One of the first regionally significant missions was to help to establish Hezbollah in Lebanon in 1982 after Israeli invasion. The Quds Force provided essential assistance for the creation Hezbollah which developed into the most powerful organization in Lebanon and a powerful ally of Iran. In recent years, the Quds Force has operated in many other countries like Syria and worked with other sub-state actors such Houthis in Yemen and Hamas in Palestine.
Results for Category: Iran
Although the US has not officially withdrawn from the deal, the signals from Washington are unsettling for potential foreign investors. Yet despite these challenges, one sector in Iran is thriving: renewable energy. Iran is one of the most advanced countries in the region in its development of renewable energy, mainly hydro-power schemes.
At the root of the conflict between Iran and its Arab neighbours lies the Shia-Sunni divide, as the patrons of the two Muslim sects, Tehran and Riyadh respectively, are both prepared to promote and support their sectarian beliefs. Conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain can be viewed in this light. Yet it is also the result of an ordinary struggle between two regional powers.
Historically, Saudi Arabia and Iran have not stood head-to-head, and while several factors played into the historical deterioration of relations between the two regional powers, oil was the main cause. The consequences of the economic face off are felt by both nations, and, most importantly, their populations.
Although most of Rouhani’s second term still lies ahead of him, the first three months have been a mixed bag. While his cabinet choices have disappointed millions of his supporters, he has challenged the influence of the IRGC and the supreme leader and taken several bold steps to constitute a new balance of power. It is too early to predict where these steps will lead, but one thing is certain: Rouhani may have won the vote but he faces a tough road ahead.
Under President Hassan Rouhani, cultural freedoms have continued to expand. Legal Persian pop music is now widespread and pop concerts are regularly held in various cities around the country. However, securing a permit for hip-hop concerts remains difficult. Although the state has taken some steps to release the pressure on rap music, normalization of hip-hop continues to be a challenge.
Today, the Iranian education system presents both opportunities and challenges. It is clear that the system, and in particular higher education, is facing challenges both externally and internally. Internally, hardline factions of the regime see higher education as an ideological tool; externally, sanctions imposed by the West. Despite these challenges, Iran’s education system seems to be dynamic especially in scientific and engineering subjects.
During his campaign, Rouhani promised to open up the political space and adopt a rational foreign policy. Raisi primarily focused on pro-poor economic programmes. In many ways, his visions and ideas echoed those of the supreme leader: anti-Western sentiment, social conservatism and a ‘revolutionary’ approach to both the economy and foreign policy.