Ten years since the Arab uprising, widespread public grievances in the Middle East regarding the lack of political representation and Trump’s legacy of picking favourites amongst autocrats, President Joe Biden is looking to reshape US policy towards the Middle East. Despite the new administration’s positive messaging on promoting human rights and democracy, and moving away from Trump’s highly personalised relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel, the new policy on the Middle East is unlikely to have much to offer. Over the past decades, the US promotion of democracy has been tempered by its desire to keep the region stable and US-friendly.

Overarching concerns with preserving the unhindered flow of oil and keeping anti-US forces out of power continue to frame Washington’s thinking. Pursuing this agenda has become even more urgent, and at the same time complicated, with the growing assertiveness of regional players as well as Russia and China, which took advantage of Trump’s signals to extricate the United States from the region. This seminar will explore key pressure points and how they may affect Biden’s Middle East policy.

Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh (PhD) is the Convenor of Middle East Studies Forum and Deputy Director (International) of the Alfred Deakin Institute (ADI) at Deakin University. He held the prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship on the Role of Islam in Iran’s Foreign Policymaking (2013-2016), and has published extensively on the Middle East. His latest publication includes the Routledge Handbook of International Relations in the Middle East (2020). T: @S_Akbarzadeh


1 2 3 5
June 27th, 2024

Iran’s Snap Election Casts a Long Shadow Over the State

Despite pressing domestic and foreign policy issues, Iranians could stay away from the polls in record-breaking numbers in a sign […]

May 27th, 2024

Morning Wave in Busan – The Future of Iran

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash along with the foreign minister and other officials on the […]

May 23rd, 2024

TRT – Will the demise of President Raisi affect Iran’s relationship with Hamas and Hezbollah?

Shahram Akbarzadeh, professor of Middle East Politics at Deakin University, discusses the funeral of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and the […]

May 22nd, 2024

Explainer: How will Iran President Raisi’s death affect the country and ongoing Middle East tensions?

A helicopter crash on Sunday (May 19) killed Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi in the mountains near the Iran-Azerbaijan border His death […]

May 20th, 2024

TRT – What’s next for Iran after the death of president Ebrahim Raisi?

Shahram Akbarzadeh, professor of Middle East Politics at Deakin University discusses the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and how […]

May 20th, 2024

France24 – Iran in shock as Raisi killed in crash

Shahram Akbarzadeh, convenor of the Middle East Forum from Deakin University, talked to France 24 about the president Raisi’s death. […]

April 23rd, 2024

Iran in the Middle East: Building Bridges or Expanding Influence?

On 22 April 2024, Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh moderated an international webinar on Iran in the Middle East. This session was […]

April 7th, 2024

Sputnik – Even With AI ‘Kill List’, Israel ‘No Closer to Achieving’ Goals Six Months Into Gaza War

“Six months after Israel launched its attack under the banner of self-defense and the stated objective of destroying Hamas, Israel […]

April 2nd, 2024

ABC Listen – Iran strike fuels Middle East conflict

Another suspected Israeli missile attack has struck the Iranian embassy in Syria, killing a number of Iranian generals. The strike […]

March 22nd, 2024

Interview: Election Results Confirm Iranian Regime’s Legitimacy at Risk, Potentially Non-existent

Reminding that elections are pivotal in justifying Iranian religious leadership and sustaining political legitimacy, Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh emphasizes that the […]