The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) issued its monthly report, the Iran Case File for June 2019 covering the latest developments in the Iranian arena, and providing interested readers with a comprehensive insight into Iranian affairs during this period.
The report highlights how Iran decisively refused to sit at the negotiating table unless US sanctions were lifted. It also covers the recent Iranian attacks against oil tankers in UAE territorial waters and the Gulf of Oman. This led Iran to go ahead with its escalatory policy which included downing a US drone over international waters according to the US administration as well as reducing its commitments under the nuclear deal.
On the domestic front, the report discusses the issue of the hijab and the conflict between President Rouhani and the First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri. This conflict centered on the management of the economic team, Jahangiri’s diminished power and his inability to enforce any political act. This gives the supreme leader an opportunity to form a new political current which implements his political and economic vision. On the economic front, reports continued to emerge about China’s importing of Iranian oil. Additionally, the United States extended the exemptions from sanctions granted to Iraq, allowing it to import gas and electricity from Iran. However, the United States has imposed a package of sanctions on the supreme leader, his aides and IRGC commanders, preventing them from getting access to the global financial order in response to the attack against a US drone.
On the Arab affairs level, Iran used its clout in Iraq and Yemen to support its positions in the face of the United States by showcasing its ability to exploit its proxy militias in both countries and targeting US forces in Iraq.
On the international arena, Iran opted for reducing its commitments under the nuclear deal and violating the limits set out in the deal about the amounts of low-enriched uranium and heavy water permissible for Iran to keep on its soil. Moreover, the United States backed down from carrying out a small-scale strike against Iran. The heightened tensions witnessed in the Arabian Gulf region during the month of June 2019 posed some dangers to regional countries not directly engaged in the conflict.