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.
Iran's foreign policy under Ebrahim Raisi
On the home front, the foreign minister job is very important in Iran. This position has a significant impact on the balance of power and the competition between the various conservative blocs for ministerial portfolios. In the two terms of former President Hassan Rouhani, it was clear that the foreign minister post was of paramount importance, especially if an influential figure took this job. The impact of diplomacy on the economy is most evident in Iran as a result of sanctions. Everyone in Iran views the composition of the diplomatic team as an indicator of the government's agenda and foreign policy priorities.
On the external level, deferring the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group until after the transfer of power in the country, along with the freezing of various other plans, such as attempts to rapprochement with neighbors, and the move towards implementing the strategic agreement with China, show that the international community has been closely monitoring the formation of Iran's new diplomatic corps to ascertain the path that outstanding issues with the country will possibly take in the future.
General indications of Iranian foreign policy over the next four years can be deduced from what the following figures have hinted at so far: President Ebrahim Raisi, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, his advisors, and other influential figures in the government, so that:
New Top Diplomats
While the foregoing will shape the main features of Iran's foreign policy under the conservatives, the nomination of Hossein Amirabdollahian for the post of foreign minister, Mehdi Safari for the post of deputy foreign minister, and the retention of Ali Shamkhani as secretary of the National Security Council, will have major repercussions on Iranian diplomacy for years to come:
Finally, it can be expected that the coming period will bring general changes to Iranian diplomatic behavior. One of the most important features will be the attempt to open up to China, through the implementation of the partnership agreement between the two countries. It is also possible that there will be greater coherence between the diplomatic apparatus on the one hand and the IRGC on the other. It is also expected that the Iranian diplomatic discourse will re-adopt previous ideological rhetoric, such as emphasizing support for pro-Iranian movements in the context of supporting the axis of resistance, and reluctance to communicate with the Arab neighbors to solve existing problems. Iran may also return to the nuclear negotiations with a new agenda that makes reaching a compromise difficult to achieve. However, it should be noted that any agreement with the new Iranian negotiating team will be more solid than previous agreements.
EPC | 13 Sep 2021
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