TEHRAN(Basirat)- Another important point is economic potential of the private sector in the region through which a common language with a focus on popular and civil society is expected to come out.
Another important point is economic potential of the private sector in the region through which a common language with a focus on popular and civil society is expected to come out.Dr. Motahareh HosseiniAssistant Professor of Political Science and senior Central Asia Expert in Basirat center for Political studies.
Iran’s cultural policy towards Central Asia is based on the concept of the "great Iran” or "cultural Iran” more than anything else. Accordingly, Central Asia is considered one of the zones of influence of Iran’s culture. Moreover, large parts of Central Asia were once part of Iran’s "great Khorasan” region and this doubles Iran and Central Asia historical-cultural integration.
With the recent developments in the region, namely the establishment of territorial states and dominance of a realist international policy based on hegemony and balance of power, which regionalism has now given them a different color, we can no longer follow the course of history of the cultural Iran and the great Khorasan. At present, there are new requirements for defining the foreign policy of Iran in the region. Central Asia today consists of five independent republics, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. There has always been intense rivalry between these states in the region, which all follow secularism.
For pushing ahead with their ethnic-tribal governments and for fear of spread of political Islam, Central Asian governments have limited many types of native traditional Islam and are trying hard to distance their societies from native and Islamic culture toward modernism through influence and nepotism. Meanwhile, some weak states such as Kyrgyzstan and some countries which lack adequatefacilities and sufficient income such as Tajikistan, are deprived of a powerful central government, and practically do not possess the administrative power of other states such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Here, Turkmenistan has formed its own political-administrative system and has isolated itself from the world by exercising an absolute traditional system based on old customs and traditions of Turkmens. In fact, Ashgabat is just endeavoring to import manifestations of modernity to the country, which will naturally run counter to development contradictions.
Central Asia is facing two superpowers, namely Russia and China, an immigrant hegemonic power the US, and EU’s military arm NATO as well as regional powers such as Iran, Pakistan, India and Turkey. They all play a part in determining the fate of Central Asia. Even Afghanistan can be influential in contributing togovernmental, regional and global policies as it has control over the Fergana Valley (including the provinces of Osh, Batken and Jalalabad in Kyrgyzstan, the Sughd Province in Tajikistan and the province of Andijan in Uzbekistan).
Therefore, the cultural policy in Central Asia arises from interaction between a set of complex situations; including role of superpowers in this region, the game that Iran’s government plays with them and also the ongoing rivalry between regional powers and the five Central Asian states. Although the cultural Iran(A Wide region from Caucasus and Central Asia to North Africa) and the great Khorasan(Including Iran’s Khorasan province, Afghanistan and large part of the central Asia) provide ample breeding ground for the people of Central Asia to get interested in Iran, but has also created an illusion of fear for the regional states over Iran’s cultural infiltration.