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Examining the stability of Iran’s dual political structure from the event of Dey-mah Protest

LU Jin

West Asia and Africa,2019,No. 01

【Abstract】 The victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 brought profound changes to Iranian politics and society. Under the leadership of religious leader Khomeini, the Islamic Republic of Iran established and implemented a dual political structure characterized by religious and clerical rule that transcends social strata. Although Iran’s Dey-mah Protest occurred around New Year’s Day in 2018, the incident was effectively controlled, and its internal mechanism lies in the function of Iran’s dual political structure to maintain social stability, that is, religious leaders can better play a unique balancing role; multi-party political competition carries out within the Islamic system, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps firmly defends the order of Islamic rule. Iran’s dual political structure is conducive to stability, but the long-term inefficient operation, institutional corruption seriously restricts economic development. From the perspective of future policy orientation, Iran needs to accelerate the improvement of national economic governance capabilities and promote political and economic reforms within the system to promote political and social stability.

Structure and the check and balance of power: reflection of the Islamic Revolution of Iran

MU Hongyan

West Asia and Africa,2019,No. 01

【Abstract】 The power structure of the society of Iran before the Islamization was the triangle structure that consisted of the religious group, the royal group and the literati group. Although the religious power played a dominant role in the society structure, because of the dependency of the literati group, the royal power was strong enough to form the characteristics of the social structure of Iran: checks and balances, and mutual collaboration between the religious power and the royal power. These characteristics had been continuing even after the Islamization in Iran. With the establishment of the Safavid Dynasty in 1502, Shia Islam became the state religion in Iran, and the religious group of Shia acquired stronger power and discourse. However, because of the dependency of the literati group, the royal power was still strong, therefore characteristics of the checks and balances and the mutual collaboration still existed. In the modernization in the 20th century, the literati group got rid of the dependency on the royal group and acquired the independence of itself. Subsequently, the August coup in 1953 in Iran led into a clean break between the literati group and the royal group. The conflict between royal power and religious power became so intense that it finally led into the Islamic Revolution. In this revolution, the literati group was in alliance with the religious group. Finally, the royal power was overturned. After the revolution, to some extent, the current regime of Iran has followed the ancient system of checks and balances, which is expressed as mutual balances and support of religious traditions and modern democratic politics, with the literati group in between. Therefore, the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran is unique in its own internal rationality and stability.

Iran and the international system: integration or confrontation?

JIN Liangxiang

West Asia and Africa,2019,No. 01

【Abstract】 Upon the founding of the Islamic Republic, Iran regarded export of Islamic Revolution as its major task, but had to choose the survival, security and legitimacy of the Islamic Republic as reasonable objectives after frustration. Iran’s policy toward the international system had always been a major part of its foreign policy. It is both out of domestic politics whether Iran had been confronting against the system or endeavoring to get integrated into the system. Generally speaking, the evolution of Iran’s positions toward the international system since the founding of the Islamic Republic had experienced four stages. Despite the evolution, Iran’s foreign policy had been consistently featured more or less with challenging against the system all through the stages since the strong political factions opposing the international system dominated by the West are always there. Iran did in some stages work hard to get recognized politically by the United States, the West and the international system, but unfortunately had not been reciprocated by the West. Iran had been underpolitical isolation, economic sanctions and military threat all through the forty years since the revolution. Iran’s unsuccessful integration into the international system can be attributed to both its own domestic and international restrictions. Iran’s case indicates that the relations between actors and the system, integration or confrontation, will not only depend on whether the actors will adapt themselves into the system, but also depend on whether the system itself is diversified and inclusive enough. The rising of new economies signifies the changing of international power structure, which will be an opportunity for Iran to get integrated into the system.

The Iran nuclear issue from the perspective of the European Union-United States relations: a comparative analysis based on the policies of the European Union and the United States towards Iran since 2016

LYU Rui;ZHAO Jianming

Chinese Journal of European Studies,2019,Vol 37,No. 01

【Abstract】 The European Union and the United States share common interests in preventing Iran from possessing nuclear weapons. However, due to the differences in power, identity and perspectives, especially due to the United States President Trump’s adoption of policies which are in stark contrast with those of his predecessor Barack Obama, great divisions have emerged between the EU and the United States in their policies concerning the Iran nuclear issue. On May 8, 2018, Trump announced the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and a new round of severe sanctions against Iran. The three EU countries, that is, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, had conducted diplomatic mediation to preserve the nuclear deal. After the unilateral withdrawal of the United States, the European Union updated the Blocking Statute and introduced the Special Purpose Vehicle in an attempt to maintain the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action without United States The current disagreements between the European Union and the United States on the Iran nuclear issue and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action highlights the differences between the two parties over how to resolve the disputes in the Middle East and other regions. The disagreements also reflect competition between the United States and the European Union around the future of the international and regional structure. The competition will last for a long time.

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