In February 2018, anticipating the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared a policy of “preferring East over West”, thus paving the way for deeper cooperation with Asian powers such as China, Russia, and India. Differently from the “Look East” policy promoted during the presidency of Ahmadinejad (2005-2013), the current Iranian strategy is not only functional to escape the US-led isolation, but it rather seems devoted to the consolidation of a block of power which can commit to security and economic schemes in alternative to the Western-dominated ones.
This ISPI report aims to answer few crucial questions: Which are the major initiatives promoted within Iran’s “Look East 2.0” strategy? To what extent will Tehran succeed in creating a solid Eastern block? What will be the influence of the wider geopolitical context? And finally, what role is left for the EU?
ISPI. The Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) is an independent think tank dedicated to being a resource for government officials, business executives, journalists, civil servants students and the public at large wishing to better understand international issues. It monitors geopolitical areas as well as major trends in international affairs. Founded in Milan in 1934, ISPI is the only Italian Institute – and one of the few in Europe – to place research activities side by side to training, organization of international conferences, and the analysis of the international environment for businesses. Comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis is achieved through close collaboration with experts (academics and non-academics alike) in political, economic, legal, historical and strategic studies and through an evergrowing network of think tanks, research centers, and Universities in Europe and beyond.