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  • Deterrence, Escalation Management and the Iran–Israel Conflict

    Iran and Israel have shown preference for a carefully controlled escalation while avoiding a conflict spiral.

    May 20, 2024

    The Escalating Israel–Iran Conflict

    Israel’s successful interception of Iranian missiles and drones has restored its image as a superior military power regionally, an image which was dented by the October 2023 Hamas attacks.

    April 22, 2024

    Iran Parliament and Assembly of Expert Elections: Hardliners on the Rise

    Iran’s parliamentary elections were primarily a competition among the conservative factions.

    March 15, 2024

    IRGC’s FTO Designation and JCPOA Revival

    The JCPOA revival, to some extent, will continue to depend on the US’s stand on the IRGC’s designation.

    August 28, 2023

    Iran’s Strategic Behaviour Against ISIS: Religio-Cultural Context of Shrines and Martyrdom

    The killing of Qassem Soleimani in 2020 again brought the religio-cultural significance of ‘martyrdom’ into limelight in Iran. He got recognized as the ‘Defender-Martyr of Holy Shrine’ given his role against ISIS in protecting the Shi’i holy shrines. This article analyses the relationship between ‘shrines and ‘martyrdom’ in Iran’s strategy against ISIS.

    January-February 2023

    Iran-Arab Gulf Joint Naval Force and China’s ‘Collective Security Architecture’

    China and Iran claim to be building a new security architecture for West Asia on the pretext of keeping out the “unjustified” presence of “foreign forces”.

    June 15, 2023

    Maibam Warish asked: Can India benefit strategically from the recent re-establishment of full diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia?

    Deepika Saraswat replies: The China-mediated agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia on restoring their diplomatic ties after seven years has been welcomed by New Delhi. Given these two countries are key actors in the region which India considers part of its extended neighbourhood, any calming of tensions or rapprochement between them is seen as furthering regional peace and stability.

    The Saudi–Iran Rapprochement

    The Chinese-mediated rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran puts a check on the widening gap between the two regional powers.

    March 14, 2023

    Vineet R. Olakara asked: Why have the negotiations in restarting the Iran deal stalled? What are the implications for India?

    Deepika Saraswat replies: In March 2022, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) agreed on the broad outline to revive the Iran nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, talks were stalled as a result of a last minute demand by Russia for written guarantees from Washington that the sanctions imposed on it over the Ukraine crisis will not harm its economic and military-technical cooperation with Iran.

    Govind R. asked: What is the idea behind the formation of I2U2? How far India's participation in the I2U2 will affect India–Iran relations?

    Md. Muddassir Quamar replies: The I2U2 is a mini-lateral initiative among India, Israel, the United States (US) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the stated objective of “expanding economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia, including through trade, combating climate change, energy cooperation, and increasing maritime security.”

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