For years, many Western and even Russian analysts expected that a resolution of Iran’s nuclear dispute with the West would weaken ties between Tehran and Moscow. However, in the months since July’s nuclear deal, relations between Iran and Russia have strengthened, while Tehran’s ties with the West have stagnated. The Syrian war, as well as skillful Russian diplomacy, have short-circuited, at least for now, any anticipated Iranian geopolitical reversal after the nuclear deal. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Iran in late November, the first visit by a Russian president since 2007, was the latest indication of healthy ties. Although […]
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Editor-in-Chief Judah Grunstein and host Peter Dörrie discuss the major trends that shaped 2015, a year marked by the re-emergence of borders and national approaches to transnational problems. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Trend Lines is produced, edited and hosted by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focussing on security and resource politics in Africa. He can be followed on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.
In the years leading up to the Iran nuclear deal, Iran and China found their interests at times aligning and at others diverging. Since the late 1990s, China had reduced its defense ties with Iran under U.S. pressure. At the same time, espousing a discourse of peace and cooperation, Beijing did not want the West to go to war with Iran. Moreover, Tehran’s perseverance in the face of Western efforts to isolate Iran was a counterbalancing force against U.S. hegemony in the Middle East, which suited China’s strategic interests. However, the conflict with Iran over its nuclear program also indirectly […]
In October, it was revealed that Bahrain and perhaps other oil-rich Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were in talks with Israel over the purchase of its highly successful and relatively inexpensive Iron Dome air defense system. The news came in the wake of both the Iran nuclear deal and reports that Iran may have tested a more advanced, medium-range ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, violating U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929. While there are obvious correlations to be drawn with developments in Iran, the Iron Dome purchase is much more a reflection of shifting regional […]