Iran’s regional agenda and the call for détente with the Gulf states

March 17, 2022

As both a candidate and as president, Ebrahim Raisi has repeated a basic mantra: that he will seek to quickly improve relations with Iran’s neighbors, and particularly the Arab Gulf states. In terms of his motivations for this push, two points are undeniably important.

Will Iran’s heavy-handed approach to deterring Israel backfire?

March 15, 2022

On March 13, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired missiles at targets in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Erbil. The IRGC claimed the barrage of missiles was aimed at the operational bases of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad.

Biden, Raisi and Iran’s Nuclear File

October 18, 2021

The government of President Ebrahim Raisi has been in place since early August and yet Tehran is still unsure about when and how it should resume the nuclear talks with world powers in Vienna. Those talks were suspended in June, just before the Iranian presidential elections.

Azerbaijan and Israel’s encirclement of Iran

October 5, 2021

Tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan are high right now but both sides will very likely soon step down. Neither Tehran nor Baku can afford to let recent events lead to a full-fledged crisis or a military showdown between the two Shi’a Muslim-majority countries.

Beholden to Khamenei and the IRGC, Raisi will stick to the hardline script

September 16, 2021

In the June 2021 elections, the Iranian presidency was handed to Ebrahim Raisi on a silver platter.

Raisi and the Revolutionary Guards

September 2, 2021

Under President Ebrahim Raisi, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is poised to exert greater control over Iran’s national security agenda and economy. Several of his ministers and advisors were members of the IRGC or have connections to it.

Khamenei Wants a Nuclear Deal Before Rouhani Leaves

June 17, 2021

Blame will go to the departing president while praise will go to his handpicked successor.

Khamenei shuts down opposition ahead of upcoming ballot

June 14, 2021

Iran’s presidential elections on 18 June are not set to shift the status quo in the country. The man most responsible for this predicament is the unelected 82-year Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has been in power since 1989

Iran’s Biggest Problem Is Water

May 25, 2021

Iran is parched. Indeed, this year is expected to be among the driest in the last 50 years.

The US-Iran-Qatar triangle

February 17, 2021

The tiny Persian Gulf country of Qatar has chosen a herculean task for itself: to mediate between the United States and Iran. As Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani put it on Feb. 10, Doha “is working on de-escalation through a political and diplomatic process.”

Iran and Turkey: Power dynamics in the South Caucasus

February 8, 2021

Iran was caught off guard by the July 2020 round of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Israel, Iran: Now is the time to test if détente can be reached

February 4, 2021

The last few months have witnessed a dramatic shift in the geopolitical balance of the Middle East.