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Iran’s Foreign Policy under Raisi

Author: Ali Akbar Dareini

Affiliation: Center for Strategic Studies in Tehran

Organization/Publisher: Al Jazeera Centre for Studies

Date/Place: June 30, 2021/Doha, Qatar

Type of Literature: Analysis

Number of Pages: 8


Keywords: Interdiction and Deterrence, Sanctions, Nuclear Deal, Economic Deterrence


The victory of the principalist Ibrahim Raisi means the hardening of Iran’s tone towards the West. The strategic direction will remain the same but priorities and tactics may see shifts. Some of the new priorities will be increasing Iran’s domestic capabilities, asserting its foreign policy redlines and defeating sanctions. Raisi aims towards a balance in relations with neighbors and great powers simultaneously, and the stronger foreign policy will be based on “interaction and deterrence”. The new Iranian administration will attempt to expand economic relations with the globe; Raisi supports deepening relations with China as a part of an Iranian “Pivot to Asia”. Building an economy of resistance lessens economic vulnerability, and improving relations with neighboring states is part of the “economic diplomacy” approach to increase exports. The US has a golden opportunity to reenter the nuclear deal, and lifting sanctions is the only viable way for a negotiation breakthrough. However, refusal to lift sanctions will kill the deal especially after Raisi is inaugurated next August, and would further convince Iranian policy makers that the US doesn’t want to reach any real understanding. The opportunism of the Biden administration will push Iran to find other diplomatic lanes to defeat sanctions. The US has to lift sanctions to gain Iranian trust.

By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant



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