The Huthi movement has been often pictured as an Iranian proxy, overstating existing support by Teheran and the regional Shia networks, while underestimating the weight of Ansarullah’s local insurgency. This paper aims to deconstruct and contextualize the Ansarullah phenomenon before and during Yemen’s regionalized civil war. Husayn Al-Huthi’s movement re-discovered Zaydi tradition, but contextualized it into the politicization of the Shia trend.
Presidential elections will take place on May 19 2017 in Iran. There are six official candidates who are running for the presidency in this round who have been pre-selected by the Council of Guardians from among 1653 candidates. This means that the Council of Guardians has approved that these six persons have all the requirements, foreseen through the Constitution, to eventually become the President of the Islamic Republic.
The political atmosphere is becoming intense inside Iran as the Islamic Republic is preparing for the twelfth presidential election. Six candidates passed through the Guardian Council’s vetting process. In the list of candidates are President Rouhani, and his Vice President Mr. Eshagh Jahangiri, Ebrahim Raisi, who is the custodian of Astan Ghods Razavi, the biggest religious endowment in Iran, the Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Mr.
While the details of the Trump Administration’s policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran have yet to be unveiled, it is clear that the new administration has “put Iran on notice” and by doing so intends to increase pressure on Tehran for its aggressive regional policy. This policy shift signifies a return to the U.S.’ traditional approach of containment and moves away from President Obama’s eight-year effort of nuclear engagement and reintegration of Iran as a means of promoting domestic change in Tehran and altering America’s footprint in the Middle East.
On May 19 Iran will hold its twelfth presidential election since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979. All eyes are on the candidates, especially on the Rouhani-Raisi competition. However, there is another election process that is not under scrutiny and that will probably shape the future of the Islamic Republic. The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will turn 78 this year and, although succession to the Supreme Leader is a taboo topic in Iran since Khomeini’s heir apparent Ali Montazeri fell from grace, sooner or later the necessity will arise.
Russia’s military intervention in Syria at the end of September 2015 undoubtedly strengthened and sustained the Bashar Al-Assad regime. For the first time since the height of the Cold War Russian military personnel were actively involved in the Middle East as a combatant force with significant political leverage to counterbalance the roles of Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the Syrian conflict and thus the wider Middle East.
The agreement reached in Vienna on 14 July, 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom, Germany) has been greeted as an historical achievement. While offering a long-lasting negotiated solution to one of the biggest crises of the last decade, the deal represents an opportunity for a deep recalibration of the balance of power in the Middle East. It also paves the way to some sort of rapprochement between Iran and the United States. But the deal is also likely to have an impact on Iranian domestic politics, not least on its economy, which, after repeated rounds of sanctions, languishes in deep crisis.
This report aims to assess the potential effects of the deal by trying to answer the following question: what’s next for Iran, the Middle East and the countries involved in the negotiations? In particular, the report provides an assessment of the JCPOA agreed upon in Vienna. It also analyzes the impact of the deal on Iranian domestic politics as well as the consequences for its economy. In addition, it examines its effects on the balance of power in the Middle East, as well as on relations between Iran and the United States, and Iran and Russia. Finally a number of policy recommendations for the EU are provided.
In this summer of geopolitical realignments, Oman confirms to be the subtle centre of Middle Eastern diplomacy: in these days, Muscat has been hosting informal talks on the Yemeni crisis and seeks to find a minimum room for dialogue about Syria. Oman is the first Arab country that has received Damascus’ foreign minister since 2011.
As every round of Iran nuclear talks unfolds, the negotiators emerge in public to provide variations on the same mantra: good progress was made; serious gaps still remain. With the end of March deadline for a basic understanding nigh, it is time to bridge these final gaps.