iran began its military intervention in Syria with the outbreak of the civil war in 2011. The main goal of this intervention was to defeat the Revolution and save Bashar al-Assad’s rule from falling, and thus maintain the “Alawite rule” which is a focal point in the Islamic Republic's long-term strategy aimed at establishing a “Shiite crescent” extending from Iran through Iraq and Syria, all the way to Lebanon. A full decade after the military developments in Syria, this paper seeks to foresee the future of the Iranian military presence in this country in the light of the intense competition for influence between the various regional and international players, especially the US and Russia, and in the light of the continuous Israeli military pressure on the Iranian presence to get Iran out of Syria.