Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan alliance: assessing the potential of a Persian-speaking association

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Iran has suggested the formation of a Persian-speaking Association in collaboration with Afghanistan and Tajikistan, a collaboration that focuses on facilitating trilateral trade. Using the gravity model of trade, the author confirms that creating this regional trade association would potentially result in considerable increase in trade among these states. This study further evaluates Iran’s use of the Persian identity, language and culture to unite itself with Tajikistan and Afghanistan, in order to position itself as a contender for regional superpower status. Iran’s motives for creating the Association are as follows: increasing its influence in Tajikistan and Afghanistan; acting as a counter-balance to TÜRKSOY and the League of Arab States; preventing the increasing dominance of Russia in Tajikistan; alleviating the consequences of the American and NATO presence in Afghanistan; increasing trade; and finding new economic partners in the wake of the external sanctions due to its nuclear plans.
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