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Can Iran avoid a political crisis after the president’s death?

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The death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash this week got here during certainly one of the most difficult times for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Raisi, a distinguished figure in the political elite, had a significant influence on Iran’s domestic policy. He also played a key role in Iran’s recent moves to enhance relations with rivals in the region.

Given his considerable influence, what’s going to his absence mean for the country’s internal affairs? And how will this affect the country’s relations in the region?

Maintaining stability in a dangerous time

Raisi’s government was very conservative and maintained close relations with the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. There has been almost no conflict or disagreement between the two sides, in contrast to previous governments, most of which maintained a ways or tension from the leader.

Raisi was also considered certainly one of leading candidates for fulfillment 85-year-old Khamenei, who has been Supreme Leader for 35 years. His broad influence in the country’s conservative circles has made him a significant figure in shaping the way forward for Iran’s leadership.

However, his death, which got here a yr before the end of his second term, got here against a backdrop of national, regional and international challenges.

Iran stays below severe sanctions imposed by the United States in reference to its nuclear program, which caused significant damage to the economy and had a profound impact on people’s lives.

There was also one incident in the country most significant protest movements in its story in reference to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September 2022, after her arrest by morality police.

Local protests also took place in various parts of the country, mainly as a result of the economic crisis and a few of the government’s internal policies.

Clashes between protesters and police after the death of Mahsa Amini in Tehran in September 2022.
Stringer/EPA

Moreover, the parliamentary elections that took place in March this yr were certainly one of them lowest voter turnout rates in the history of the country. As a result, calling recent elections, that are required inside 50 days of Raisi’s death, poses a significant challenge to the regime at a time when its public legitimacy is at its lowest.

Additionally, the recent escalation of the ongoing shadow war with Israel has raised serious security concerns and given rise to quite a few conspiracy theories. The rumors gained traction public opinion suggested that the president’s helicopter crash was the results of electronic warfare, a drone attack, and even an Israeli ground attack. (The state news agency IRNA reported that the reason behind the crash was a “technical failure.”)

Despite these challenges, the transfer of power is unlikely to have a significant impact on the country’s stability as a result of the nature of power dynamics in Iran. The Iranian political system consists of many interconnected circles led by the Supreme Leader. Losing one key player won’t cause much disruption when there are several others able to fill the void.

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber took over as acting president until recent elections are held. The conservative circle near the Supreme Leader is predicted to pick out their preferred candidate for the poll, aiming for a smooth transition with minimal challenges. Like Khamenei sent on X:

The nation needn’t worry or worry as the administration of the country is not going to be disturbed.

However, historical evaluation of leadership in the Islamic Republic suggests a recurring pattern of power shifting between conservatives and reformists, creating a sense of balance in Iranian politics and increasing the regime’s public legitimacy.

Therefore, although Raisi’s successor might be nominated and supported by conservative circles, he may present a somewhat moderate attitude. Figures that fit this description include current Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and former Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, who’re moderate conservatives.

Vice President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber.
Vice President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber.
Dmitry Astakhov/Sputnik/Government Press Service Reservoir/EPA

What will this mean for Iran’s neighbors?

During his term, Raisi moved the country’s foreign policy more towards the Middle East, giving it top priority. This marked a departure from his predecessor, Hassan Rouhani, whose priority was to strengthen relations with European countries and normalize relations with other Western countries.

For example, during Raisi’s presidency, Iraq hosted five rounds of negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, culminating in the historic normalization of relations between each side in early 2023.

As a former strategic communications advisor to the then Prime Minister of Iraq, it became obvious to me that Iran was sincerely all in favour of establishing a strategic, long-term and solid relationship with its neighbors.

President of Iran Ibrahim Raisi and Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (left) and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi inspect the honor guard during a welcome ceremony in Tehran in June 2022.
ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH/EPA

The consequence of those negotiations marked the end of Yemen’s long-running civil war, which made it easier normalization relations of Arab countries with Syria and contributed to increasing stability in Iraq.

Additionally, Iran has recently engaged in essential negotiations with Jordan and Egypt, with renewed support from Iraq. These initiatives provided a chance to resolve the sectarian conflicts which have long dominated the region and laid the foundations for higher cooperation.

Iran has also grow to be closer to China and Russia, including during Raisi’s presidency, reflecting a strategic, long-term relationship bolt towards the East, approved by the Supreme Leader. However, Iran also continued negotiations with Western powers over its nuclear program, using different tactics in comparison with Rouhani’s term.



Iran’s foreign policy appears to stay unchanged under the recent president. Vocation Ali Bagheri Kani serving as foreign minister after a helicopter crash (which also killed the current foreign minister) reinforces this continuity. Kani, who played a key role in steering nuclear negotiations under Raisi, matches into the country’s established foreign policy direction.

Moreover, Iran’s strengthening relations with its neighbors signal a more lasting move away from isolation. In the short term, this case is more likely to proceed to enhance.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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International

Research country: Birmingham hosts BISA 2024

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“So it’s your first time in the UK and you’ve come to Birmingham? “You are poor,” was the conversation on the train. I grimaced as I got off the carriage and had no connection with the sprawling metropolis, often proudly called “England’s second city” by locals. But what I heard was not an unusual reaction from the British when considering “Brum”, a city often treated harshly as being unpleasant to the attention.

The West Midlands (as you would possibly guess, its neighbor the East Midlands, which I visited a couple of weeks ago) is nevertheless an enormous and diverse region, home to almost three million people and a wider metropolitan population of over 4 million. The response of the Swedish visitor from Sweden was reasonably more positive than an Englishman may need expected. She had an exquisite few days and despite the (unsurprisingly) unsettled weather in the beginning of the summer, she was already desirous about returning to those shores.

The guest, an instructional at Lund University (Conversation member institution), attended the annual conference of the British International Studies Association (POWER). It’s a big gathering that draws researchers from all around the world, and that is what attracted me to Birmingham as well. I only managed to survive for someday, coming and going, but my experience was similarly upbeat.

Not Paris

Let’s be honest, when you arrive at New Street station it becomes quite clear that Birmingham shouldn’t be Paris. There is a combination of buildings here, some paying homage to an era of producing and industrial success, lots of them not risk the king’s wrath. And on a somewhat dreary Friday morning in early summer, the excitement that when characterised even towns devoid of great tourist attractions was absent; driven out by Covid and maybe never to return.

However, there was still traffic and plenty of people happening foot or by shiny tram to the central Centennial Square were also heading to the BISA conference. And despite Birmingham’s struggles, the town council filed for bankruptcy last yr – it looks as if it might offer opportunities that other cities haven’t got. Additionally, it stays a wonderful place for a conference.

Birmingham: The late, great Telly Savalas loved this, baby.

Birmingham’s status as a middle of international events can have been shaped over time National Exhibition Center, next to the airport, nevertheless it is within the very heart of the town that there may be now a bustling conference center. There is a posh of conference rooms there wonderful city library, symphony hallAND Exchange, a part of the University of Birmingham (yes, one other member of the Conversation) hosted BISA delegates for 3 days.

Over coffee on the Stock Exchange, Julia Dryden, director and CEO of BISA, introduced me to the size of the event. They organized almost 1,200 registrations and 330 panels, in addition to quite a lot of accompanying events. I only got to a few, nevertheless it gave me insight into research being done in related disciplines.

Artificial intelligence and war

I managed to get entangled in a discussion among the many so-called critical military studies including a debate on the concept of ‘liberal war’, in addition to an enchanting panel entitled Predicting the Future of War: Artificial Intelligence, Automated Systems and the Decision to Recourse to Force, which featured articles from Toni Erskine on the Australian National University and Nicholas Wheeler on the University of Birmingham.

After lunch, for obvious reasons, a session titled Publishing as a PhD Student: Do’s and Don’ts caught my attention. Under the leadership Richard Devetak The University of Queensland has guidance and guidance on how and when early-career researchers can publish. Of course, I used to be keen to listen to their thoughts on moving beyond the academy and having their work appear on platforms like The Conversation.

Marcus Nicholson, formerly a PhD student at Glasgow Caledonian University, duly informed the room that he had written for The Conversation and that this had led to re-publication in national media in addition to interest from broadcasters. Others talked about how blogging and broader involvement in academic journalism allowed them to succeed in a much wider audience and increased the impact potential of their research.

This time it was a fast trip across the West Midlands for me, but my colleague Rachael Jolley, considered one of our international affairs editors, also dropped by earlier within the week, so you may expect to see articles from this yr’s BISA Conference published here.

So I returned to New Street station to catch the train to London and overhear the meeting between the Lund researcher and his fellow passengers. Like them, BISA continues its activities and can gather in Belfast, Northern Ireland next yr. We hope to be there.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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ICC seeks arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu, Yahya Sinwar and other Israeli and Hamas leaders – but unlikely to lead to swift justice

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This was requested by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court court judges edition arrest warrants for the leaders of Israel and Hamasresulting from the Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians on October 7, 2023 and the following Israeli siege of Gaza.

Karim AA Khan, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, often called the ICC, – wrote within the statement that he sought arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in addition to Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Deif and Ismail Haniyeh. Khan said each Israeli and Hamas leaders “bear criminal responsibility” for “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” which he detailed within the statement.

ICC allegations against Hamas include extermination, murder, hostage-taking, rape and other acts of sexual violence. The ICC’s charges against the 2 Israeli leaders include ravenous Palestinians in Gaza, “deliberately targeting civilians,” in addition to persecution and “deliberate killing.”

The ICC, an independent tribunal based in The Hague, Netherlands, prosecutes genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes – the latter legal term which incorporates attacks on civilians and other crimes. violations of martial lawSuch as blocking humanitarian aid.

Khan announced an inquiry in November 2023 to investigate Hamas and Israeli suspects following the Hamas attack in Israel that killed 1,200 people and kidnapped lots of more, and Israel’s subsequent war in Gaza, which has to date over 34,000 Palestinians died.

ICC criminal investigation appears right after the famous genocide case which South Africa brought against Israel in December 2023 before one other international tribunal called the International Court of Justice.

But these investigations and courts are different. Although the ICC can conduct trials of individuals allegedly responsible for criminal violations of international humanitarian law, the International Court of Justice is the a part of the United Nations that adjudicates civil and civil disputes. cannot accuse individuals of crimes.

How human rights researcher and international courts, I imagine it’s important to emphasize that the ICC and other contemporary international criminal tribunals would not have enforcement powers of their very own. This signifies that in an Israel-Hamas situation, the ICC may never have the option to arrest the suspects or bring them to justice.

Therefore, these international courts have had mixed experiences in holding senior political and military leaders accountable for their crimes. Only when political leaders lose power is there a probability that their governments will arrest them and hand them over to international courts for prosecution.

Palestinians walk among the many rubble of destroyed buildings in Nuseirat, Gaza, April 29, 2024.
AFP via Getty Images

A challenge for international courts

Take the instance of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been opposing an ICC arrest warrant since March 2023 for allegedly committing war crimes throughout the Ukrainian war. As long as Putin stays in power, there’s virtually no probability of his arrest.

International criminal tribunals just like the ICC have a two-fold problem. First, these tribunals don’t have any real international police force to perform arrests.

Second, governments implicated within the alleged crimes of their leaders often try to obstruct the work of international tribunals by not extraditing suspects and trying to attack the tribunals as biased.

The problem of enforcement, as my scholarship has showncould allow the leaders of a robust country corresponding to Israel or an entity corresponding to Hamas to avoid arrest warrants issued by international courts – provided the suspects remain inside their country or territory.

Israel is in this example just isn’t a celebration to the ICC, meaning that he has never agreed to abide by his judgments or arrest orders and doesn’t otherwise recognize the court’s jurisdiction. The United States and other countries, including Qatar, where a minimum of one in every of the Hamas leaders named in Khan’s arrest warrant lives, are also not members of the ICC and don’t have any legal obligation to make arrests.

If the ICC pre-trial chamber approves Khan’s request for arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, they’ll have the option to go to meet US leaders in Washington without fear of arrest. But now they’ll likely avoid travel to European Union countries, all of that are a part of the ICC, and will probably be forced to arrest Netanyahu.

All this also can contribute to Israel’s development further international isolation and pressure on his conduct throughout the war.

Issuing arrest warrants for Hamas leaders also risks stigmatizing Hamas internationally.

The United States, which at times strongly opposed the ICC, but also supported the ICC warned the ad hoc court, as was the case within the ICC war in Ukraine case that issuing arrest warrants for Israeli leaders could jeopardize a possible ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Milosevic’s fall from power

Not all arrest warrants fail.

Attempt Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic from the mid-2000s shows how international tribunals might have the option to prosecute alleged war criminals after they lose power.

In 1993, when the war in Bosnia was still ongoing, the UN Security Council established a special court, called the Tribunal for International Criminal Tribunal for the previous Yugoslaviato address crimes committed during regional wars.

This court indicted Serbian nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in 1999 throughout the ongoing war in Kosovo. Milosevic’s alleged crimes in Kosovo include a large ethnic cleansing campaign against Kosovo Albanians, the country’s largest ethnic group. Milosevic later faced additional charges for alleged crimes in Bosnia and Croatia.

However, when the indictment was issued, Milosevic was still in power and his government protected him from arrest. Milosevic lost the presidential election in late September 2000 and after widespread protests he gave in.

The United States promised the brand new democratic government in Serbia significant economic aid to speed up post-war recovery. This helped persuade the Serbian government to accomplish that arrest Milosevic and then move it to international tribunal in June 2001.

People are holding loudspeakers and standing in front of a black and white photo of a man looking very serious.
Relatives and supporters of hostages held by Palestinian militants in Gaza chant during an indication calling for their release on April 27, 2024.
Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

A possible handbook for the leaders of Israel and Hamas

Milosevic trial was launched in February 2002but he died in prison in 2006, shortly before the top of the trial.

His trial continues to reveal that, under certain circumstances, international courts can overcome their lack of enforcement powers and bring high-level suspects to justice. International political pressures and incentives often play a pivotal role on this process.

As long as any political and military leaders facing potential arrest remain in power, it is probably going that no amount of political pressure or guarantees will persuade Israel, Qatar or other countries to cooperate with the international court and hand over any leaders in the event that they are indicted.

History also shows that even when Hamas leaders are overthrown or Israeli leaders lose the elections, there isn’t a guarantee that potential suspects will ever face the ICC.

There is broad public opposition to the ICC in Israel, encompassing politicians across the political spectrum condemning Khan’s request for arrest warrants.

Despite the undeniable fact that Khan can be searching for to prosecute Hamas leaders, Israeli politicians reacted to the ICC’s decision indignant requests for arrest.** Moreover, a minimum of within the short term, it is very unlikely that the United States will apply to its close ally, Israel, the identical pressure that it successfully applied to Serbia over the arrest of Milosevic after his fall from power.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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No matter who wins, both Biden and Trump will likely agree on one thing: doing less in the Middle East

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Before the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan he founded that the Middle East was “more peaceful than it had been for decades.”

This is after all not valid. Instead, the heartbreaking state of affairs in the region has inflamed tensions and inspired generation-defining protests around the world.

These concerns have led many to ponder whether the Biden administration’s Middle East policies will ultimately achieve this impair the president’s November re-election campaign against former President Donald Trump.

Eventually perhaps. But even when the occupant of the White House changes, US policy towards the region will largely remain unchanged. That’s because both Biden and Trump will do all the things in their power to realize what Sullivan hoped for: an ultimately more peaceful Middle East.

Cross-party support for coalition constructing

No single U.S. initiative will be more crucial to making sure a more peaceful Middle East than strengthening ties between regional partners. The foundations for construction have already been laid Abraham AccordsArab-Israeli normalization agreements initiated by the Trump administration and adopted by the Biden administration.

The fruits of such efforts became visible when a various coalition – consisting of the US, France, Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel – collaborated to shoot down 300 Iranian missiles fired at Israel on April 13. Tehran’s first direct attack on Israel in its decades-long shadow war.

The coalition’s collective response marked dramatic progress toward a long-term and bipartisan U.S. goal for the Middle East: a level of regional cooperation and stabilization that will ultimately enable U.S. downsizing.

As much as Trump may not have appreciated some US alliances, like his predecessors, it’s secure to assume that whoever occupies the White House next yr will likely seek to construct on these regional alliances. There are many reasons.

Rockets are carried in trucks during the April Army Day parade at a military base in northern Tehran.
Vahid Salemi/AP

Iran’s actions remain unchanged

First, the scope and severity of Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region has only increased.

Iran’s proxy militant groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Gaza have demonstrated unprecedented levels of aggression in recent years. His at issue whether Iran was fully aware of the October 7 Hamas attack, but Tehran undeniably continues to financially support the group.

Iran has behaved no less aggressively. In addition to the unprecedented attack on Israel in April, it included:

Israeli-Arab ties persist

Second, Iran’s behavior undoubtedly contributed to this stronger bonds between Israel and the Arab world. Although such bonds survived quieter since the starting of the war in Gaza.

Jordan’s King Hussein, who rules over a largely Palestinian population, could also be a vocal critic of Israel’s conduct in Gaza, but he nonetheless advantages from record amounts of Israeli gas and desalinated water being directed to his energy-poor and water-stressed country.

The Egyptian economy may be very dependent on Israeli energy that the Egyptians survived constant blackouts when Israel briefly restricted gas exports at the starting of the war.

The United Arab Emirates and Israel deepened their trade, political and military ties only after they ended latest Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement got here into force last yr.

Although the UAE has repeatedly condemned Israel for its actions in Gaza, the reality is that the trade is two-way increased by 7% in the first quarter of 2024

Both Trump and Biden want to depart the Middle East

Finally, and perhaps most significantly, both Republicans and Democrats agree on the have to shift U.S. attention and resources to the Indo-Pacific region. This has not escaped the attention of American partners in the Middle East.

That’s why the Biden administration both supported and continued the Trump administration’s two most significant diplomatic initiatives in the region – the Abraham Accords and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The reason is the long-held bipartisan belief that the United States shouldn’t expend more resources – or worse, lose more US lives – in the Middle East.

In Gaza, Trump did it he insisted Israel to finish his actions by saying:

Israel needs to be very careful since you lose lots of the world, you lose lots of support.

The Biden administration’s public and private calls for Israeli restraint in Gaza make it clear that the Biden administration can be not interested in further entanglement in the Middle East.

Regardless of who wins in November, both Trump and Biden can be irritated if the Israeli-Hamas war continued in January 2025. They would even be equally concerned if Hamas resumed attacks on Israel. But neither is willing to spend greater than the bare minimum of political capital to resolve the situation.

In the era that the United States finds itself in produce more own energy and the USA fear of terrorism are decreasing, American residents and politicians would like that allies in the Middle East maintain their very own security.

US Marines in Baghdad.
U.S. Marines on watch on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2020.
Kyle Talbot/US Marine Corps/EPA Flyer

The United States’ role in the region stays integral

Despite the United States’ desire to withdraw from the region, the next president still has a key role to play.

The normalization of Saudi-Israeli relationsfor instance, is undoubtedly the most significant goal of the Abraham Accords. And that will prove difficult and not using a binding U.S. security guarantee for Saudi Arabia, a Saudi-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement, and increased U.S. support for an independent Palestinian state.

The U.S. military presence in the region will also proceed to play a key role in uniting a various coalition of nations opposing Iran’s growing influence. After all, it was the extensive coordination of U.S. Central Command that enabled the international response to Iran’s April 13 attack on Israel.

The United States’ future role in the region can best be described as “leading from behind” – although no U.S. president has said it and probably never will say it directly.

Instead, the winner of November’s elections will publicly defend regional “stability.” On this front, strengthening the regional coalition will remain the foremost strategy – and may ultimately develop into the basis for peace.


This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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