Iran & International Society Relations
Iran accords priority to its relations with the other states in the region and with the rest of the Islamic world. This includes a strong commitment to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement. Relations with the states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), especially with Saudi Arabia, have improved in recent years.Iran is also pursuing a policy of stabilization and cooperation with the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
On the international scene, it has been argued by some that Iran has become, or will become in the near future, a superpower due to its ability to influence international events. Others, such as Robert Baer, have argued that Iran is already an energy superpower and is on its way to becoming an empire.
Iran–Asia relation is deep rooted in a very long history. Examining the foreign relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran in recent decades has been indicating of a trend toward expanding ties with the western countries. This trend is interrupted due to the pressure of the West against Iran on the nuclear issue. Therefore Iran is looking toward the Asian countries as its new partners.
The following article seeks to analyze relations and examine factors behind the developments in Iran’s relations with a number of Asian countries since the current administration took office. Although the scope of these relations is vast and diverse, this article will concentrate on some countries as case studies and will be more focused on political and economic ties. As an Asian country, Iran has maintained proper and friendly relations with the Asian countries in a range of spheres, though there have been ups and downs in these relations due to the political developments and considerations. The ancient ‘Silk Road’ could be a shining example of economic cooperation between Iran and the Asian continent.
There is no denying the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been, since its establishment, a target of prejudice and ostracism based on religion, technological independence, or race. And as the Islamic Republic laudably embarks on the broadening of its political, economic and cultural ties, it must be noted, quite extraordinarily, the remarkable reception and open-mindedness that African governments readily offered in reciprocation. The positive and enthusiastic response from Africa has contributed immensely in the strengthening of ties both in the cultural and religious sector between Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In fact, Africa is presently one of the most dynamic areas of Islamic expansion in the world and is witnessing a historic era in the development and strengthening of Islamic institutions throughout the continent.
Iran -Latin America relation
Multiple factors, when taken together, point to Iran being more than a mere irritant in one of the most important and geographically proximate spheres of influence of the United States. Because the Iranian presence is based almost exclusively on a shared anti-U.S. agenda among the principal actors, Iran is spending scarce resources on courting Latin America, seizing the opportunity to break its international isolation while significantly improving its intelligence and logistical capabilities in an area of vital strategic value to the United States. Iran’s presence is felt more acutely because of the absence of a U.S. agenda that is broadly embraced by Latin Americans, particularly since the 9/11 attacks. While the scope of the threat is open to debate, the intentions of Iran and is allies, led by Venezuela, should not be underestimated or dismissed.
Iran and the EU currently have limited political relations as a result of the EU and international community’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. There is great potential for deeper relations between Iran and the EU. Whilst practical cooperation between the EU and Iran already exists, the scope is currently well below potential.
The EU is Iran’s largest trading partner, accounting for a third of all Iranian exports. 90% of these are energy related and Iran is the EU’s sixth largest energy supplier. In 2008 Iranian exports to the EU amounted to €11.3 billion and imports from the EU amounted to €14.1 billion. EU exports to Iran are mainly machinery and transport (54.6%), manufactured goods (16.9%) and chemicals (12.1%).In 2011, Iran ranked 7th in exporting crude oil to Europe and a Eurostat report stated that 27 European states imported 11.4 billion Euros of goods from Iran in the first nine months of 2011.There is significant room for growth, though this is hampered by the nuclear dispute. A Trade and Cooperation Agreement were installed in 2002 but have been on hold since 2005 because of the dispute.