With hardliner Raisi likely to be Prez, women’s freedom in Iran may get hit: Israeli expert

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By Arun Lakshman
Chennai, June 19 |
As an Iran-expert at one of the most important security institute in Israel and the Middle East, Dr. Raz Zimmt’s views on Iran, its domestic and foreign policies, are keenly followed by the strategic and political community globally.

Here are excerpts of an exclusive interview of Zimmt to IANS, held forth on the likely scenarios to unfold after the Iran elections held on June 18.

With Iran facing tough US economic sanctions and the Iranians trying to restore their nuclear deal of 2015 and the country’s Supreme Spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s dictum being the last word, pollsters and opinion poll agencies say that the voting percentage is expected to be only 42. This could be a Presidential election with the least voter turnout ever since the Islamic Revolution in Iran of 1979.

Q: What outcome can be expected of the Iranian elections held on June 18?

A: The Iranian elections have been very very unexpected. We all remember the surprises we had when reformist leader Mohammed Hatami won in 1997, when Mahmoud Ahmadinajad won in 2005, and another surprise when Hassan Rouhani won in 2013.

However, we have to say that due to the mass disqualifications of high-ranking Iranian officials, especially former speaker of the “Majlis” Ali Larijani, I can say that it will take a miracle for anyone other than the hardliner judge, Ebrahimi Raisi to win.

It is very clear that the Supreme Leader and the regime want no one other than Raisi to win the elections that is why they have disqualified a lot of leaders who would have posed a challenge to him.

Three other presidential candidates have also withdrawn from the fray and the former Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnasser Hametti has a chance of getting some votes from the reformists but is very unlikely for him to win.

Q: Will Iran change its policy if the present opposition comes to power?

A: Let me make it clear that I wouldn’t call it opposition, Ebrahim Raisi is not a member of the opposition, he is a member of the judiciary and an integral part of the Iranian regime.

It’s a pragmatic coalition of hardliners and regarding policy change, the bottom line is that there won’t be any major policy changes. However, in domestic policy, it will be the more hardline position for the women in Iran and more Islamisation will come into being.

The economic policy may change a bit as Rouhani adopted a more liberal policy but Raisi will promote “Resistance” economy or an Economy not much dependent on the West.

As far as foreign policy is concerned, Iran’s foreign policy is not decided by the President but by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as the revolutionary guards and the National Security Council of Iran. Ultimately there will not be much of a change in policy owing to a change in the President.

Q: Is the Supreme Spiritual Leader Khamenei more determinant in Iran than an elected government?

A: Yes certainly. He is the major decision-maker in Iran. Of course, he doesn’t make decisions himself, he has the Supreme Advisory Council, there are other power centres in Iran, including the Clerical establishment, the Revolutionary Guards. Overall I can say that the President of Iran or the government cannot contradict the strategy adopted by Khamenei. The policies of Iran will be decided by this Shia cleric, Khamenei.

The President of Iran implements the strategy adopted by the Supreme Leader Khamenei and the supreme national security council, as well as the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Q: Iran and Israel were good friends four decades ago. Any possibilities of such a bonhomie returning?

A: As long as Iran continues with the Khamenei regime which is obsessed with the anti-Israeli views and actions, I don’t think that there ever can be a friendship between Iran and Israel.

The Iranian position towards Israel which refuses to even recognize the right of Israel to exist has been a major part of Iran’s official ideology. It continues to support Palestine Islamic organizations like Hezbollah with arms and ammunition and its continued actions of entrenching Syria militarily as well as developing its nuclear capabilities show that it is totally against Israel.

More than that most, of the decision-makers are for annihilating Israel. As far as this regime which continues to support anti-Israeli forces continues, I don’t think that there would be any major changes in Iran’s policy towards Israel.

(Dr. Raz Zimmt is Iran Expert in Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Tel Aviv, Israel)

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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