Kayhan Barzegar is Head of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Science and Research Branch of the Islamic Azad University. He is also Director of the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies (IMESS) in Tehran.
In the triangle of Iran-U.S.-Russia relations, Russia is likely to strengthen its relations with Iran to equate the role and influence of its rival global power and Iran will attempt to stay in its independent track willing to expand relations to the one that accepts its regional role and global status.
The geopolitical changes brought about by the Arab Uprising showed that there is a rivalry between regional actors (Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel) and international actors and great powers (United States, Russia, China and the European Union) to bridge geopolitical and ideological gaps.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
The April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.
If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.