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clear CIAO Focus, February 2000: Iran
Iran's upcoming parliamentary elections are being viewed with cautious optimism in the West. Reformists loyal to President Khatami are expected to win a majority of the seats, further enhancing the possibility of normalizing relations with Europe and the United States. Since the fall of the Shah in 1979, relations between Iran and the West have been tenuous at best and incendiary at worst. Iran's conservatives remain opposed to the improving of ties with the West, something that President Khatami and his supporters are widely believed to support. Regardless of the election's outcome, major obstacles to normalization remain: Iran is still considered to be the largest state sponsor of terrorism and is commonly considered to have an active nuclear weapons program. Iran remains the target of U.S. sanctions; however, the election's outcome and Iran's strategic importance may overshadow the need for such measures. The U.S. effort to open the government to dialogue on these and other issues hinges on what happens in Iran this February.

This month CIAO highlights changes in Iran:

From CIAO's database:

Iran in the Emerging Greater Middle East

Resolving the Security Dilemma in the Persian Gulf, With a postscript on The 1997/98 Iraqi Crisis

Iran - Protest Aftermath

Iran: Nuclear Infrastructure, from Tracking Nuclear Proliferation: A Guide in Maps and Charts

A Study of Iran's Responses to US Economic Sanctions

Russian-Iranian Relations and Regional Stability

Outside Links*:

From the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Kingdom

CIA World Factbook - Iran

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine [].