The Economy Flames Anger in Iran

January 09, 2018

The protests in Iran will not bring about regime change, but they may force political elites to address economic corruption that has gone on far too long. Iranians marked the end of 2017 by pouring into streets across the country to protest against the government of President Hassan Rouhani in...

Sunni vs Shi’a: The Middle East Chessboard (Part 1/2)

August 30, 2013

Hostility between Sunnis and Shi’as has taken on an increasingly political core. This is the first of a two part series.  The logic is simple enough, right? In black, we have the Shi’a with the king being Iran. In the white, we have the Sunnis with the king being Saudi Arabia. The...

Iran: Democracy, Rouhani and the Green Movement (Part 1/2)

July 18, 2013

Under Rouhani, It will be a lot harder to demonize Iran. This is the first of a two part series. After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's eight years in office, Iran elected Hassan Rouhani as the country’s new president on June 15. Rouhani, an early supporter of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,...

Rouhani: Learning From Khatami’s Experience?

July 10, 2013

Rouhani’s presidency is likely to represent progressive reform in Iran. Iran is likely to change substantively under Hassan Rouhani’s leadership. Allow me to qualify "change". Change is not regime change, nor is it change toward a more secular, liberal political system...

Iran’s Foreign Policy: No Substantial Change With Rouhani

July 06, 2013

Rouhani is likely to impact the style but not the substance of Iranian foreign policy. The victory of a new reformist Iranian president has been welcomed by the international community. For many, President-Elect Hassan Rouhani's pragmatism breaks with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hard line, and...

Iran: The Predetermined Election

June 13, 2013

The institutional setup in Iran is designed to preserve the power of Ayatollah Khamenei and the conservative establishment.  “Since the beginning of the revolution until now we've had 30 elections — which one has not been free?” This statement was declared by...