Here is what the Tehran Times is reporting:
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is currently the chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council, has said that it is essential to establish a regional think tank to counter “complicated plots” in the Middle East region in particular and the entire Islamic world.
Rafsanjani made the remarks during a meeting of the Expediency Council on Saturday.In the think tank, all the experts in international relations should cooperate with each other to find a way to resolve the current regional crises, he stated.
He went on to say that all Muslims, both Shias and Sunnis, should find appropriate solutions to the crises in the region created by the Zionist regime and extremist and terrorist groups.
Here is more from the Tasnim News Agency. Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post about Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his long relationship with the think tank world.
Back in 2007, US News and World Report put together a guide to think tanks and Iran (Think Tank Watch plans to put together a much more thorough and updated guide). The Weekly Standard has a piece titled "Iran's 'Think Tank' Outreach."
According to the latest University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings, Iran has 34 think tanks. By comparison, Israel has 55 think tanks. The UPenn rankings list one Iranian think tank - the Institut Francais de Recherches en l'Iran (IFRI) - as in the category of best think tanks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It is ranked 43rd on that list.
The only other mention of an Iranian think tank on the UPenn rankings is the Center for Sustainable Development and Environment, which is ranked as the 35th best environmental think tank in the world.