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Disaster in Iran: President Raisi’s death leaves Tehran in mourning the loss of a regime loyalist

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed when his helicopter crashed on May 19, 2024 in the mountainous border region, he was a staunch loyalist whose death shall be a major blow to the country’s conservative leadership.

The discovery of the wreckage and bodies got here after an overnight search that was hampered by weather and terrain. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced that the so-called five-day period of public mourning in the country.

as expert on Iran’s internal and foreign policyI imagine that concern about Tehran may transcend the potential human tragedy of the disaster. The change it forces could have significant implications for the Iranian state it consumes internal chaos and regional and international confrontation.

Who was Ebrahim Raisi?

Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Raisi has acted as: a persistent apparatchik of the Islamic Republic ia a distinguished protégé of Khameneiwho, as the supreme leader, exercises ultimate authority in the Islamic Republic.

Before becoming president in 2021, Raisi held various positions in the judiciary under the supreme leader. As a prosecutor and eventually Iran-Iraq war in 1988 he sat on the commission that sentenced hundreds of political prisoners to death.

His executions earned him the nickname “The Butcher of Tehran” after which surrendered it US sanctions and condemnation by the United Nations and international human rights organizations.

Raisi since 2006 sat in the Assembly of Expertsthe body that appoints and supervises the supreme leader.

And although he was perceived as lacking charisma and eloquence, 63-year-old Raisi was believed to have been bullied. prepared for fulfillment 85-year-old Khamenei as supreme leader.

National checkered record

At the national level, Raisi’s presidency was like this each cause and effect the regime’s legitimacy crisis and social chaos.

Controversially, he won Presidential elections 2021 after a high number of candidate disqualifications by the Guardian Council, which vets candidates, and historically low voter turnout turnout below 50%.

To reassure his conservative base, Raisi and his government revived the morality police and reimposed religious restrictions on society. This policy led to the Women, Life, Freedom protests initiated by the organization death in police custody Mahsa Amini in 2022. The demonstrations turned out to be the largest and longest in the nearly 50-year history of the Islamic Republic. They also resulted in unprecedented state repression, over 500 demonstrators died and a whole lot more were injured, disappeared and detained. During the protests, Raisi demonstrated his loyalty to the supreme leader and conservative elites by increasing restrictions and repression.

Iranian policeman raising a baton to disperse demonstrators during a protest in support of Mahsa Amini.
AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, under Raisi, Iran’s economy continued to suffer from the merger government mismanagement and corruptionalong with US sanctions which have intensified in response to Tehran’s internal repression and foreign provocations.

Confrontation for rapprochement

The domestic turmoil during Raisi’s presidency was accompanied by changes in Iran’s regional and international role.

As supreme leader, Khamenei has the final say on foreign policy. But Raisi presided over a state that continued on the path confrontation together with your opponentsespecially the USA and Israel.

And whether by selection or perceived necessity, Tehran has moved even further away from any concept of rapprochement with the West.

In the face of tighter US sanctions, Iran under Raisi was reluctant to revive the nuclear deal. Instead, Iran increased its uranium enrichment, blocked international inspectors, and have become a nuclear threshold state.

Raisi also continued “Look East.” his predecessor Hassan Rouhani. To this end, he and his government have sought greater rapprochement with China.

Beijing in turn offered an economic lifeline by importing Iranian crude oil and brokering a diplomatic agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March 2023.

Meanwhile, under Raisi’s presidency, Iran continued to achieve this function an ally and funder anti-American and anti-Western conflicts, supplying Russia with combat drones to be used in Ukraine, and supplying weapons to numerous regional proxies in the Middle East.

Since the Gaza war began on October 7, 2023, Iran under Khamenei and Raisi has maintained a delicate balance between allowing its regional proxies to get up to Israel and the United States while avoiding direct confrontation with each countries, that are traditionally superior enemies.

This balance was briefly disrupted when, in April, the Islamic Republic directly attacked Israel with drones and missiles for the first time in history in retaliation for the attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Raisi – although he was circuitously liable for foreign policy – was a key supporter of the Iranian regime’s attempts to further distance itself from the established international order and seek alliances with countries similarly hostile to the West.

Raisi and his colleagues were getting back from a dam opening ceremony in neighboring Azerbaijan when the helicopter crashed. The ceremony was likely intended to curry favor with Iran and Azerbaijan, which had previously taken an ambiguous, if not adversarial, stance in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which ended with a convincing Azerbaijani victory in late 2023.

What could the change of president mean?

In Raisi, Supreme Leader Khamenei had a long-time loyalist, a regime insider, and a potential successor.

Under the Iranian structure, any death of a president causes the first vice chairman to function interim president. In this case, it means Mohammad Mokhber, who’s a politician much like Raisi and who was a distinguished member of the Iranian team negotiating arms deals with Moscow.

Iran could have to too hold presidential elections inside 50 days. Time will tell who the supreme leader will bow to as the next president and potential successor.

However, it is nearly certain that conservatives in Tehran will proceed to circle the wagons, given the internal and external pressures they face.

At the national level, this might take the form of greater state repression and election manipulation. At the regional and international level, I imagine this may increasingly mean strengthening ties with emerging allies and continuing calculated confrontation with traditional adversaries.

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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