According to collegesanduniversitiesinusa, Tehran’s defense and security policy is dictated by an innate sense of ‘strategic loneliness’, due to being mostly surrounded by hostile regimes. Furthermore, in recent years the direct or indirect presence of the United States on its eastern and western borders, respectively in Afghanistan and Iraq, has only amplified this feeling. Over the past two years, the dangerous advance of the Islamic State (IS), deeply hostile to Iran, has contributed to the feeling of encirclement.
For this reason and for the persistence of hostility with Israel, never subsided but further accentuated following the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, it is essential for Iran to keep alive the ‘axis of resistance’ that crosses Iraq from Tehran. and Syria to join with the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement. Precisely the instability of the Syrian and Iraqi regions, in which the friendly governments of Tehran – respectively that of Bashar al Assad and Haydar al Abadi – are severely threatened by the spread of the Sunni fundamentalist guerrillas of the IS, have pushed Tehran to implement a serious war effort, deploying in these regions both units of the Quds Force, responsible for foreign missions, and Shiite militias trained in Iran.
In addition, Tehran has launched a series of military modernization programs in recent years. In particular, the hostility towards Saudi Arabia has suggested the development of the navy, considered the most important component of the Iranian armed forces, also given the vital importance of the security of the coasts bordering the Persian Gulf. The difficult relations with Israel require Iran to adopt a second strategy based mainly on the air component: thanks also to contacts with Russia, China and North Korea, the country has developed a significant missile arsenal and is making progress in the construction of long-range missiles. Hostility towards Israel also pushes Iran to support movements fighting the Jewish state, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, even if relations with the latter seem to have partially cracked following the Syrian crisis.
The Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Engelab-e Islami) operates alongside the regular army (Artesh), which integrates special units such as the Basij militias or the Quds Force. The Revolutionary Guards Corps, created by Khomeini in 1979 in order above all to counterbalance the regular armed forces that had fought for the shah, is entrusted with the task of ensuring compliance with the principles underlying the Islamic Republic. The Quds Force is instead entrusted with operations outside the country, such as the one underway in Syria and Iraq.
Threats to internal stability come from the Baloch minority in the south-east and the Kurdish minority in the north-west. Through the Jundullah (‘God’s army’) organization, the Baloch have launched several attacks on government targets, particularly aimed at the Pasdaran. In an anti-Kurdish role, the Iranian government cooperates with Turkey in the fight against the Pjak, an organization considered to be the Iranian arm of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey. However, Iran supports the Kurdish formation of the YPG, the People’s Defense Units, which are fighting against the S in Syria.
Who controls the Iranian economy?
The involvement of Iranian pasdarans in the country’s economy began in 1989, in the aftermath of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini and the start of the Rafsanjani presidency. The latter, a leading exponent of the faction of the so-called ‘conservative technocrats’, set his mandate on the need to revive the Iranian economy, which was destroyed by the eight years of war with Iraq (1980-88). In order to further co-opt the senior officers and thus secure their loyalty, the Pasdaran were given a key role in the country’s economy, especially in the construction sector. Over the next twenty years, however, their role has grown to become the country’s leading economic force. Currently the pasdaran they control the majority of sectors, from energy to infrastructure, passing through the automotive and financial sectors. Thanks to the proximity to the central institutions of the state, the companies controlled by pasdaran are often winners of tenders for the construction of large public works. He caused a sensation, for example, the victory of a company-owned construction of a veteran on a Turkish company for the modernization of the international airport Imam Khomeini in 2004. Paradoxically, moreover, the companies controlled by the Pasdaran have benefited from ” tightening of international sanctions, which have guaranteed them a de facto monopoly position, keeping potential competitors away from the country international.
An agreement that has been pursued for years
After a negotiation that lasted for years, and which began in the last months of 2013, Iran and the countries of the P5 + 1 group (China, France, United Kingdom, Russia, United States and Germany) reached a definitive agreement on the age-old issue in Vienna. of the nuclear program. The negotiations began in 2003 in the formula E u3 (France, Germany, United Kingdom), which were joined in 2006 by China, Russia and the United States as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. After numerous false starts, the negotiation received new impetus in 2013, following the opening of a diplomatic backchannel between the USand Iran favored by Omani mediation. The election, in Iran, of moderate president Hassan Rouhani in June of the same year and the creation of a new team of negotiators more in line with the opening policy launched by the president ensured continuity to the negotiations, which however would never have reached the final result if the agreement did not have the blessing of the supreme guide, Ali Khamenei.
The agreement ensures the progressive elimination of the sanctions relating to the nuclear program imposed by the USA, E u and U n in recent years, in exchange for Tehran’s limitation of its nuclear program and the willingness to guarantee the IAEA (International Agency for atomic energy) access to their plants. Above all, the agreement guarantees Iran the recognition of its right to enrich uranium, a condition on which previous negotiations had repeatedly broken.
The agreement introduces a system of elimination of sanctions diluted over time: in 2016 the first sanctions will be lifted, those on gas and oil exchanges, financial transactions and trade in goods, while for the arms embargo imposed by A n will have to wait 5 years, which will become 8 if the purchase of weapons is aimed at the development of the missile program. On the other hand, the sanctions linked to activities in support of international terrorism remain in force.