The war waged in late 2020 between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh was an abrupt reminder of Iran’s vastly diminished role and influence in its northern frontier. Coming at the back of increased Chinese and Indian presence in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and aware of Tehran’s critical role in Beijing and New Delhi’s strategic visions for increased connectivity with Europe via these regions, this paper makes the case that Iranian officials’ strategy for revitalisation of Tehran’s influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus largely rests on attracting Chinese and Indian investments into their own strategically located Free Trade and Special Economic Zones. Notwithstanding Iran’s vision of becoming a bridge between the landlocked nations of Central Asia and the vibrant markets of East and South Asia, however, Tehran’s efforts have been frustrated by its reactionary and ideological foreign policy-making, both of which have turned it into a risky partner for China and India whose long-term agreements have created more (inter)national news headlines and less economic opportunities for the Islamic Republic.
15:00 - 15:05 Opening remarks
OSCE Academy moderator
15:05 - 15:35 Report Presentation – Iran’s Aspirations and Prospects in the Emerging Chinese-Indian Nexus in Central Asia and the Caucasus
A Research Associate at the Arctic Institute in Washington DC, United States of America and Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy
15:35 - 16:00 Q&A Session
About the Speaker & the Fellowship
Nima Khorrami is a Research Associate at The Arctic Institute in Washington DC, United States of America. His areas of interest and expertise lie at the intersection of geopolitics, infrastructure, and technology. Nima has experience working in PR, policy research and advocacy, and marketing in Europe and the Middle East, and frequently writes both analytical and opinion pieces for a number of publications. Over the course of his fellowship at the AiB, Nima will lead two separate research projects on Iran and Turkey. With regard to the former, his research seeks to unpack Iran’s importance in China and India's strategies towards Central Asia and how Tehran uses - could use - China’s BRI and India’s Connect Central Asia initiatives to advance its interests. In his other project, he will investigate the implications of Turkey’s growing influence in Central Asia-Caucasus for NATO’s regional posturing in the context of NATO’s recently released 2030 Vision dossier.
The OSCE Academy Associate Research Fellowship (ARF) was launched in 2017 and aims to support PhD Candidates and/or Post-Doctoral researchers in conducting their research projects and provide institutional affiliation to independent researchers. The length of the fellowship is from six to twelve months and is open for Bishkek-based and non-Bishkek residents. The Academy provides Fellows with access to the library and all available online resources as well as with an opportunity to present their research and to deliver a lecture to students and the public. The Academy assists the Associate Research Fellows to make a presentation on her/his research and to publish their results in one of the OSCE Academy’s outlets.