Archive for the ‘Regions’ Category


You’d be forgiven for thinking that Iran, unshackled from economic sanctions, would have free rein to domineer its vulnerable Persian Gulf Arab neighbors and cause trouble for Israel. As the fearful refrain goes, if an Iran restrained by crippling sanctions has managed to assert its influence over four Arab capitals — those of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen — what will an Iran freed from sanctions and a global arms embargo do? As noted Iran hawk Ray Takeyh recently wrote, “the most important legacy of the prospective agreement [may be that it] enable[d] the Islamic Republic’s imperial surge.” This same line has been pushed so hard that it has become accepted fact in Washington.

The problem is, the line isn’t true. But, nonetheless, it is threatening to upend a lasting nuclear deal with Iran.

As the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries head down to the wire in Vienna, the issue has arisen in the question of whether the arms embargo imposed on Iran as part of the U.N. Security Council resolutions would be maintained following a nuclear deal. The United States and its European partners say yes; Russia, China, and Iran say no.

The timing is troubling to say the least. Just as solutions have been found to constrain and roll back elements of Iran’s nuclear program, this issue — one that’s outside the scope of the nuclear talks — is now taking on such exaggerated importance that it threatens to undo the serious progress of the past 18 months. Having performed so well at insulating the nuclear talks from outside complications, U.S. and Iranian negotiators have nearly reached agreement only to come to a standstill over this regional dimension. Of course, no one imagined back in 2010 that a conventional arms embargo — part of what was otherwise a U.N. Security Council resolution focused squarely on Iran’s nuclear-proliferation activities — would rear its ugly head in quite this manner.

The Russian and Iranian position is that the Security Council resolutions rested on the understanding that the arms embargo would be lifted once concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program were resolved. Provided that a deal is reached on Iran’s nuclear program, Russia and Iran thus argue, the arms embargo loses its legal justification. The current U.S. position, however, may be less interested in maintaining coherence with past policy than it is with ensuring that it mitigates regional allies’ concern as much as possible as part of a nuclear deal with Iran. Understandably, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration fears that undoing the arms embargo on Iran would be a step too far for some of the United States’ key regional allies, all of which — but particularly Saudi Arabia — threaten to undermine the administration’s case for a nuclear deal should they perceive their interests to dictate in favor of doing so. Read more…

Published on July 10th in

Trita Parsi is president of the National Iranian American Council and author of A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy With Iran.

Tyler Cullis is a legal fellow and policy associate at the National Iranian American Council.


 What Are the Geostrategic Implications of a Grexit?

At the the moment, it is unclear how Greece will ultimately fare in the current duel of wills with the Troika over its technical default, the upcoming referendum, and the possibility of a continuation of the long-running bailout drama. The two sides are locked in acrimonious finger-pointing, Greek banks are shuttered for the week, and the logical but ever elusive diplomatic and economic solution — a reasonable negotiation between the parties — seems further away than ever. As a proud Greek-American, I am saddened by the situation.

Meanwhile, the July 5 referendum is judged too close to call at the moment, and most Greeks will likely be confused about the implications and uncertain how to vote. Macroeconomic theory appears to have been the first casualty of the process, and the doomsday economic scenarios — a crashed Greek economy, a battered if not broken euro, and a deeply shaken European project — are looming large on the horizon.

But in the midst of all of the appropriate Sturm und Drang of the Greek financial and economic crisis, it is worth considering the geostrategic implications of the “Grexit” — which have been largely ignored.

Let’s face it: A Greece that goes crashing out of the eurozone will be an angry, disaffected, and battered nation — but one that will continue to hold membership in the European Union and NATO, both consensus-driven organizations. (“Consensus-driven” means that without unanimous consent among all members, the organization cannot take decisions or execute effective operational actions.) Many times in NATO councils as the supreme allied commander I watched the agonizing process of building consensus, one compromise at a time. In both the EU and NATO, an uncooperative Greece in the future could time and time again put the organizations “in irons,” which is to say becalmed and not moving effectively forward.

This could manifest itself very quickly in, for example, decisions about sanctions against Russia (from which Greece is avidly courting support and funding, logically enough). It could easily affect day-to-day governance in the European Union over issues from negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to agricultural subsidies to what should be done about refugee flows across the Mediterranean. Greece could become a troublesome and obstructionist actor in complex negotiations involving the EU, such as the Iranian nuclear treaty efforts.

 Read more…

James Stavridis is a retired four-star U.S. Navy admiral and NATO supreme allied commander who serves today as the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He recently gave a well attended seminar at the IE School of International Relations.


Published on 1 July, 2015 in


By Deniz Torcu, MIR 2014/2015 Current Student

The image that has started to go viral in social media amongst Greek users is simple, yet strong enough to explain the stand of the majority. It says a clear “NO”, however the rejection is composed of the sentence “YES TO THE EURO”.

My recent trip to Athens was a clear depiction of how devastated the country really is. The once busy neighbourhoods filled with restaurants, cafés and shops are now being replaced by two yellow signs that mark the desperation of the people: “for rent” and “for sale”, appearing side by side.

Yes, Greece owes billions of dollars. Yes, Greece cannot pay her debt to the IMF and has to redeem billions of bonds held by the ECB or run the risk of going into default.

These are the dry, non-human facts that we read in the news every day.

However, what we don’t get to read as much is the following: after the measures taken by the Greek governments over the past 5 years, the situation only got worse where the real GDP fell as much as 27%, unemployment rates broke a new record, pensions were cut by 48%, unofficial and non-registered labour started to make up as much as 34% of the entire labour force, and public debt kept growing finally reaching a level of nearly 180% of the GDP.

Do those developments seem as a healthy way to bring back an economy? Maybe to Angela Merkel and the German creditors who hold a majority of Greece’s debt, but definitely not to the Greek people.

Go to Greece, speak to ordinary people on the streets, the cafés, taxis, etc. You will hear stories like that of the taxi driver Antoni, who, despite having two degrees in hospital management, has to work in a rented taxi because the highest salary that he can get practicing his own profession doesn’t even reach 500 euros per month; he is thinking of migrating to Canada with his wife, even though he doesn’t want to leave Greece.

You will encounter the taverna owner Dimitri, who is concerned about the anti-Syriza propaganda that has been going strong from the creditors, pointing out to the fact that two extreme right-wing parties are already backing the government. There are fears that if Syriza is not given a proper chance to try to make things right, the fascist Golden Dawn would gain even more power.

Read more…

Published on 1 July, 2015 in

Deniz Torcu has a degree in Economics and previously worked for the Spanish governmental organization Instituto Cervantes and the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO. She currently studies International Relations at IE School of International Relations in Madrid as the Turkish scholar for 2014-2015.


Rene talk

IE School of International Relations and the IE Africa Club will host on Tuesday, June 23, Rene Meyer, a Master in International Relations (MIR) alumnus, who will present the African infrastructure challenge with particular focus on the power supply gap in African countries. He will also share his 3-year experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa and speak about particularities of the African business and government culture.

Date: Tuesday, June 23rd, 19:30

Room: MMB-603 (María de Molina 31bis, 6th floor)


For more information on the event and the speaker, click here.


Conoce a Ricardo Falcón

Written on June 17, 2015 by Waya Quiviger in Americas, Master in International Relations (MIR), Regions

Written by Jose Piquer, Program Development Officer.  


IE School of International Relations ofrece a sus alumnos del Master in International Relations (MIR) la opción de extender su formación en una de nuestras Universidades colaboradoras en Europa y Estados Unidos durante un período adicional. De la misma forma, cada año IE School of International Relations recibe a alumnos procedentes de estas universidades que se integran como alumnos del programa a tiempo completo.

Este año el Master in International Relations acogió a dos estudiantes: Lea Buhler y Ricardo Falcón. En esta entrevista, Ricardo Falcón, 2014/2015 MIR Exchange Student de la Universidad de Sciences Po en Francia, cuenta su experiencia como alumno de intercambio en IE School of International Relations.


Perfil personal y experiencia profesional

Mi nombre es Ricardo Falcón y soy mexicano. Estudié Ciencias Políticas en el Tec de Monterrey y luego hice una Maestría en Administración Pública. Tras graduarme trabajé unos años como consultor en temas energéticos y en la actualidad estoy cursando una Maestría en Energía Internacional en Sciences Po y realizando un intercambio en el IE.

¿Por qué elegiste hacer tu intercambio en IE School of International Relations?

Lo que más me llamó la atención es lo que ofrecía el IE: un entorno muy internacional en un sitio único como España. Además, creo que era un complemento ideal para el trabajo que estoy haciendo, pues el contenido del programa se complementaba perfectamente con mis objetivos profesionales y mis estudios en París. Lo comentaba con un compañero el otro día y para explicárselo utilicé una metáfora: Sciences Po se asemeja a una tienda enorme, con muchas posibilidades, mientras que aquí he encontrado una boutique preciosa, donde alguien te enseña desde el primer día todo el catálogo de posibilidades a tu disposición con una atención muy personalizada. Luego cada uno escoge lo que más le interesa de ese catálogo.

¿Cómo valorarías la experiencia de tu intercambio?

La verdad es que me ha encantado esta Maestría [Master in International Relations]. Yo destacaría sobre todo la calidad de los profesores y, de nuevo, la atención personalizada. Es cierto que es un programa muy intenso, exigente, pero destacaría el sentido de comunidad y la relación horizontal entre los alumnos y los profesores. En Sciences Po hay lectures con muchas personas, pero no siempre hay la misma interacción con los profesores.

¿Y cómo ha sido la relación con tus compañeros?

Me ha fascinado la diversidad porque creo que cuanto más diverso es el grupo, mucho mejor. Además, he percibido que los compañeros se esfuerzan mucho por contribuir al trabajo del equipo, así que más que como competidores se trabaja como un equipo.

Durante tu estancia han visitado el IE ponentes y expertos de prestigio internacional como parte del IR Speaker Series. ¿Cuáles han sido tus preferidos?

La verdad es que todos han sido muy interesantes, pero destacaría la conferencia de Marcos Troyjo, co-fundador y co-director del BRICLab en la Universidad de Columbia (EEUU) y el encuentro con Josep Borrell, Ex Presidente del Parlamento Europeo. Lo cierto es que ha sido una oportunidad única para escuchar e interactuar de manera exclusiva y en un ambiente distendido con profesionales brillantes.

¿Recomendarías el intercambio a otros estudiantes?

Aunque es una visión personal porque cada alumno llega con unas expectativas distintas, sí, recomendaría totalmente el intercambio. Es una experiencia muy interesante y gratificante.

Por último, ¿cuáles son tus planes de futuro?

En primer lugar, terminar mi programa en Sciences Po en junio de 2015, donde tengo que pasar un examen final para graduarme. Y después me encantaría volver al ámbito de la consultoría internacional.

We use both our own and third-party cookies to enhance our services and to offer you the content that most suits your preferences by analysing your browsing habits. Your continued use of the site means that you accept these cookies. You may change your settings and obtain more information here. Accept