Research Activities
Present Political Situation in Iran
2nd Meeting (Group 1)
■Speaker :Prof. Tosei Sano (Ryukoku University)
■Place :Meeting Room, 8th Building, Ryukoku University, Fukakusa campus
■Date :July 29, 2005
■Number :05010201
Discussant: Mr. Isamu Nakashima (The Middle East Research Institute Of Japan)

Prof. Sano scrutinized major developments in modern and contemporary Iranian history from the perspectives of nationalism and Islamism in order to understand the historical context of the present political situation in Iran. Iranian politics experienced two extremes in the past. While the Pahlavi dynasty was a case of excessive nationalism, the political regime of Ayatollah Khomeini was one of excessive Islamism. Based on these understandings of Iranian history, he concluded that in the future Iran would tacitly slide into the direction of an “Iranian version of Islamic nationalism.”

Mr. Isamu Nakashima, the discussant, suggested that it might be possible to categorize peoples of the Middle Eastern region into two groups in terms of their attitudes toward nationalism and Islamism. One is ethnic groups such as Turks and Iranians that have traditionally had their own countries. They tend to have a strong determination to defend their countries or territories. The other is Arabic people who were under the control of the Ottoman Empire (the present Turkey). For them religion is much more important than the state.

The issues raised during the discussion included a comparison between Iran and Turkey, and the relationship between Iranian nationalism and nationalisms in other Islamic as well as Asian countries.
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