Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/31/2012 -- By the end of March 2012 it was still unclear whether the crisis surrounding Iran's nuclear programme would reach a diplomatic or military conclusion.
Having just held talks with the US president, Barack Obama, at the Seoul Nuclear Summit, the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Tehran in late March for meetings with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His trip was interpreted as preparation for a make-or-break mid- April summit, possibly to be held in Istanbul, involving Iran and the group of countries known as the P5+1: China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US. Erdogan's intervention was seen as critical because he shares some common ground with those on both sides of the argument, and is therefore someone who could help broker a peaceful solution.
View Full Report Details and Table of Contents
The summit could offer Iran a diplomatic lifeline, as sanctions begin to ramp up pressure on its economy and Israel makes preparations to launch military action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Iranian oil exports fell in March, and Chinese purchases declined significantly (due to a pricing dispute, rather than any Chinese decision to fall in line with Western sanctions). With EU imports also set to drop off over the next few months as sanctions kick in, Iran faces a very tough economic outlook unless it can reach a deal. However, there was some good news for Iran in late March when the US decided to exempt 10 EU countries and Japan, which had already reduced their imports, from the sanctions.
Parliamentary elections in March appeared to pile more political pressure on Ahmadinejad, whose party failed to win a majority and whose sister suffered defeat in her electoral constituency. However, it was unclear how successful an opposition call for voters to boycott the election had actually proved, with no independent verification of the turnout available.
In February Ahmadinejad announced that he was more than doubling the country's defence budget by ordering a 127% increase, although he did not disclose Tehran's current level of defence spending. Iran also unveiled a series of new military systems, which underlined the fact that attacking the country could pose some serious tactical challenges to US or Israeli forces. State TV profiled a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the Shaparak in March, while defence minister General Ahmad Vahidi announced in February that a new anti-ship cruise missile, the Zafar, had entered series production. Vahidi also said that the Iranian defence industry had successfully developed a new type of guided artillery shell.
About Fast Market Research
Fast Market Research is an online aggregator and distributor of market research and business information. Representing the world's top research publishers and analysts, we provide quick and easy access to the best competitive intelligence available. Our unbiased, expert staff will help you find the right research to fit your requirements and your budget. For more information about these or related research reports, please visit our website at http://www.fastmr.com or call us at 1.800.844.8156.
Browse all Defense research reports at Fast Market Research
You may also be interested in these related reports:
- Colombia Defence & Security Report Q3 2012
- Iraq Defence & Security Report Q3 2012
- Bulgaria Defence & Security Report Q3 2012
- Brazil Defence & Security Report Q3 2012
- Australia Defence & Security Report Q2 2012
- Vietnam Defence & Security Report Q1 2012
- Japan Defence & Security Report Q2 2012
- India Defence & Security Report Q2 2012
- Singapore Defence & Security Report Q1 2012
- Turkey Defence & Security Report Q2 2012