Biography

Dr. Payam Mohseni is the Director of the Iran Project and Fellow for Iran Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is also a Lecturer in the Department of Government at Harvard University where he teaches Iranian and Middle East politics. Dr. Mohseni co-chaired Harvard’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies Study Group on the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe from 2014 to 2016.

Dr. Mohseni’s research focuses on Iranian foreign and domestic policymaking, ideology and sectarian conflict in the Middle East, and the politics of authoritarianism and hybrid regimes. Dr. Mohseni is fluent in Persian and travels frequently to Iran. His analysis has been featured in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Washington Post, The National Interest, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Bloomberg, U.S. News and World Report, and MSNBC, among others, including prominent international and Iranian media outlets.

Previously, Dr. Mohseni was a postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Belfer Center's International Security Program, a Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, and a member of the Iran Study Group at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, and he obtained a B.A. in Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Conflict, Security, and Development from the Department of War Studies at King's College London.

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2017, 8:22am

Featured Research

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The 2016 Iranian Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Domestic Politics under the JCPOA

| December 2016

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, the status of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers is increasingly coming under question.  Since the nuclear agreement was the product of a realignment of Iranian elites toward moderate forces, the unravelling of the agreement holds the potential to disrupt Iranian politics once again. This report, The 2016 Iranian Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Domestic Politics under the JCPOA, by Iran Project Director Payam Mohseni, provides an in-depth analysis of Iran's factional political scene and assesses the impact of the agreement on the 2016 Iranian parliamentary elections and the future of Iranian politics.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Iran and the Arab World after the Nuclear Deal

| Aug. 13, 2015

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 presents significant implications for the future order of the Middle East. Just how it will impact that order remains uncertain. Will it shift Iranian foreign policy toward greater cooperation and reconciliation or produce greater Iranian regional empowerment and aggressiveness?

This report helps answer these and related questions. It includes views from leading experts in the Arab world to assess the impact of the nuclear agreement on Iran-Arab security relations.

Iranian naval vessels excercising during war drills.

(YPA.IR)

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School The National Interest

Can Iran Stay Anti-American?

| January 22, 2016

The dramatic seizure of American navy sailors in the Persian Gulf by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards could have endangeredImplementation Day—when on January 16 Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement so far was verified and the international sanctions against Iran lifted. Instead of derailing the deal, however, the Guards used the incident, as well as the highly publicized prisoner swap, as symbolic events to send the world a message.By detaining the vessels and broadcasting images of its crew to a global audience, the Guards used the opportunity to reveal the future path of Iranian foreign policy in the wake of the nuclear agreement—a path that can be best described as ‘pragmatic revolutionism.’

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Email: payam_mohseni@hks.harvard.edu

Phone: 617-495-4793

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