Deep apologies for not writing the continuation articles in the Iran series; will finish them shortly. For now, please enjoy reading these articles.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Friday, July 17, 2015
Yesterday, I posted an Explainer on the Iranian political system. Today's post focuses on the sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. It also focuses on the impact of such sanctions on the floundering Iranian economy.
Read The Iran Explainer: Backgrounder on Political System
A Brief History of Sanctions against Iran
Punishing Iran for its consistent refusal to stop its nuclear weapons programme, the United Nations imposed punitive sanctions, which are in addition to the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States.
The UN sanctions prevent all members and international financial institutions from entering into new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans, to the
The EU imposed its own restrictions on trade in equipment which could be used for uranium enrichment and put in place an asset freeze on a list of individuals and organizations, who it believed, were helping advance the Iranian nuclear programme. In 2011, the EU also banned the export to Iran of key equipment and technology for the refining and production of natural gas.
In 2012, the EU, which until then accounted for about 20% of Iran’s oil exports, banned the import, purchase and transport of Iranian crude oil. It also froze assets belonging to the Central Bank of
As for the
Impact of sanctions in a nutshell
As always I have used pretty simple language.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
In a major breakthrough, Iran and the P+1 agreed, on 15 July 2015, on a comprehensive nuclear deal, which is designed to halt advancements in Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for lifting economic sanctions and bringing Iran back into the global political and economic mainstream.
P+1 represents six of the world’s most powerful nations – Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States (permanent members of the UN Security Council) and Germany.
The original name of the nuclear deal is ‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)’. The official document detailing the JCPOA uses E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) to describe the negotiating parties that sat at the table with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In a multi-part explainer series, I will focus on this landmark nuclear deal. In the first part of this Explainer on Iran, I will focus on the Iranian political system.
Brief Backgrounder on Iranian Political System
Iran, the world’s largest Shia Muslim nation, is a powerful force in the Middle East. Iran has the world’s fourth largest reserves of oil and second largest reserves of gas, which make it a formidable power in the global energy market. In a world that is ever thirsty for energy,
is often seen as a force with a huge bargaining power. Iran
|Iran and its Neighbourhood|
|Ayatollah Ali Khamenei|
Even for an Islamic country,
With a Clerical Administration in power, the system is peopled in large numbers by ultra-orthodox religious hardliners. In a closely-knit system such as the Iranian Clerical polity, it is important to populate it with the ‘right’ kind of people – people who are loyal to the Supreme Leader and the ‘political and religious beliefs’ that define the State.
To this end, the polity is peopled in large numbers by ultra-orthodox religious hardliners. Religion plays a dominant role in the way the country is governed; in fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that religion colours everything about the behavior of the
It is also true that the ultra-conservative Clerical regime is torn by various factions, which are pulling in different directions. The heroes of the Islamic Revolution still control all the key institutions of the State machinery. The hardliners control the judiciary, while the Council of Guardians is the watchdog of the country’s constitution. The hardliners also rule the roost when it comes to controlling other powerful institutions like the Revolutionary Guards and the Ansar-e-Hezbollah (a sort of Islamic vigilante).
(Read The Explainer: Credit Rating)
When it comes to domestic affairs, the Clerical administration, dominated by hardliners, uses violence, intimidation, arbitrary detention, and extreme religious laws to silence the voice of its political opponents. In simple words, a once-liberal
Since 1979, the Iranian Clerical regime has exhorted the ordinary Iranians against the
Tomorrow: A Brief History of Sanctions in The Iran Explainer: History of Sanctions.