Outreach to Iran: EWI and IPIS Conclude MoU

News | June 20, 2016

The nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions offer a window of opportunities for Iran to economically and politically reintegrate into the international community. Against this background, EWI and Tehran-based think-tank IPIS solidified their partnership by signing a MoU.

Short-term joint projects will be an international conference on Afghanistan to be held in Iran, and a seminar on the technicalities of lifting sanctions to be held in Brussels. At the same time, EWI—which sees itself as a non-partisan broker—will continue its informal dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia in cooperation with the German think-tank CARPO. 

EastWest Institute’s Vice President for Regional Security, Ambassador Martin Fleischer, and the director of EWI’s MENA program, Kawa Hassan, visited Tehran from June 6 to 9, 2016, at the invitation of The Institute for Political and International Studies of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IPIS). Along with IPIS’s director, Dr. Mostafa Zahrani, Amb. Fleischer signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pave the way for cooperation not only in the field of research and academic exchange but notably in “Track-II Diplomacy.”

The MoU says in this regard: “The Contracting Parties shall jointly work towards holding or facilitating workshops and similar programmatic activities with the purpose of promoting cross-border trust-building across policy areas. Special regional and international issues of mutual interest include the future of Afghanistan and its neighborhood, migration, refugees, combating narcotic drug trafficking, environment, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, as well as security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf region.”

Amb. Fleischer and Mr. Hassan also held talks with other academic institutions, such as Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies. In addition, Mr. Hassan gave two presentations at Tehran International Studies and Research Institute (TISRI) and Center for Strategic Research (CSR) on the war against ISIS and Post-ISIS Syria and Iraq. 

The delegation also visited the Iranian Trade promotion Agency (TPA) with a view to engaging Iranian businesses into EWI’s Afghanistan Reconnected Process, which promotes regional economic cooperation in greater Central Asia.