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PeaceRep’s Iran research


PeaceRep’s Iran research seeks to explore the factors influencing Iran’s shifting foreign policy and what it means for the region.

Iran is undergoing a major shift in its regional strategy. The assassination of Qassem Soleimani by US drone strike in 2020 eliminated a key element of the Islamic Republic’s “axis of resistance”, and in the two years since, the Republic’s leadership has struggled to realise the same gains from its long-running regional security strategy. In countries where it was formerly in a position of significant influence, such as Iraq and Lebanon, Iran has come under increasing pressure from opposition political forces as well as popular protest movements mobilizing against foreign interference.

A woman wearing a hijab walks past a mural depicting the flag of Iran in Tehran, April 2023. Photo by Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The reimposition of sanctions following the US’s withdrawal from the JCPOA has also instigated a shift. As the prospects of a renewal of the 2015 nuclear agreement look increasingly unlikely, Tehran is seeking to build its economic resilience and diversify its supply chains of critical goods to cushion the ongoing impact of sanctions. There is a growing understanding amongst the country’s leadership that a dominant regional presence and productive relationships with neighbour states provide not solely a security benefit, but an economic one.

PeaceRep’s Iran research seeks to explore answers to the following questions:
• How, why and where is Iran’s foreign policy strategy shifting to respond to regional and geopolitical challenges?
• How are internal political dynamics shaping Iran’s shifting international strategy?
• How is Iran managing external threats at its borders and challenges from Israel, Turkey, and the Gulf Arab states?
• How and where can policymakers navigate and mitigate Iran’s regional influence across the region?

The Iran article series

A new series of research articles brings together insights from Iranian and regional experts on Iran’s domestic and foreign affairs, with a focus on the key issues currently impacting on policy and decision-making. See below for all articles in the series


The Iran article series is produced by collaborators at the Chatham House Middle East and North Africa Programme, with the support of PeaceRep.

Chatham House is a leading independent convener on critical global policy issues, seeking to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world. Its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme provides clear and objective analysis on key political and economic issues affecting the MENA region. Through in-depth locally based research, high-level events and continuous engagement with regional stakeholders, the programme delivers impactful projects that support and inform international policy, media, research and public dialogue.



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