Iran: Between Ahmadinejad and Rouhani

  • 23 December 2013

As soon as Hassan Rouhani took the reins of power, Iran began to show more openness to the world, largely regarding, but not limited to, issues surrounding its nuclear program. Improving relations with Iran’s neighbors – especially the GCC states, and Saudi Arabia in particular – came at the top of the list of priorities for the Iranian government under President Rouhani, who described them as “sister” countries. Visits by the Iranian foreign minister to a number of GCC countries were in keeping with this new priority.

However, this new policy approach was accompanied by a number of puzzling questions for most observers of regional affairs; for example, was Rouhani’s arrival the reason for this openness, or had other factors contributed to the new trend? If so, were these factors unique to the Rouhani era, or part of the legacy of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? How important is it to recognize the difference between the Iranian regime and the Iranian government, and what is the link between the two? What fundamentals must be taken into consideration when considering the future of Iran’s new approach? And what implications does this have for Iranian openness to the world, especially to GCC countries?

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Monday 23 December 2013

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Monday 23 December 2013

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