Iran

Iran has been a conundrum since its 1979 revolution. It stunned the world by introducing Islam as a form of modern governance, and rattled the region by exporting its zealous ideology. It supported militant allies and challenged international norms. For decades, dealing with the Islamic Republic was complicated by internal repression, menacing rhetoric, and defiance over its nuclear program. USIP conducts research and policy analysis on Iran, and Institute experts regularly brief Congressional staff and U.S. officials. To learn more, see  USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation in Iran. For a comprehensive website on Iran providing timely analysis by American and Iranian scholars, see The Iran Primer, hosted by USIP.

Iran Sanctions: What the U.S. Cedes in a Nuclear Deal

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 09:30
Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:00

The last event in our three-part series addressed the complex questions and challenges of sanctions in the Iran nuclear talks.

Since 2006, the United States has imposed more sanctions on Iran than any other country, so it may have to cede the most ground to get a nuclear deal in 2014. Over the years, Republican and Democratic administrations have issued at least 16 executive orders, and Congress has passed ten acts imposing punitive sanctions. What does Tehran want? What are the six major powers considering as incentives to cooperate? What isn’t on the table? The White House and Congress have imposed their own types of sanctions. What would either need to do to lift them?

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Inside Iran

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 09:30
Thu, 01/09/2014 - 11:00
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With Robin Wright and David Ignatius

Two long-time Middle East experts have recently returned from Iran. Their discussions with cabinet members, ayatollahs, hardliners, Members of Parliament, economists, opposition figures and ordinary Iranians offer rare insights into Iran’s increasingly vibrant political scene since President Rouhani took office and the implications of the new nuclear agreement. Robin Wright and David Ignatius offer fresh perspectives on what’s next.

Read the event coverage, Wright, Ignatius Analyze Iran Developments

Please join us for a moderated discussion on these and other issues important to Iran, its internal politics, and its relations with the world. Join the conversation on Twitter with #InsideIran.

This event will feature the following speakers:

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States of Fragility and Global Violence: An OECD Report

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 09:30
Tue, 01/24/2017 - 11:30
Subtitle: 
Improving Policies by Better Measuring How Weak States Risk Falling into Crisis

This event has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Over 15 years, nearly half of all people, 3.34 billion, have suffered from political violence or lived under its shadow, notes a new OECD report. Violence is on the rise and, surprisingly, conflict is not the leading cause of death.  Fragile contexts, especially those where governments are ineffective and social contracts with their populations broken—drive much of this violence, plus refugee flight, pandemic diseases and other catastrophes. So understanding and measuring fragility is vital to U.S. and international policies that aim to prevent crises.  Join the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for the Washington launch of an OECD report—States of Fragility 2016—that offers a new approach to monitoring the fragility of states at risk.

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Twenty-two percent of the global population now live in countries where human development is hampered by fragility and violence. On Tuesday, January 24, USIP, OECD, and other specialists will discuss OECD’s States of Fragility report, which presents a new approach for measuring the extent of fragility.

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U.S. National Security Chiefs Talk Leadership, Partners

The national security advisors to President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump stood shoulder-to-shoulder on a stage at the U.S. Institute of Peace yesterday and shook hands to a standing ovation at a two-day conference on foreign and national security policy. In speeches, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and her designated successor, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, struck a tone of cooperation on the transition between administrations. The conference, called “Passing the Baton,” included Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator Lindsey Graham and hundreds of incoming, outgoing and former officials as well as independent experts. 

USIP Staff

Discussions at the conference focused on laying foundations for a bipartisan foreign policy after an extraordinarily divisive election campaign. Rice and Flynn outlined what they said has been intensive work to ensure a smooth transition of national security functions with the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Trump. Rice said her office “has produced more than 100 memos” for Flynn’s incoming team.

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 15:25
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Naysan Rafati

Naysan
Rafati
TAPIR Fellow

Please submit all media inquiries to interviews@usip.org or call 202.429.3869.

For all other inquiries, please call 202.457.1700.

Dr. Naysan Rafati joined the U.S. Institute of Peace as a TAPIR Fellow in November 2016. He will be working primarily on Iranian politics and foreign policy.

Prior to USIP, Naysan was a visiting fellow at the Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri) in Paris, where he was jointly affiliated with the Security Studies Centre and Middle East Programme. His research at Ifri focussed primarily on relations between Europe and Iran since the 2015 nuclear agreement.   

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Q&A: Iran’s Elections Erode Hardliners’ Dominance

Results from Iran’s elections last week show that reformists, centrists and independents—including many new faces—won seats in both parliament and the clerical Assembly of Experts at the expense of hardliners. Garrett Nada, the assistant editor of The Iran Primer at the U.S. Institute of Peace, discusses the implications.

USIP Staff

What are the main messages of this Iranian election?

Voters took this opportunity to vent their frustration with hardliners, who have dominated parliament since 2004. This was the first election since Iran and six world powers reached a landmark agreement on the country’s nuclear program. So the results reflect approval of President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to improve Iran’s international standing and open up society.

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 10:08
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Q&A: Iran Nuclear Accord Milestone

In a historic milestone of the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and the world’s major powers, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog certified on January 16 that Iran had complied with restrictions on its nuclear program and the international community lifted a range of sanctions imposed on the regime over the past decades. Daniel Brumberg, a special advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace, considers the ramifications for the region and the world.

The lifting of the sanctions on what was dubbed “Implementation Day” for the agreement, frees some $100 billion in frozen assets for Iran, and the Obama administration says about $50 billion of that is likely to revert back to Tehran’s benefit because the rest is tied up in previous obligations.

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 17:24
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Prisoner Swap and Nuclear Deal: A Historic Day for US-Iranian Relations

On Saturday, January 16, Implementation Day for the Iran Nuclear agreement Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was preceded by a prisoner swap between the United States and Iran, and four Iranian-American hostages were released, including the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian. In addition, young American researcher, Matt Trevithick, was also released. The release of Trevithick was especially meaningful for USIP’s distinguished scholar, Robin Wright, who is well known for her in-depth coverage of Iran and the region.

Trevithick had been Wright’s research assistant at the Wilson Center where Wright is also a fellow. Wright had obtained an exclusive statement from Trevithick’s parents that was posted on USIP's Iran Primer -- a key source of information about Iran that decision makers often cite as an invaluable resource tool for understanding what’s happening in Iran.

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 12:15
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Halting Yemen’s War: U.S. Must Lead, Nobel Peace Laureate Says

Tawakkol Karman, the Yemeni human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, called on the United States to assume a bigger role in trying to revive a political process that might end the war now tearing her country apart. She urged the U.S. government to lead in pressing for a cease-fire and the transformation of Yemen’s militias into political parties.

Fred Strasser

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Karman said the United States should sponsor a renewal of Yemen’s national dialogue—a process that included all of the country’s political forces and that came close to producing a constitution and elections at the end of 2013 under an interim government. “What we want from the U.S. is a bigger role in every respect,” Karman said.

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 15:10
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Articles & Analysis

The national security advisors to President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump stood shoulder-to-shoulder on a stage at the U.S. Institute of Peace yesterday and shook hands to a...

By:
USIP Staff

Results from Iran’s elections last week show that reformists, centrists and independents—including many new faces—won seats in both parliament and the clerical Assembly of Experts at the expense...

By:
USIP Staff

In a historic milestone of the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and the world’s major powers, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog certified on January 16 that Iran had complied with...

By:

Videos & Webcasts

While China continues to grow as an economy and a military and political power, its overall influence relative to the United States has passed its peak, former Secretary of State George Shultz...

Iran and the world’s six major powers now face a June 30 deadline for converting a blueprint into a final nuclear deal. A unique panel of former U.S. and Iranian officials assessed the status of...

The last event in our three-part series addressed the complex questions and challenges of sanctions in the Iran nuclear talks.

Learn More

Publications

In the midst of a political shift where power is moving from central institutions to smaller, more distributed units in the international system, the approaches to and methodologies for peacemaking...
By:
USIP Staff
Hassan Rouhani’s upset victory in the June 2013 presidential election created great expectations of change. The new centrist president pledged to resolve the nuclear dispute, improve Iran’s relations...