As Nuclear Talks Stall, Iran Pursues Regional Diplomacy

Raisi government hopes to improve ties with neighbors

While the centerpiece of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s foreign policy since his election has been trying to salvage the P5+1 nuclear deal, the relative slowdown of that process has allowed him to assert his own diplomatic inclinations.

That policy is one his allies call a “balanced” approach to improving relations where he can. In practice that has meant meeting with neighbor nations.

Iran has hosted three presidents already this month, the presidents of nearby Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and the more distant ally Venezuela. Raisi and Venezuela’s Maduro signed a 20-year cooperation plan, seeking to further energy, trade, and technology plans.

Iran has visits with Qatar, Syria, and Turkey either coming or just wrapping up. The biggest focuses are likely to be China and Russia, two major powers acting to ally with Iran in the nuclear talks, and both showing willingness to veto unwarranted UN resolutions against Iran.

While Iran isn’t abandoning the nuclear process, they’re also trying to stake out an effort to improve relations with an array of nations around the world, particularly in their region, to try to build up as many working relationships as they can.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.