Power struggles and policy shifts in post-Raisi Iran

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The tragic death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash appears to have …
  • As the municipal election campaign gained momentum with the unveiling of mayoral candidates and the fine-tuning of their campaigns, two major developments took place in foreign policy: the Turkish Parliament’s approval of Sweden’s NATO admission on Tuesday and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to the Turkish capital, where Türkiye and Iran signed 10 agreements.
  • Traditionally, Türkiye-Iran relations have been defined by a mix of competition and cooperation. Sharing a long land border and possessing a multidimensional historical depth, numerous dynamics simultaneously affect the relationship between the two countries.
  • Against the backdrop of Israel's massacre in Gaza, attention has been shifting to Iran. Following the bombardment of the Houthis by the United States and the United Kingdom for disrupting commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Iran and Pakistan experienced an escalation, with both sides firing missiles over terrorism. Moreover, Israel killed five members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps in Damascus last weekend, resuming its past operations against the Iranian presence in Syria. The seeming purpose of such strikes is to stop Iran from sending military aid to the Axis of Resistance – namely Hezbollah and Hamas. More important, however, is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's commitment to ensuring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict's regionwide spillover – which contradicts the Biden administration.

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  • President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for the 16th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit. Besides attending ECO’s General Assembly meeting, he held meetings with the host, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as well as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and President Ersin Tatar of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

  • The Biden administration is careful not to create expectations regarding the prisoner exchange agreement with Iran, aiming to emphasize that such "humanitarian" efforts are separate from the nuclear issue. Immediately after the successful exchange, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Iran, indicating that the situation is not merely a simple prisoner swap. The fact that the exchange also involves the release of $6 billion in Iranian oil revenue frozen in South Korea for humanitarian purchases shows that it is more than just a prisoner exchange. The U.S. government, perhaps to avoid any political cost domestically, is both imposing new sanctions and claiming that it has no connection to the stalled nuclear negotiation process.

  • We asked the leading Iran experts in Turkey and around the world to analyze the reasons behind the protests in Iran, the demands of the protestors, the Iranian administration’s attitude, the likely future of the protests and their impact on Iran. We present the assessments of those experts below.

  • What kind of Türkiye does Iran prefer? Which Türkiye can satisfy Iranian regional expectations?

  • Under the current circumstances, it seems impossible for the U.S. to discover a new kind of engagement that would contain Russia and China in the Middle East as well as address Iran’s problems with Israel and the Gulf. It is highly likely that the fresh diplomatic efforts by Washington, which cannot even appreciate Türkiye’s balancing and stabilizing/securing role, will prove to be a complete waste of time.