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TRT – Is Masoud Pezeshkian a game changer in Iran presidential election?

Voting is underway in Iran’s snap presidential election. The country is choosing a successor to Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash last month. Shahram Akbarzadeh, professor of Middle East Politics at Deakin University explains.  Watch Now

Iran’s Snap Election Casts a Long Shadow Over the State

Despite pressing domestic and foreign policy issues, Iranians could stay away from the polls in record-breaking numbers in a sign of their disillusionment.  Read Article

The Conversation – Iran’s presidential hopefuls are all on X and Instagram – despite the fact most social media platforms are banned

Most of these candidates have previously supported internet censorship, highlighting the paradox in their campaign strategies. For instance, in February, Jalili advocated for more stringent internet restrictions, warning that without bold action, “the country will face damage”. Yet, the campaigns are now strategically using social media to highlight issues likely to resonate with younger voters.  Read Article

Ten Years After the Islamic State Conquered Mosul

The Islamic State’s conquest of Mosul left behind a brutal legacy and uncertain future. A decade on, Iraq and the international community will need to prepare for the potential resurgence of the Islamic State or the emergence of a new, more violent terrorist network.  Read Article

Morning Wave in Busan – The Future of Iran

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash along with the foreign minister and other officials on the 19th, local time. Raisi had been tipped as a possible successor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran has spent decades supporting armed groups and militants in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Palestinian territories, and so this recent death is expected to reverberate across the Middle East.  Watch Now

Iran in the Middle East: Building Bridges or Expanding Influence?

On 22 April 2024, Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh moderated an international webinar on Iran in the Middle East. This session was co-hosted by the Middle East Council on Global Affairs (Doha) an the Middle East Studies Forum at Deakin University.  The panel included Dr Azadeh Zamirirad, Deputy Head of Africa and the Middle East, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Prof Mehran Kamrava, Professor of Government, Georgetown University in Qatar & Director of Iranian Studies Unit at the Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies, and Dr Hamidreza Azizi, Visiting Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and Non-resident Fellow, Middle East Council on Global Affairs. The panel discussed how conflict between Iran and Isarel impacts Iran’s relations with its neighbours and its implications for its global agenda.

TRT – What is the prospect of reaching an Israel-Hamas truce in Cairo?

There have been conflicting reports of progress towards a truce in Gaza following a new round of ceasefire talks in Cairo. Egyptian state media earlier reported the talks are making progress, but a Hamas official has denied the claims. Shahram Akbarzadeh from Deakin University has more on the prospect of a ceasefire.  Watch Now

Sputnik – Even With AI ‘Kill List’, Israel ‘No Closer to Achieving’ Goals Six Months Into Gaza War

“Six months after Israel launched its attack under the banner of self-defense and the stated objective of destroying Hamas, Israel is no closer to achieving its military goals,” Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh, a Middle Eastern politics expert at Deakin University in Australia, told Sputnik.  Read Article

ABC Listen – Iran strike fuels Middle East conflict

Another suspected Israeli missile attack has struck the Iranian embassy in Syria, killing a number of Iranian generals. The strike is being seen as a dramatic escalation in tensions between Israel and Iran and could hold far-reaching implications for the region.  Listen

Interview: Election Results Confirm Iranian Regime’s Legitimacy at Risk, Potentially Non-existent

Reminding that elections are pivotal in justifying Iranian religious leadership and sustaining political legitimacy, Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh emphasizes that the recent turnout data from Iran’s elections serves as a stark wake-up call for authorities. He argues that the low turnout raised serious concerns for the regime’s legitimacy and underscores that the Iranian regime has come to recognize that its legitimacy is significantly at risk, perhaps even non-existent.  Read Interview

TRT – Blinken: US submits draft Gaza ceasefire resolution to UNSC

The US is asking for a UN Security Council vote on an ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza. The announcement was made by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Saudi Arabia. Shahram Akbarzadeh from Deakin University has more.  Watch Now

MESF 2023 Annual Report Released

2023 was a defining year, being host to many milestones for our members. We also held several successful events including two multi-day hybrid workshops on the ‘Emerging digital technologies and the future of democracy in the Muslim world’. View online