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.

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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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The Iran Nuclear Deal: Pitfalls & Promises

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 09:00
Thu, 07/23/2015 - 10:30

An expert panel explored the outcome of the historic nuclear negotiations with Iran at an event sponsored by eight Washington think tanks on July 23. The discussion was held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Read the event coverage, The Iran Nuclear Deal: Pitfalls and Promises.

Who got what in the Iran nuclear deal? An Iran scholar, a sanctions specialist and nuclear experts discussed the meaning of the agreement and explored what's next for all parties. This event, held at the Wilson Center, was the fifth in the Iran Forum series sponsored by a consortium of eight Washington think tanks. They are: the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the RAND Corporation, the Arms Control Association, the Center for a New American Security, the Stimson Center, Partnership for a Secure America, and the Ploughshares Fund.  

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Will U.S., Iranian Politics Undercut a Nuclear Deal – or Save It?

Ali-Akbar Mousavi, a member of Iran’s parliament from 2000 to 2004, and Jim Slattery, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years, were among a panel of experts at USIP on April 20 who assessed the status of the nuclear talks and the political dynamics that will determine the fate of any agreement in Washington and Tehran.

Articles & Analysis

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:

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...

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...