39 Items

President Trump withdrawing from the JCPOA

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Analysis & Opinions - Aljazeera

Closing the Deal: The US, Iran, and the JCPOA

| May 13, 2018

The US withdrawal from the JCPOA has laid bare the strategic contradictions inherent in this approach. The United States has abrogated its leadership position on global nuclear non-proliferation while demanding trust and support from allies. It has also reopened the prospect of Iranian nuclear armament while forfeiting the moral and institutional ammunition the US would need to clinch a better deal.

Qassem Suleimani Iran

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

What Iran Really Wants in Syria

| May 10, 2018

At such a delicate moment, when the risk of miscalculation and confrontation is growing, it is essential that policymakers in Washington gain a clearer understanding of Iran’s goals in Syria, which are not offensive but focus on deterring Israel and other major foreign stakeholders in Syria. Misperceptions of Iran’s strategic intentions could lead to military confrontation and an escalatory cycle — especially on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement.

President Donald Trump signs a Presidential Memorandum on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Washington. Trump announced the U.S. will pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran, dealing a profound blow to U.S. allies and potentially deepening the president's isolation on the world stage.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Experts on U.S. Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal

Calling it a “great embarrassment” that fails to “halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” President Trump today announced his intention to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and re-impose sanctions on Iran. The independent nuclear, national security, and regional experts of Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs have been assessing the terms of the JCPOA for years. In the wake of Trump’s decision, many of them weighed in with thoughts on the significance of Washington’s policy change – and what comes next.

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Analysis & Opinions - World Politics Review

Iran and Pakistan Navigate Regional Rivalries as They Push for Deeper Ties

| Apr. 06, 2018

In mid-March, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Islamabad for a three-day visit, heading a 30-member Iranian delegation. During talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Zarif pledged to increase bilateral trade between Iran and Pakistan from around $1.16 billion today to $5 billion by 2021. They also discussed other areas of cooperation. In an email interview, Payam Mohseni, the director of the Iran Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, discusses how Iran and Pakistan’s mutual desire for a deeper relationship must contend with regional rivalries. 

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Geopolitical Fight Club: Why Iraq Must Square off with Saudi Arabia

| Mar. 26, 2018

High mistrust of Saudi Arabia by Iraqi Shi’as is hampering any meaningful outreach Saudi is undertaking toward Iraq and any policy of balancing Iraq and Iran will not succeed unless serious steps toward sectarian de-escalation is taken in the region. In order to bridge the gap, there needs to be broad religious dialogue to discuss the role of Shia’s and Sunnis in the region and forge a common space for the inclusion of both denominations. Major Grand Ayatollahs—the highest authorities in the Shi’a world—have taken positive steps of forbidding the ritual cursing of certain companions of the Prophet Muhammad and the early caliphs considered reverential to the Sunni community. In this endeavor the role of Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf will be crucial as he has a track record of promoting better relations between Shi’as and Sunnis and is an authoritative moderating figure who can reign in hardline elements in Iraq who might be opposed to a détente.

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.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Iran: Insight and Thoughts on the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Graham Allison, Laura Holgate, Payam Mohseni, Gary Samore, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Ariane Tabatabai, William Tobey, and Jon Wolfsthal provide insight and thoughts on the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

President Trump at the RNC

VOA

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Trump's Dangerous Shift on Iran

| Oct. 15, 2017

On Friday, the United States reached a turning point in its relations with Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump forcefully denounced the Islamic Republic in a highly confrontational speech, threatening to upend the nuclear deal unless Congress amends it to make its terms more restrictive. By refusing to certify the accord, despite verification that Iran is in compliance, Trump essentially torpedoed the hard work that led to Washington’s recent opening to Tehran.

hassan rouhani reelection

Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

In Iran’s elections, the hard-liners lost. What comes next?

| May 26, 2017

More than forty million Iranians surged to the polls and voted last Friday to choose their country’s future path: between one of engagement and diplomacy with the West and one based on a self-reliant economic populism. Although Iranians overwhelmingly chose the former option, the implications of these elections indicate that major battles over the fight for the next Supreme Leader and the political identity of the country loom on the horizon. In his latest article to the Washington Post, Payam Mohseni, Director of the Belfer Center's Iran Project, discusses the nature of the conservative campaign against President Hassan Rouhani and how, win or lose, it is the tenability and success of this conservative alliance that will significantly impact the future path that Iran takes—not simply the current re-election of Rouhani to the presidency.

ibrahim raisi

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How Iran's Hard-Liners Are Challenging Rouhani (From the Left)

| May 18, 2017

Although Rouhani has an incumbent’s advantage, his promised economic revival is seen by many as having fallen short of his stated goals, and he has been the target of unceasing and strong allegations of corruption. Despite the fact that every Iranian president in the post-Khomeini period has served two terms, why is Rouhani in a precarious position? And what are the factors that anti-Rouhani forces are trying to use to their advantage? In an article to The National Interest, Payam Mohseni, Director of the Belfer Center's Iran Project, shows that recalling the lessons of the 2005 election, which brought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, serves as a useful model in understanding this year’s contest and the challenges Rouhani faces in maintaining power.