231 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Recognizing the Limitations of American Influence in Iran

| Feb. 14, 2018

It is time for a reality check: despite claims to the contrary by Iran’s supreme leader, the United States is not the central actor in the drama that recently unfolded in Iran, nor was it the central actor in Egypt back in 2011. The mass protests that forced the Egyptian dictator from power were driven by the Egyptian public’s growing disenchantment with decades of political, economic and social mismanagement by a succession of military rulers. Contemporary observers noted with surprise the absence of references to the United States or other foreign-policy considerations during the protests. The demonstrators’ recurrent chant—“bread, freedom, social justice and human dignity”—encapsulated the domestic motivations behind the public’s mobilization.


Tasnim News

Blog Post - Iran Matters

A Wake-up Call to Rouhani

  • Masoud Movahed
| Jan. 17, 2018

The recent protests in Iran are surely a wakeup call for President Rouhani. To respond the legitimate grievances of low-income Iranian households, the Rouhani government should do its best to further diversify the Iranian economy and to bolster its manufacturing and industrial sectors. The Rouhani government should also promote the export of non-oil products, following the models of countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and recently, the Chinese leviathan. Labor-intensive industries as well as service sectors like information technology, ought to be solidified. Rouhani should call upon state-directed industrial committees and agencies to provide Iranian entrepreneurs and manufacturers with fiscal resources, and he should foster financial support and protection for firms that place emphasis on exporting goods abroad.

iran president rouhani


Analysis & Opinions - Aljazeera

Causes behind Iran's protests: A preliminary account

| Jan. 06, 2018

The causes of the uprising that has been rocking the Islamic Republic of Iran for a week now are unsurprisingly both structural and contingent. Initially kicked off by the economically dispossessed youth and joined by lower sections of the middle class, students and also some pensioners, it has reached an unprecedented geographical scope with protests spanning across 70 mainly smaller cities and towns in all four corners of the country.  Besides the structural factors that have been an almost constant feature of the Islamic Republic's rule, the past months and weeks have added a new level of discontent with the regime as a whole, which led me to speculate the recent waves of protests "may only be a forerunner of more to come." 

Iranian IRGC Commandos

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - CNN

2018 for Iran: Ripe for Miscalculation?

| Dec. 19, 2017

To end the year, Fareed Zakaria's CNN Global Briefing is running an exclusive series of quick takes this week from leading analysts. They will all be writing on the big issues to watch out for around the world in 2018. Iran was at the center of developments in a volatile Middle East throughout 2017. Expect more of the same in 2018, writes Payam Mohseni, Iran Project Director and Fellow for Iran Studies at Harvard’s Belfer Center.

Nuclear Talks between Iran and World Powers

US State Department

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How to Ensure Iran Never Resumes Reprocessing

| Dec. 13, 2017

Though the negotiation leading to the JCPOA took place over a significant stretch of time—indeed, it was built on the foundation of talks that began in 2003—it’s important to remember that the deal contains critical concessions regarding Iran’s production of plutonium, which the United States had been seeking from Tehran since the 1970s, when the two countries were allies.

Prime Minster Saad Hariri


Blog Post - Iran Matters

Lebanon Caught in the Crosshairs

| Dec. 06, 2017

Eight long days after the shocking resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister out of Saudi Arabia, Saad Hariri made his first public appearance. On the evening of Sunday, 12 November, the Arab world gathered in front of the TV, for not only the future of Lebanon was at stake but that of the entire region. The small country on the eastern Mediterranean coast had again been catapulted onto the main stage of the region’s heated geopolitical rivalries. The interview Hariri gave also took place in the Saudi kingdom, which had spurred speculations that he was held there against his will. During that interview, he could barely invalidate that impression: The tensions in the room were palpable. Too clearly his body language and his contradictory statements were a display of massive pressure that lied on him.

tehran, iran


Blog Post - Iran Matters

"Tehran: A City of Hope, Participation and Prosperity"

  • Sahar Saeidnia
| Nov. 22, 2017

One might find the motto of the newly elected reformist mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Ali Najafi, surprising and inconsistent with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s (IRI) political project. Or, conversely, one might interpret it, along with the victory of many reformist candidates in the 2017 local council elections, as a sign of the regime’s opening. Yet, this binary undermines the “complexity of the Iranian puzzle” and is reductive of domestic political processes that have shaped competitive Iranian factionalist politics since 1979.

Rouhani and Salehi outside the Bushehr Nuclear Plant

Tasnim News

Blog Post - iran-matters

An Iranian Nuclear Business Deal for Trump

  • Sayed Hossein Mousavian
| Nov. 01, 2017

As the world’s largest nuclear facilities operators, U.S. corporations understand all aspects of nuclear programs. Employing those same corporations to partner and collaborate with Iran on nuclear projects would be a major confidence-building step that would secure trust between the two sides after the sunset provisions of the deal expire. The people of Iran and the United States have never been enemies. Now is the time to seek a legitimate business-based compromise that can allow the United States and Iran to fully execute the JCPOA in full compliance with both the substance and intent of each of the deal’s signatories while pursing the long-term goal of eliminating the growth and proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism. To this end, Iran and the US can in parallel collaborate on eliminating the risk of proliferation in the region and establishing a Middle East free from all weapons of mass destruction.

Trump Iran


Blog Post - iran-matters

The Pitfalls of Trump’s New Iran Strategy

  • Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
  • Nader Entessar
| Oct. 31, 2017

In a volatile Middle East rich in tensions and yet rather poor in successful conflict-management, the JCPOA is a landmark achievement of multilateral diplomacy that contributes to regional peace and security. So far, the U.S. has been unsuccessful in enlisting international support for its current bid to re-negotiate the JCPOA, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has recently hinted at the possibility of a "second agreement."  Hypothetically speaking, a ‘JCPOA II’, while leaving the JCPOA intact, is [...] within the realm of possibilities; however, it requires a great deal of U.S. "smart diplomacy" to flesh out the details such as the relevant parameters and enroll the other (hitherto recalcitrant) powers that are parties to the JCPOA. 

Secretary Tillerson and King Salman shake hands

U.S. State Department

Blog Post - iran-matters

The Iranian–Saudi Hegemonic Rivalry

| Oct. 25, 2017

During the Cold War, Iran and Saudi Arabia formed the twin pillars of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, but this changed abruptly with the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Ever since, the IRI has pursued a foreign policy independent from the West, which pitted Tehran against the West, and the U.S. in particular, as well as with pro-Western states in the region, including Saudi Arabia. In this blog post to Iran Matters, Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Associate at the Iran Project, examines the mutual perspectives of Iran and Saudi Arabia towards one another and how recent regional developments in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere have impacted this "hegemonic rivalry."