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Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Future Of Iran : Reintegration Into The World Economy

editor

“What I truly wish is for moderation (Wassatiyah) to return to the country. This is my only wish.”

Hassan Rouhani the new President of Iran.

Hassan Rouhani reimagined Iran as a model for “reintegration into the world economy” and “playing a constructive role” in world affairs. 

Center for Strategic Research (CSR), a think tank behind Hassan Rouhani.

For the past twenty years, Rouhani has spent part of his time here as president of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR), a think tank that informs the Expediency Council, the chief advisory board to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on political and economic matters. Through this experience, Rouhani had “the privilege to develop a pragmatic moderate trend” in Iranian politics.

There, he cultivated some of the country’s brightest moderate minds, many of whom he will likely bring into his administration.

CSR was founded in 1989 at a decisive moment in Iran’s history. Just two months after the death of Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

A decade after the revolution, the shape of Iranian society remains ill-defined. Questions as basic as whether the country is committed to a free-enterprise economy or should shift to socialism still are wide open.

But with reformists in charge, CSR fast became Iran’s most important think tank, an “attractive place” for academics and intellectuals to hold open-ended discussions on economic, security, and cultural affairs.

Rouhani recruited thinkers like Mahmoud Vaezi, an influential diplomat who had commandeered Iran’s shuttle diplomacy in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 1992, and economic whiz Mohammed Bagher Nobakht, who envisaged the rerouting of oil revenues into infrastructure and social development projects. Ali Younesi also joined CSR as deputy director, where he advocated for the removal of restrictions on the activities of print media and civil society organizations.

With his brain trust assembled, Rouhani attempted an ambitious experiment: to establish an alternative “conservative moderate” political ideology. CSR offered a “third way,” trying to bridge the conservative-reformist divide that was narrowly focused on domestic debates over “ideological ideas or political reforms.” Instead, the new approach put equal emphasis on “constructive” foreign policy and economic development.

Behind Rouhani’s leadership and the ideas of people like Vaezi, Norbakht, and Younesi, the center reimagined Iran as a model for “reintegration into the world economy” and “playing a constructive role” in world affairs.

Iran with GDP: $876 billion (2009 est.) World Rank: 17. Major Exports: Petroleum (80%), chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets.

Population: 66.4 million. Religion: Muslim 98% (Shia 89%, Sunni 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%.

Clearly the Shia bashing in Malaysia by the religious people is not productive in fostering economics relationship between Iran and Malaysia.

There are many economics agendas can be discussed between DS Najib and President Hassan Rouhani for the mutual benefits of both countries.

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