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Iran in Crisis: The Triple Threat of Pandemic, Sanctions and Conflict

An Altamar podcast interview with 地质经济学和战略高级研究员在Carnegie捐赠国际和平

Iran’s religious regime is facing enormous challenges. The nation has been struck by one of the world’s most severe outbreaks of COVID-19, killing thousands of its citizens — including prominent parliamentarians and government officials. Under the weight of severe economic sanctions, unemployment is growing, inflation is rising andGDPfaces a 6% contraction. At the start of this year, aU.S. airstrike killed伊朗最具影响力的军事指挥官Qasem Soleimani。

Yet, the Iranian regime has proven remarkably durable, continuing to wield regional power and even pursue its nuclear program.

To help understand where Iran is headed, theAltamarPodcast Cred of Peter Schechter和Muni Jensen谈到了Jarrett Blanc, senior fellow in Geoeconomics and Strategy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Previously, Blanc was the State Department’s lead for Iran nuclear implementation under President Obama, including the联合综合行动计划(JCPOA). An expert on conflict termination and political transitions, Blanc has also served as the acting special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

区域PowerBroker

“如果你回顾过去20年,30年来,很明显,伊朗的影响力已经增长,”伊斯兰共和国指出伊斯兰共和国作为一个地区毛利科克成功。它的代理,真主党由于伊朗的金钱和传统,施加对黎巴嫩政府的巨大影响,而叙利亚的总统​​巴沙尔阿拉德正在巩固叙利亚与伊朗和俄罗斯帮助的权力。伊拉克众多的什叶派民兵群体也在伊朗的控制下,伊朗被认为深入参与也门正在进行的冲突。

But Blanc warns against pigeonholing Iranian politics into a Shia-Sunni schism: Iran “has got some partnerships with Sunni actors in Afghanistan. You’ve got Shia actors in Iraq, some of whom are more or less aligned with Iran’s interests. So, I don’t think it’s a totally straightforward Sunni-Shia split.”

Blanc says the Arab states are not interested in ramping up tensions: “The Emiratis and, to a lesser extent, the Saudis, have been looking for ways to backchannel and reach out to Iran. … I don’t think that people in the region are looking for a new Sunni-Shia cold war. Certainly not a hot war.”

Blanc解释了美国政府如何影响伊朗及其周围地区的地区动态。

但是家里的合法性很少

However, Iran’s role as a Middle East powerbroker hasn’t translated into public support at home. As Blanc explains, “They’ve played the game pretty well. But in a broader sense, you’re talking about a country that should be rich, happy and globally connected. And it’s none of those things.”

“所以,如果你从一个非常狭窄的镜头看到它,政权希望在国家安全政策方面取得什么,所以可以获得良好的成绩。就政府应该为人民做些什么来说,他们应该是一个卑鄙的失败。“

Indeed, the Iranian government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis was slow and the subsequent lack of transparency has enraged many of its citizens. Iran has sufferedmore than 5,000deaths from the coronavirus, with satellite photos showing Iranian authorities digging mass graves for victims of the pandemic.

伊朗议会reportreleased in mid-April revealed that the nation’s death toll from coronavirus was double the figures previously acknowledged, and the country’s infection rate could be eight to 10 times higher than what the government has confirmed.

Blanc explains that Iran narrowly focuses on national security while missing the mark on supporting its people.

仍然有信仰JCPOA

In January this year, the death of military commander Qasem Soleimani by a U.S. airstrike饱和世界各地的媒体网点。但随着Blanc的指出,“伊朗是一种具有现代军事官僚机构的现代状态。通过所有账户,Soleimani是该官僚机构的有效领导者,可能有点不太有效,有点效率较低,没有他。但它并不像是这是一个崇拜的个性,在那里你拿出个性,结构消失了。下一个人接管了。我们不应该,我不认为,期待巨大的有效性退化,结果是一项大规模的政策变化。“

而且,伊朗的nuclear program自2018年美国政府从JCPOA退出并恢复了经济制裁以来一直持续。另一方面,欧洲延长了伊朗未能遵守核对核计划的时间限制后延长了新制裁的截止日期 - 基本上与俄罗斯和中国寻找恢复核交易的方法。

据Blanc说,“到目前为止,我会说伊朗人似乎仍然相信以某种方式回到桌子的最佳方式通过JCPOA。”

Blanc explains US-Iran dynamics in the context of Iran’s nuclear program.

National Survival Is On the Line

Iranian pocketbooks are feeling the pain. According to Blanc, “In a very, very tactical sense, the [sanctions] program has achieved its goals. … It has put Iran under tremendous economic pressure — negative 10% economic growth last year, they’ve got high unemployment, inflation has gone back up.” The coronavirus pandemic now threatens to further weaken an already limping economy.

尽管如此,Blanc认为,美国需求“直行为伊朗国防战略的核心,或其制度生存战略,而且这些不是伊朗或任何其他人为纯粹经济效益交易的事情。”

Altamar是一个由前大西洋委员会高级副总裁彼得舍克特和屡获殊荣的记者·穆尼森举办的全球政治博士。要收听完整集,请单击此处。

Jarrett Blanc

地质经济学和战略高级研究员在Carnegie捐赠国际和平 @JarrettBlanc

Jarrett Blanc is the senior fellow in Geoeconomics and Strategy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was previously the deputy lead coordinator and State Department coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation at the U.S. Department of State under President Obama, responsible for the full and effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, including Iranian and U.S. commitments on sanctions.

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