The joint virtual session between the Iranian Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and the Middle East Institute of Japan (MEIJ) about the regional and international issues was held on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
The session was attended by Dr.Majid Ghafelebashi, Research Deputy at the Center; Saeid Ghaderi, Senior Afghanistan Expert at IPIS; Ali Khoshroo, Former Iranian Ambassador to the UN; and Hassan Ahmadian, Senior University Advisor; Mr.Akitaka Saiki, President of MEIJ (recorded) and Mr.Kenta Aoki, Top Researchers; and Mr.Kiyoshi Asako, Deputy at said institute.
The session was held in the form of two panels, “The Afghanistan Peace Process and Persian Gulf Developments”, and “Biden Administration’s Approach to the JCPOA”, to answer the following questions:
- What will be the consequences of a full US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan?
- What is the role of the regional and trans-regional countries in the Afghanistan peace process? How Iran and Japan can expedite this process?
- What challenges and barriers are there in the Persian Gulf region that destabilize and intensify tensions in the region? What is the impact of the change of balance of power and regional dynamism in the Middle East?
- What are the probable scenarios ahead of the JCPOA under the shadow of the regional and international developments?
- What are the impacts of the Iran-China 25-year Cooperation Plan on the expansion of regional connections?
Here are the most important issues touched upon at the session:
- We are witnessing positive and negative developments in the Middle East; positive developments like countries’ efforts to reduce tensions and the start of Iran- Saudi talks which are going on in Iraq, as well as progress in the 5+1 talks for reviving JCPOA. On the other side, some negative developments like Israeli-Palestinian military confrontation and Biden administration’s declaration about the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan are unfolding that cause concerns.
- The Doha Agreement between the US and the Taliban led to Taliban being recognized as a political actor. This agreement never guarantees sustainable peace in Afghanistan. Generally, due to its upper hand on the ground, the Taliban is not interested in reaching an agreement with the Afghan government.
- The US withdrawal from Afghanistan must be responsible, because Taliban seeks to recapture Kabul and dominate the entire Afghanistan, a matter that worries Afghanistan’s neighbors. To establish a reliable ceasefire and prevent the Taliban from overtaking Afghanistan, it is urgent to hold an international conference in which all regional and international actors are present.
- Israel has been occupying Arab lands for 70 years and this issue has been stipulated in the UNSC resolutions. The Israeli regime is the agent of instability and insecurity in the region.
- The Biden administration is trying to revive the JCPOA because it knows that the only way to control and supervise Iran’s nuclear program is the JCPOA agreement. The Vienna talks is not for reaching a new agreement, but it is about how the US will return to this agreement.
- The long-term Iran- China agreement with an economic nature to maximize both countries’ interests is not against any third country. The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to conclude similar agreements with other countries like Japan, India, and the European Union.