Iran’s Defiant Message on Syria

October 15, 2018

By firing missiles over Iraq into Syria, the Iranians delivered a powerful message to Washington at a time when the Trump administration ratchets up its aggression against the Islamic Republic. On October 1, Iran carried out six missile strikes against Islamic State (IS) targets in Abu Kamal,...

Why Iran Will Never Have Glasnost

September 12, 2018

At this critical crossroads, Iran needs a glasnost, a spirit of openness and dialogue that would allow society to air its grievances and to move closer to consensus.  With bread and butter issues a priority, Iranian demands for political dynamism have been obfuscated amidst the country’s...

Can Europe Save the Iran Deal?

May 24, 2018

Iran will rely on world powers to keep the nuclear deal alive, undermining Trump’s attempt to weaken the country.  Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has wrapped up the first leg of his diplomatic tour to work with the signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or the Iran...

Bitter Pills to Swallow for Iran and Saudi Arabia

February 05, 2018

Both Iran and Saudi Arabia embarking on economic transformation of their respective economies will benefit not just their own citizens but the wider region as well. Notwithstanding the entrenched animosity between bitter rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, it is possible that Iranian regional...

Can Rouhani Play His Cards Right?

January 12, 2018

Hassan Rouhani is a shrewd politician, and he has spotted the opportunity to harness the recent discontent for his cause. The recent unrest in Iran is yet another illustration that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his agents of oppression, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and...

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...

Iran’s Greatest Challenge is Homegrown

November 06, 2017

The prospect of potential domestic unrest has hit a raw nerve in Iran. Iran has long been a formidable regional force. It has projected its power by backing Shia militias, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq, or Sunni groups such as Hamas in Palestine, thereby engaging in a...

The West Still Matters

October 18, 2017

Eastern actors are likely to become more Western rather than building an alternative system. The end of the Cold War saw an era of systemic redefinition, undermining the friend-enemy dichotomy that shaped the international system for half a century. The path of the American century has since...

Walking the Tightrope in Kuwaiti-Iranian Relations

August 25, 2017

Today, Kuwaiti officials face a very different regional landscape than they did earlier this year. In July, Kuwait expelled 15 Iranian diplomats and submitted a formal letter of protest to the Lebanese government as the fallout from the “Abdali affair” reverberates around the state. Fourteen...

Iran and the Gulf: An Iron First or an Extended Hand?

July 21, 2017

Rouhani’s re-election is an opportunity for the Arab Gulf states to improve relations with Iran and promote greater regional stability. When Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was elected in 2013, the first head of state to meet with him was from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Oman’s...

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