The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) has issued its monthly Iran Case File (ICF) for August 2020. In the August file, the Rasanah research team takes a deep dive into the most prominent Iranian issues, unveiling its major topics. They analyze how the Iranian government has been stumbling over economic hurdles to a find a way out of its economic dilemma. Thus, it introduced an “Economic Breakthrough” plan, which is basically founded on selling oil bonds to the public so the government will gain revenues and mitigate the mounting inflation via collecting cash from citizens.
At the ideological level, amid the prevalent concerns among the Iranian people about the spread of coronavirus during the celebrations marking Ashura and the gatherings which take place at the mourning rituals marking Imam Hossein’s martyrdom, the supreme leader did not issue a fatwa banning or allowing gatherings. He left the matter to the debates of clerics and politicians in a way which could be described as indifference, unconcern and preferring not to take a decisive position supportive of or opposed to the Ashura gatherings, to say the least.
Moreover, the research team discusses the the latest performance report about the Rouhani government ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, which was submitted during the Government’s Week. Rouhani attempted to defend the performance of his government in the past seven years. He attempted to hush critics by employing the scapegoat scenario that the criticism leveled at his government is in the interest of the enemies of the Iranian ruling system.
According to the research team, the military level perhaps witnessed the majority of Iranian movements this month. The Iranian defense minister visited Moscow to attend the International Military-Technical Forum “ARMY-2020” as part of Tehran’s preparations to benefit from the lifting of the embargo on its imports of arms as of this October. The Iranian defense minister met with 120 officials from different nationalities. Iran also announced the introduction of two new missiles named Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
At the Arab level during August, Iran suffered a setback on the Iraqi scene as Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazimi made a successful visit to Washington. With regard to the Yemeni crisis, Tehran emboldened the Houthis to open new front lines and to seek help from mercenaries to tackle the shortage in the ranks of the Houthis. The Iranian judicial authority alleged that it granted the leader of the Houthis an award for safeguarding human rights.
At the international level, the most significant move was the UN Security Council’s vote on a request submitted by the United States to extend the embargo on arms supplies imposed on Iran, which shall be lifted, according to the provisions of the nuclear deal, on the coming October 18. Eleven out of 15 member states of the UN Security Council abstained from voting, with Russia and China vetoing the resolution.