Rasanah issues Iran Case File for November

An Iranian soldier stands guard overlooking a pro-government rally organized by authorities in Tehran, Iran, denouncing violent protests over a government-imposed fuel price hike. Even among hard-liners in Iran, there seems to be an acknowledgment of one fact after widespread protests, violence and a security force crackdown following government-set gasoline prices spiking: This will not be the last time demonstrators come out on the street. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) has just issued its monthly Iran Case File (ICF) for November 2019.

It provides an accurate and detailed review of Iranian affairs, exploring its features and interactions at various levels.

The report tackled on three main parts: Internal Affairs, International Affairs and Arab Affairs.

The November Protests

The report explores how the Iranian establishment took steps this month which widened the gap between it and the Shiite citizens in Iraq and Lebanon.

The Iranian religious establishment embraced a position that stands in opposition to the popular protests in the two countries.

The Iranian establishment believes that the protests were instigated to undermine the Arbaeen marches in Iraq.

And that they’re trying to sow discord between the Iraqi and Iranian people.

They also target the axis of resistance and punish Iraqi officials who stood in the face of the illegitimate demands of Israel and the United States.

The Political File discusses the broader social and economic causes of the protests. It attributes the spread across Iranian territories to the government’s decision to raise the prices of gasoline.

The report described the move as surprising! it did not take into account the social dimensions and the subsequent suffering of the people.

Gasoline Crisis

The Economic File reviews the gasoline crisis that has propelled many other social and economic problems.

It sees it as a direct result of the decline in the state’s revenues due to the embargo imposed on Iranian oil exports as well as the decline of all Iranian economic indicators due to US sanctions.

  • Iranian oil exports declined from 2.5 million bpd before the sanctions to about 125,000 bpd.
  • Economic growth rates fell from 12.5% in 2016 to a negative growth of 9.5% in 2019.
  • Foreign investment fled from Iran after the country succeeded in attracting nearly $9bn in 2016 to reach $3.4bn in 2018.
  • Meanwhile, the exchange rate increased from 4,009 tomans per US dollar in 2017 to 11,900 tomans in August 2019.

The Military File reports that Iran is now working on an ambitious program to boost the capabilities of its naval forces. This is with the aim of conducting intensive movements in deep waters and achieving military superiority regionally.

Iraqi Protesters Reject Iran’s Influence in their country

Arab Affairs discusses the widespread protests have been ongoing in Iraq over the past two months.

The strongest participation in the protests also appeared in the Shiite-majority southern provinces.

The protesters reiterated their rejection of sectarianism, confirming that their protests have arisen due to a growing national sentiment.

The foremost popular demand has been for a total change of the political system. With the aim of getting rid of sectarian quotas, naming a new prime minister, amending the electoral law and dissolving the Parliament.

Iraqi protesters also reiterated their unmitigated rejection of Iranian meddling in Iraqi affairs by setting fire to the Iranian flag, and tearing up pictures of the supreme leader and Qods Force commander.

They also burnt the Iranian consulate in Karbala and targeting the headquarters of armed militias loyal to Iran.

Iran has also put pressure on Abdul-Mahdi to stay in office and suppress the protests through the use of repressive security measures.

However, the demands of the protesters have been met as Abdul-Mahdi resigned.

Moreover, Arab Affairs explores the latest development in the Yemeni crisis the month of November.

Riyadh Agreement

The legitimate government and the Southern Transitional Council signed the Riyadh Agreement. It stipulates that the government shall form a cabinet composed of 24 ministers.

The ministerial positions shall also be divided equally between the northern and southern provinces of Yemen.

Iran was agitated by the agreement and described it as “incomplete.”

Finally, International Affairs reviews the latest developments in the crisis between the United States and Tehran.

The United States has openly declared support for the protests in Iran and blamed the Iranian government for killing protesters.

It also imposed a new package of sanctions on the country, including nine individuals and entities close to the supreme leader.

Moreover, France, the UK and Germany hinted at the possibility of activating the dispute settlement mechanism in the JCPOA to refer the nuclear file to the UN Security Council through which and impose UN sanctions on Iran.