Seminar on Iranian Studies

Dear Iranian Studies Seminar Members and Guests,
The fifth meeting of the 27th consecutive year of Columbia University Seminar on
Iranian Studies for the academic year 2014-2015 will take place on:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
at 5:30 pm in the
Faculty House of Columbia University

Our speaker will be
Dr. Hisae Nakanishi
Professor of the Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University
(Visiting Scholar at the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University)
who will lead the discussion on the topic of:
The Construction of the Sanction Regime against Iran: Political and Strategic Dimensions
We will gather in the lounge of Faculty House from 5:00-5:30.
Seminar will start at 5:30.

Please notify our rapporteur, Zeinab A. Azarbadegan at: <zaa2117@columbia.edu> if you will attend the
lecture. (Please also specify if you will stay for dinner, $25.00 payable by check.)
We are looking forward to the pleasure of seeing you at the seminar.

To reach the Faculty House:
Enter the Wien Hall Gate on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and
Morningside Drive. Walk past Wien Hall, then turn right to the Faculty House.


Based on extensive field research in Iran, this lecture shows how unilateral and multilateral economic sanction regimes against Iran have shifted since 9/11. It argues how Iran has maneuvered political and economic pressures caused by the sanction regime. The justification for the sanctions changed from a vague threat of Iran as supporter of terrorism to the presence of Iran’s ambiguous nuclear ambition. As the Middle East security challenges developed, particularly since 2006 in Iraq and 2011 in Syria, both the US and Iran shared some political interests and made significant, yet limited cooperation in stabilizing Afghanistan and Iraq. Six UNSC resolutions (2006-2011) ordered Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment. Yet, Iran maneuvered the nuclear negotiations into the signing of the Joint Plan of Action, a diplomatic breakthrough agreed in November, 2013. Consequently, Iran agreed to limit and temporarily suspend uranium enrichment but did not lose its right to enrichment stipulated in NPT. Iran’s political and strategic leverage in Iraq and Syria will have an impact on the long-term nuclear agreement under negotiation and on the level of the US-Iran conflict and cooperation in Iraq and Syria.


Hisae Nakanishi is Professor of the Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and is currently a visiting scholar at the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. She received a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1994. She was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), Iran in 2001. Her publications include: Islam and Veils-Women in the Post-Revolutionary Iran, Koyo Publishers (Japanese), 1996, Islam and Modernity-Identifying Contemporary Iranian Society, Fubaisya Publishers (Japanese), 2002, “Changing Variables of the US-Iran Relationship and Civil Society Movements in the Middle East,” Middle East Studies, No. 511, 2011, p.31-38. (Japanese), “Iranians in the United States” in Mieko Miyaji et al eds. Diasporas in the Middle East and North Africa, 2011, p. 126-145 (Japanese), “Iran’s Security Policy since 9.11” in Gen Kikkawa & Satoru Nakamura eds, Preventive Diplomacy in the Middle East” Shinzansya, 2012, p 175-192 (Japanese), and “The Construction of the Sanction Regime against Iran: Political Dimension of Unilateralism” (upcoming in a book by Springer in fall, 2014).

Dr. Nakanishi has committed herself to Japan’s foreign policy making toward Iran and academic exchange programs between Iran and Japan. She was an active participant and co-organizer of two conferences co-sponsored by Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA), one of which was “Iran’s Foreign Policy under the Khatami Administration” held at Kyoto in 2000. She has been a guest speaker for a number of international conferences, including “Dialog among Civilizations” sponsored by the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance of the Islamic Republic of Iran.