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.
Results for Tag: Iran
Today, Shiites are divided into numerous sects, the largest being Twelver Shiism. Shiites make up the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Azerbaijan; and they constitute significant minorities in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Tanzania.
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.
Most observers agree that the tiny kingdom is building up its army to continue to offset the influence of Iran while acting as a bulwark against Islamist and jihadist insurgents. But Ibish suggests that the UAE’s more weaponized approach to politics is part of a wider ambition to determine its own fate in a region that has become increasingly destabilized since the Arab Spring.
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.
Qatar adopted an ‘open foreign policy’, relying mostly on soft power tools such as the media, diplomacy, economy, humanitarian aid and generous donations. Doha’s strategy was to maintain good relations with all of its neighbours, regardless of their contradictory policies towards each other, notably Iran and Saudi Arabia. However, it maintained ties with several of the West’s adversaries, including Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.