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Iran, Regionalism, and Arc of Crisis


Iran, Regionalism, and Arc of Crisis Abbas Maleki The Council for the United States and Italy Venice, June 26-27, 2009 * The Achemenide Empire from Limes - 5 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Iran, Regionalism, and Arc of Crisis

Iran, Regionalism, and Arc of Crisis
  • Abbas Maleki
  • The Council for the United States and Italy
  • Venice, June 26-27, 2009

Main Dilemma
  • Iran can play a key role in stability of Arc of
  • Iran can play a key role destabilizing the Arc of
  • I believe Iran can do both, based on how
    international and regional players deal with her.

My hypothesis
  • 1-Iran was a big power in the region during the
  • the Persian culture has been remained in main
    parts of the region.
  • 2-Culture was the base of Irans Revolution.
  • 3-Two concepts of outside of Iran
  • in Persian language
  • -Kharej (outside the country) (near abroad)
  • -Farang (West) (developed countries)

My hypothesis (2)
  • Therefore
  • 1-Irans approach to its neighbor still is
    cultural first, then political, economic
  • 2-Iran is shifting gradually from Middle East to
    West Asia
  • 3-Based on new realities, Iranian leaders have
    concluded that Irans only viable approach in
    international relations is to become the
    indispensable regional player in the Region
  • 4-As a result of the current regional crisis,
    Irans domestic discourses have been put on a
    security footing.

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  • 1 of the worlds population,
  • 7 of the worlds natural reserves including
  • -11 of the global proven oil reserves
  • -17 of the worlds natural gas resources.
  • 196 billion GDP (ranking 31)
  • 130 b barrel oil
  • 27 trillion cm gas
  • 3500 billions

Irans advantages
  • Irans geographical position
  • culture
  • Political hierarchy
  • Economic stature
  • Military muscle
  • give it the potential to play a leading or
    pivotal role in a number of regional
  • -Persian Gulf
  • -Central Asia
  • -Caspian Basin

Irans Vision
  • For the first time since 1979 revolution, Iran is
    focusing on becoming an economic and
    technological power
  • The 20-Year Perspectives concentrate on
    welfare, wealth creation, agricultural and
    industrial growth and a software movement

Iran and its Sub-regions
  • Middle East
  • Persian Gulf
  • South West Asia
  • Central Asia, Caucasus, and Afghanistan
  • Caspian Basin

Middle East Sub Region
Asian Identity
Energy resource periphery
Energy demand heartland
Oil and Gas Proven Reserves
Oil Proven Reserves (bb) Gas Proven Reserves (tcm) Gas Proven Reserves (bbe) Total Oil and Gas (bbe) of World Proven Reserves
Russia 79.5 47.65 299.72 379.22 16.14
Iran 137.5 28.13 176.94 314.44 13.38
Saudi 264.3 7.07 44.47 312.73 13,31
Qatar 5.6 25.36 159.54 184.87 7.87
Iraq 115 3.17 19.94 134.94 5.74
Kuwait 101.5 1.78 11.20 112.70 4.80
World 1280.2 181.46 1141.38 2349.58 100
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Regionalism Collapse of Soviet Union
  • The Collapse of Former Soviet Union was the most
    important event in Irans Foreign Relations.
  • Instead of 1 Country, 10 countries became Iranian
    neighbors in the north and northwest.
  • All of them have Muslim populations with
    historical ties with Iran.
  • Armenia is the Irans window to the world of

Regionalism Legal framework
  • Islamic Revolution Slogan
  • Neither East, Nor West
  • The Constitution of the Islamic Republic makes
    clear Irans preferences in foreign policy.
  • Four groups of countries are ranked in
  • (1) Irans neighbours
  • (2) Muslim countries
  • (3) Third World countries
  • (4) Countries that furnish political,
    economic, social and/or military needs of Iran.

Regionalism US Pressures
  • Iran was using the game of showing to shift from
    one super power to another during bipolar system
  • US did not desire to see Iran as Iranistan
  • After US-Iraq war in 1991 and collapse of Soviet
    Union in 1992, US shifted its policy against
  • Dual Containment
  • ILSA
  • Rogue States
  • Axis of evils
  • Nuclear Pariah
  • Sanctions

Irans Neighbors in the day of event
  • US satellites
  • -Afghanistan
  • -Azerbaijan
  • -Qatar
  • -Bahrain
  • Russian group
  • -Russia
  • -Turkmenistan
  • -Armenia
  • With US high influences
  • -Iraq -Saudi Arabia
  • -Kuwait -UAE
  • -Oman -Pakistan
  • -Turkey -Kazakhstan

US military around Iran
Regionalism Thematic Approach
  • Irans constant theme on regionalism
  • Self-reliance
  • Exclusion of extra-regional powers
  • Refusal of accepting emergence of international
    system dominated by a superpower
  • It rejects the ideas of a unipolar world order,
    arguing that the bipolar should give way rather
    to a multipolar order.

Regionalism Cultural Approach
  • Regionalism figures through a conception of the
    world as a set of interlinked and overlapping
  • Iranian conceptions of regionalism generally
    attach importance to culture as a defining
    feature and as a basis for cooperation.
  • Not only Islamic culture Armenia case

Regionalism Multilateral Organizations
  • In search of ways to frustrate Washingtons
    policy of Isolation and containment Tehran looked
    towards cooperation with neighbors, with other
    nearby and Muslim states
  • Iran became a major player in regional and
    International organizations as
  • ECO
  • OIC
  • OPEC
  • SCO
  • D8

  • Iran is looking to the region for more
    commonalities in culture
  • Irans policy in the region is one of economic
    pragmatism and positive political engagement.
  • At the same time which Iran is going to be
    isolated by West because of its domestic unrest
    and nuclear file, Iran returns its eyes more to
    the regional policies.
  • In its region, Iran is looking to the East, Asian
    countries more.

Results (2)
  • Irans economy shifts to more complementary with
    its neighbors.
  • It needs a strong motivated private sector.
  • The economy remains much dependent on oil (85
    percent of exports and 60 percent of government
  • No substantive support for small and medium size
    enterprises is launched
  • using overwhelmingly government-owned banking
    system is not working with developed financial

Thank you