The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) has issued the Iran Case File (ICF) for April 2023. The file provides readers in general and researchers in particular with an in-depth analysis and overview of Iran’s variant interactions and affairs. The file is divided into two main parts: Internal Affairs and External Affairs (regional and international affairs).
Internal Affairs discusses four main files. The Political File sheds light on the vote of no-confidence to the Iranian Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade, as well as legislators’ rejection of all of President Ebrahim Raisi’s justifications and arguments in defense of the minister. The file also addresses the exchange of accusations between the supporters and opponents of the vote of no-confidence. Finally, the file casts light on the corruption accusations directed at the ministry, particularly those concerning the existence of mafia networks in the automobile sector. The Economic File reviews the history of trade relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the similarities in their trade structures and export products. With regard to the Military File, it discusses three issues: Iran’s seizure of two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, renewed tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan and the Iranian position on drone attacks. The Ideological File discusses the decision of Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr to suspend his movement’s activities for one year, particularly analyzing the significations and potential outcomes of this move. The file also discusses the Owners of the Cause, a fringe group within the Sadrist Movement.
External Affairs includes Iran’s relations and interactions with the Arab and international spheres. At the Arab level, there were several developments in the context of relations between Iran and the Gulf states, particularly the intensive meetings between Saudi and Iranian officials that aimed to render effective the provisions of the agreement signed in the Chinese capital Beijing to pave the way for resuming diplomatic ties between the two countries. Some inaccurate Iranian analyses about Saudi Arabia agreeing to restore ties with Iran are also discussed. Regarding Iranian interactions in Iraq, the file touches on the two countries’ plan to carry out the rail interconnection project as well as Iranian efforts to crack down on armed Iranian-Kurdish opposition groups or curb their activities. Concerning Syria, the file highlights the Saudi foreign minister’s visit to Syria and its significations as well as the Iran-Israel military escalation in Syria. With regard to Iran-Yemen relations, the file looks at the Saudi delegation’s visit to Sana’a and the position of regional and global parties on this visit. At the global level, the file discusses Iran-US interactions, the role of the Saudi-Iran rapprochement agreement in throwing into disarray the US calculus over Iran and the symbolic legal victory Iran will achieve due to the agreement with Saudi Arabia. The file also discusses the reports that indicate a US desire to reach a provisional agreement with Iran. Finally, it discusses the US Congress Foreign Relations Committee’s decision to approve the imposition of sanctions on senior Iranian officials because of human rights abuses. Regarding Iranian interactions with Europe, the file spotlights three major developments: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) re-installing surveillance cameras at Iranian nuclear facilities, the failure of a prisoner swap deal between Iran and Belgium and the new European sanctions against Tehran as a result of issues related to human rights abuses.