The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) has published its monthly Iran Case File (ICF) for August 2023. The file provides an in-depth overview and analysis of Iran’s interactions at all levels. The file is divided into three parts: Developments in Internal Affairs, Iran-Arab Interactions and Iran’s Relations with Regional and International Powers.
The first part discusses Iran’s internal developments; the country witnessed salient developments at the political, economic, social and ideological levels. These developments are explored through the analysis of five prominent issues: parliamentary preparations amid a controversial electoral law amendment, the BRICS does not offer Iran an effective economic alternative despite the group’s enormous opportunities, the growing child labor phenomena and the government’s response, Iran’s enhancement of its military capabilities and defense cooperation with allies, and finally the hawza faces a crisis between protests at religious ceremonies and renewed debate on the hijab.
The second part sheds light on Iran-Arab interactions. In its foreign policy, Iran accords priority to the Arab world. There have been significant developments in its interactions with Arab countries, most prominently its relations with Saudi Arabia following a visit by Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to the country. This is in addition to Iran’s relations with the Gulf states and its influence in Syria. These developments are analyzed by covering the following topics: Abdollahian’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Gulf-Iran relations after the BRICS invitation and the implications for Iran’s clout in Syria following the eruption of tensions and protests in eastern Euphrates. The third part discusses Iran’s relations with regional and international powers. The prisoner swap deal influenced, somehow, the course of Iran-US relations; it stirred the stagnant waters of diplomacy and defused tensions over Iran’s nuclear deal. However, negotiations between Iran and the European Union (EU) regarding the release of the Swedish EU diplomat who is detained in Iran failed. In this part of the Iran Case File for August, two prominent developments are covered as follows: the impact of the prisoner swap deal on the trajectory of US-Iran relations and Iranian pressure on the EU to release Hamid Nouri.