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Preview: - Iran - Iran

A nonpartisan resource for information and analysis

Published: Tue, 16 May 2017 08:56:27 -0400

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 May 2017 08:56:27 -0400

Copyright: Copyright 2017 by the Council on Foreign Relations. All Rights Reserved.

Iran’s Presidential Test

Mon, 01 May 2017 11:19:43 -0400

Iran’s May 19 election will pit Ibrahim Raisi, a hard-line protégé of the supreme leader, against the more centrist incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, in a contest that may hinge on the perceived economic impact of the nuclear deal, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.


Iran’s Supreme Leader Moulds a Successor in His Image

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:16:56 -0400

The candidacy of Ebrahim Raisi dooms Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s chances of winning a second term in next month’s elections, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Raisi, a protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has long been groomed to become the Islamic Republic’s next supreme leader.


The Impact of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 11:14:57 -0400

Iran has restricted its nuclear program and given international inspectors unprecedented access, but it has not seen the economy recovery expected in the aftermath of the agreement with international powers.


How Trump Can Help Cripple the Iranian Regime

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:07:05 -0400

The United States can cripple the Iranian regime if it doesn’t compromise the battle on the ground for fear of compromising arms control, argue Reuel Gerecht and CFR’s Ray Takeyh. America should fight Iran’s proxy militias in the regions, support popular movements against the Islamic Republic, and make human rights a priority for its Iran policy.


Forget the Subs: What Taipei Can Learn From Tehran About Asymmetric Defense

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:59:33 -0400

Ahead of the Donald Trump-Xi Jinping summit this week at Mar-a-Lago, Taiwan is understandably anxious. Trump’s ascendance to the American presidency has injected uncertainty into the U.S. approach to China and Taiwan — an element of foreign policy that is traditionally carefully calibrated to avoid upsetting the precarious cross-strait arrangement.


Assessing the Iran Deal

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 16:31:43 -0400

Ray Takeyh testified before the Subcommittee on National Security of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government and gave his assessment of the stability of the Islamic Republic and what the United States can should do to counter Iran’s influence in the region and weaken the regime.


Dear Senators: Push Back Against Iran, but Not at the Expense of the Nuclear Deal

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:20:02 -0400

Writing in Foreign Policy, Philip Gordon and other former Obama administration officials argue that Congress should push back on Iran—but not at the expense of the nuclear deal. 


Labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 14:53:34 -0500

The Donald J. Trump administration would be correct to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with Mark Dubowitz. Terrorism has been a defining feature of the IRGC since its inception in 1979, and the power of the IRGC needs to be curbed before the Islamic Republic can be tamed.


Trump Quietly Laying Foundation of a Sensible Iran Policy

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:15:50 -0500

In the midst of the usual Washington cacophony, most are missing the point that the Trump administration is beginning to lay the foundations of a sensible Iran policy. 


The Iran Nuclear Deal: The Future of the JCPOA

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:33:56 -0500

Experts evaluate the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program, the issues that have arisen in the past year, and what the new administration should consider for the future of the deal.


What’s Wrong With Michael Flynn’s Bluster on Iran? Plenty

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:04:48 -0500

Writing in the New York Times, Philip Gordon argues that vague threats and aggressive rhetoric will not help contain Iran—and could even be dangerous.



Why Is Iran Imprisoning Iranian-Americans?

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:20:44 -0500

What is behind Iran's latest seizures of expatriates visiting from the United States? An insecure regime fearful of close ties with the West, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh.


Iran’s Rafsanjani: A Legacy of Terrorism and Repression Behind a Facade of Moderation

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:36:30 -0500

Contrary to his image as a “pragmatist,” former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died last week, brandished a moderate image that concealed the reality of his militancy, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with Reuel Gerecht. Instead, Rafsanjani was the most consequential architect of the theocracy’s machinery of repression and regional ambitions and a primary sponsor of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear aspirations. 


Scrap the Iran Nuclear Deal

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 10:16:54 -0500

The incoming Trump administration will confront a Middle East in turmoil, writes Ray Takeyh. 


How Trump Can Avoid His Predecessors’ Iran Mistakes

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:06:09 -0500

There are important lessons for the incoming Trump administration on Iran they can learn from their predecessors, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh. They should recognize that the Islamic Republic is a unitary nation-state purged of reformers, that it is susceptible to a threat of force, and that Iran is not interested in normalizing relations with the United States.


Trump Can Make Iran Policy Great Again

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 17:08:12 -0500

Ray Takeyh reviews how the next president can transform Obama's Iran deal into something worthy of the name.


Managing the Saudi-Iran Rivalry

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:39:49 -0400

The growing rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran will likely shape the Middle East for many years, and possibly even decades, to come


Iran’s Likely Next Supreme Leader Is No Friend of the West

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:55:02 -0400

The man most likely to succeed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Iran's supreme leader, Ibrahim Raisi, is neither pragmatic nor friendly to the West, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh. Raisi, who heads one of the Islamic Republic's largest charitable foundations, embodies the repressive and revolutionary values of the regime and would continue Iran's transformation into a police state.


A Conversation With Javad Zarif

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:01:33 -0400

Javad Zarif discusses regional politics, nuclear security, and U.S.-Iran relations.


Can't Have It Both Ways in Iran

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:28:23 -0400

As the U.S. campaign season wears on, both Republicans and Democrats are pledging to stay tough on Iran. Such promises aren’t new. Last summer, as the Barack Obama administration unveiled its nuclear agreement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured skeptics that the United States would sustain essential sanctions that punish Tehran for its aid to terrorists, regional aggression, and human rights abuses.


The Iran Deal a Year After: There Are No Benefits

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:34:27 -0400

On the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s one year anniversary, it is even clearer that there are no benefits to the so-called “Iran nuclear deal,” as Elliott Abrams explains in the Jerusalem Post.


An Assessment of the Iran Agreement One Year Later: A Conversation with Senator Chris Coons

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 12:30:08 -0400

Senator Chris Coons offers his assessment of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.


Reading Hume in Tehran

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:35:48 -0400

When Iran makes headlines, it is usually as a result of its conflicts with other countries. Far less attention is paid to Iran’s conflicts with itself, which are still raging nearly 40 years after the revolution that brought forth the Islamic Republic.


How Powerful Is Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps?

Thu, 16 Jun 2016 14:49:11 -0400

The Revolutionary Guards are involved in maintaining domestic order, projecting Iranian influence in the Mideast, and presiding over major business interests. They are poised to take on a bigger role, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.


Time to Get Tough on Tehran

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 15:44:59 -0400

The nuclear deal that the United States and five other great powers signed with Iran in July 2015 is the final product of a decadelong effort at arms control. That effort included sanctions in an attempt to impede Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapons capability. 


Iran’s Holocaust Denial Is Part of a Malevolent Strategy

Fri, 27 May 2016 11:58:23 -0400

The Islamic Republic of Iran held another Holocaust cartoon festival this month, inviting the usual despicable cast of characters. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarifassured the New Yorker that although the event would proceed, Iran would ensure that the “people who have preached racial hatred and violence will not be invited.” Evidently, Zarif believes there are Holocaust deniers who do not harbor “racial hatred.”


Human Rights Remain Nonexistent for Iran’s Bahai Population

Thu, 12 May 2016 14:53:51 -0400

Hope springs eternal when it comes to human rights in Iran. The election in 2013 of President Hassan Rouhani, who replaced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was supposed to bring improvement. The purported victory of moderates in the recent legislative and Islamic clerics’ Assembly of Experts elections was believed to be a positive development.


Will the Nuclear Deal Transform Iran?

Wed, 04 May 2016 11:23:34 -0400

Writing in The American Interest, Philip Gordon asks whether the nuclear deal will transform Iran, and argues for firmness and patience while we wait to find out.


A Conversation with Valiollah Seif on the Future of the Iranian Economy

Fri, 15 Apr 2016 08:30:11 -0400

Valiollah Seif discusses Iran's economy.


Media Files:

Iran's 'Resistance Economy' Debate

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 11:16:14 -0400

In the wake of the Iran nuclear deal, debate has revived in the regime over how far to open up to outside trade and finance. It has become a struggle over Iran’s identity, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.