Iran-US Rapprochement: Iran's Future Role

31 March 2014

Since the Geneva Accord on Iran’s nuclear programme, Iran-US relations have witnessed one breakthrough after another. Despite a cautious path and several obstacles, there has yet to be a setback completely undermining the rapprochement process. High-level meetings resulting from the first signs of goodwill continue, indicating a desire  by both sides to write new history.

The path of convergence between Iran and the US took on an even more practical dimension after the momentous meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers, John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif. That meeting paved the way for an equally momentous phone call between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“Constructive engagement,” a term that has recently entered the lexicon of Iranian foreign policy, is part of the Iranian government’s attempt to reform the economy. This reform is necessary in order to meet Iranian society’s needs and strengthen Iran’s international status. It is clear that easing tension with the United States in specific and the West in general is strongly correlated with achieving these goals; indeed, Iran’s role as a mediator or enforcer in international geopolitics and economics cannot be denied.

However, analyses and forecasts regarding the future of this rapprochement vary.  Some believe that it will redraw lines and have a long term impact on the region, while others doubt its success and downplay consequences, citing the many obstacles it faces.

This research project outlines and discusses the future of Iran-US rapprochement and Iran’s expanding international role and impact. Its chapters were written by Iranian affairs and international relations researchers and experts. The research project includes the following chapters:

File   Author
1 Introduction  Compiled by Dr. Fatima Al-Smadi
English Version Edited by Malak Chabkoun
2  Iran in World Politics After Rouhani  Dr. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, head of Centre for Iranian Studies at the University of London.
3  Future of Iran-US Relations  Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian, member of Iran’s former nuclear issue negotiating team and visiting researcher at Princeton University.
4  Domestic Voices: Actors in Iran’s Political Arena  Farah Al-Zaman Abu Shuair, Tehran-based researcher and media activist
5  Mechanisms of Iran-US Rapprochement: Lessons from the Past  Dr. Mark Katz, professor of international relations at George Mason University’s US campus.
6  Iran-US Rapprochement: Where Does the Path to Jerusalem Cross?  Dr. Fatima Al-Smadi, researcher at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies.
7  Iran-Russia Relations in Light of Iran-US Rapprochement  Karina Fayzullina, Russian researcher specialising in international relations.
8  Iran-US Rapprochement and Iran-Turkey Relations: Potential Opportunities and Threats  Dr. Mohammad Jaber Thalji, researcher specialising in Turkish affairs.
9  Iran’s Growing Role in Central Asia? Geopolitical, Economic and Political Profit and Loss Account  Dr. Sebastien Peyrouse, research professor of international affairs at George Washington University.
10  Summary and Results  Al Jazeera Center for Studies

* Dr. Fatima Al-Smadi is a researcher at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies specialising in Iranian Affairs.
**Malak Chabkoun is a researcher at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies.