216 Items

ibrahim raisi


Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How Iran's Hard-Liners Are Challenging Rouhani (From the Left)

| May 18, 2017

Although Rouhani has an incumbent’s advantage, his promised economic revival is seen by many as having fallen short of his stated goals, and he has been the target of unceasing and strong allegations of corruption. Despite the fact that every Iranian president in the post-Khomeini period has served two terms, why is Rouhani in a precarious position? And what are the factors that anti-Rouhani forces are trying to use to their advantage? In an article to The National Interest, Payam Mohseni, Director of the Belfer Center's Iran Project, shows that recalling the lessons of the 2005 election, which brought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, serves as a useful model in understanding this year’s contest and the challenges Rouhani faces in maintaining power.

Ebrahim Raisi, the leading conservative presidential candidate, delivers a speech to his supporters at Tehran's Hory Mosque (April 10, 2017)

Tasnim News

Blog Post - Iran Matters

A Conservative Realignment in Iranian Politics

| May 16, 2017

With the Iranian presidential elections on the horizon, indicators are pointing towards another shift in Iran’s factional alignments. In this blog post for Iran Matters, Iran Project Director Payam Mohseni argues that Iran’s conservative and theocratic forces are overcoming the stark divisions within their power base and gaining significantly more unity and cohesion in their support of Raisi and opposition to Rouhani.

President Rouhani addresses the 68th UN General Assembly in New York, before holding a private dinner at the UN Hotel (2013).


Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Could the Iranian Economy Sink Rouhani?

| May 15, 2017

For a “managed democracy,” Iran holds remarkably unpredictable presidential elections. And the upcoming election on May 19 is no exception, given that the incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, is facing a tough conservative challenger, Ebrahim Raesi. In this column to Project Syndicate, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, visiting scholar at the Belfer Center's Iran Project, writes about Rouhani's economic weaknesses and the challenges he faces for reelection. 

khamenei and rouhani


Blog Post - Iran Matters

Rouhani's War

  • Arash Pourebrahimi
| May 09, 2017

Arash Pourebrahimi, former visiting fellow in political economy at Harvard University, writes to Iran Matters on the true war that awaits President Rouhani after the May 19th presidential election: the successorship of the Supreme Leader. Pourebrahimi argues that while Rouhani has a good chance of reelection, he faces a tough battle in gaining the wider institutional support he needs to be influential in deliberations over the Supreme Leader's successor.

Iran ballistic missile program

Tasnim News

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Iran’s Ballistic Missiles Program: Changing Course in the Trump Era?

  • Farhad Rezaei
| May 08, 2017

Farhad Rezaei, research fellow at the Center for Iranian Studies (IRAM) in Ankara, writes to Iran Matters on the implications of the IRGC's missile tests for the Rouhani administration, the Trump administration, and the upcoming Iranian presidential election. 

Ayatollah Khamenei meets with President Rouhani


Analysis & Opinions - Iran Matters

Khamenei Turns Up Heat on Rouhani

| May 02, 2017

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stepped up his criticism of President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday, suggesting Iranians “should not thank [Rouhani’s] policy of detente with the West for any reduction in the threat of war,” Bozorgmehr Sharafedin reports for Reuters. Payam Mohseni, Iran Project Director at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, emails Global Briefing that Khamenei’s remarks should be seen as a rebuff of the Rouhani campaign’s efforts to tie the country’s security to the nuclear deal, rather than as criticism of the deal itself.

Rouhani and his cabinet

Mashregh News

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Cracking Down on Iran through Turkey

  • Engin Sune
| Apr. 20, 2017

The case of Halkbank reveals a short-term disjointed relationship between Turkey and Iran. The Turkish government cites Halkbank’s economic success as evidence of a rising Turkey. Regarding the transfer of 51% of the bank’s share to the newly established Turkish Sovereign Wealth Fund in February 2017, the bank occupies a central role in the domestic and international policies of the Turkish state. For Iran, on the other hand, this relationship was a part of the ongoing strategy of creating alternative mechanisms to bypass the impact of sanctions. Therefore, there was a mutual economic interest for both countries, with Halkbank acting as a facilitator of this exchange. And while economic interest was at the core of the relationship, this cooperation established between Iran and Turkey spilled over into the political sphere in a limited manner. The political relations between Turkey and Iran have continued to fluctuate, stifling any possibility of a meaningful long-term political alliance. A number of recent regional and domestic developments have set further constrains on the emergence of a Turkey-Iran partnership.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


Analysis & Opinions

Does Ahmadinejad Have a Chance?

| Apr. 12, 2017

Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has registered to run in Iran’s presidential elections in May, despite having been advised not to do so by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Payam Mohseni, director of the Iran Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, emails CNN Fareed Zakaria's Global Briefing that Ahmadinejad’s entry is a genuine surprise, and that just registering could be seen as an act of defiance.