The Institute for Peace & Diplomacy is pleased to announce the launch of Iran Bulletin, a biweekly newsletter providing an in-depth perspective on Iran’s foreign policy.
Iran remains a key actor for policy-makers and scholars in western capitals to decipher and comprehend, given its sophisticated and dynamic role in West Asia. Thus, a deeper understanding of Iranian foreign policy requires both micro and macro levels of analysis that take various national and international factors into account which influence Iran’s decision-making calculus.
The Iran Bulletin aims to provide such a multifaceted perspective of Iranian foreign affairs by utilizing both western and Iranian sources in English and Farsi to provide a more holistic picture of Iranian foreign policy strategy.
The first issue of Iran Bulletin covers six key developments in recent weeks:
The first report concerns the change in Iran’s decision-making process vis-a-vis the country’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has announced that JCPOA talks will proceed “by a governing consensus and decisions will soon be made to determine whether the negotiations will be conducted by foreign ministry or any other governing body.” Khatibzadeh is most likely referring to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the country’s top decision-making body on national security issues. In 2013, following Hassan Rouhani’s rise to power, the responsibility for the JCPOA talks was transferred from the SNSC to the foreign ministry. Before 2013, Iran’s negotiating teams were led by SNSC secretaries Saeed Jalili (07-13), Ali Larijani (05-07) and Rouhani (-05). The council is a consensus-based entity and its decisions are approved by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
It is noteworthy to mention that despite the change in government, Ayatollah Khamenei has extended the appointment of SNSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani, who assumed office in 2013, following Rouhani presidency. The return of the SNSC as the sole decision-making body on the nuclear file signals continuity in Iran’s nuclear policy.
The other five developments covered in the newsletter include:
- Iran’s newly appointed foreign and national security team; exploring the profile of Iran’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
- Diplomatic developments in Saudi-Iran ties; reporting on recent diplomatic interactions between Iranian and Saudi officials in the Baghdad Summit organized by Iraq.
- Iran’s fuel exports to Afghanistan and Lebanon; reporting on the state of Iran-Afghanistan trade following the Taliban’s takeover and Iran’s call for an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
- European concerns over Iran’s recent nuclear advances; report on the state of JCPOA talks amid Iran’s recent nuclear buildup.
- Iran’s deteriorating fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; discussing the underlying factors that fueled the recent surge in COVID-19 deaths across the country.
This newsletter will be emailed to our subscribers only. To review the full version of the first edition and receive the newsletter in coming weeks click here and subscribe to the Iran Bulletin.