An unprecedented tug-of-war might be in the offing; Khamenei and Rafsanjani, symbolizing the status quo versus the promise of reform, each see the succession process as a both a pivotal juncture for their country and their individual legacies.
The failed outcome of last Sunday’s summit in Doha by top oil exporters was no surprise. Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Zangeneh, from the outset considered it to a politically toxic event to be avoided. He did not go nor did he send a replacement. As Zangeneh put it to Iranian state television, “It [does not] make sense to send any representative from the Islamic Republic, as we are not part of the decision to freeze output.”
No figure in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s tightknit cabinet was more lifted by the recent Iranian election results than Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh. The Iranian economy hangs on his ability to deliver on his ambitious plans to attract $200 billion in foreign investment to expand Iran’s enormous oil and gas export potential.
The Middle East Institute’s IranObserved project provides daily tracking and analysis of Iranian policies and actions at home and abroad. The project aims to help policy makers and practitioners, as well as all organizations and individuals interested in the Middle East, to identify and understand the Islamic Republic’s soft power and hard power strategies, Iran’s regional proxies and support networks, major sociopolitical developments inside Iran, and Iranian political and military leaders that shape and implement Tehran’s domestic and external actions. The reports and analysis are drawn directly from the Farsi-language press and media published inside Iran.