Members of USIP’s Internal Iran Study Group discussed a range of dynamics in the universities, opposition, the economy and even the security apparatus that often escape the foreign headlines and highlighted what is expected in light of Hassan Rouhani’s recent election as president.

PostIranElectionPol

Iran’s June 14, 2013 presidential election produced a result that surprised many Iran watchers: a first round win for Hassan Rouhani. A long-time regime stalwart who favors a political opening at home and abroad, his election may signal the return of a more contentious politics—one that could limit the growing influence of the security apparatus or create space for a more productive Western-Iranian dialogue.

To probe the implications of these changes for Iran’s internal politics and its foreign relations, on July 15 the United States Institute of Peace hosted three distinguished Iran analysts, one of which had just returned from Iran. Drawn from USIP’s Iran Study Group, they highlighted a range of dynamics in the universities, opposition, the economy and even the security apparatus that often escape the foreign headlines. Daniel Brumberg, Senior Program Officer on Iran and North Africa at USIP, chaired this timely discussion.

Speakers

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Discussant
President & Chief Executive Officer, Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy

Kevan Harris, Discussant
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University

Farzan Sabet, Discussant
Doctoral Student, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Daniel Brumberg, Moderator
Senior Program Officer on Iran and North Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Iran Nuclear Talks Open a Window for Broader Middle East Security

Iran Nuclear Talks Open a Window for Broader Middle East Security

Thursday, April 29, 2021

By: Ambassador Hesham Youssef

Since the end of World War II, there have been several attempts that ultimately failed to establish a regional security framework in the Middle East. These attempts have historically fallen short, undermined by distrust, power politics and conflict. Today, a new window of opportunity may be emerging to establish a stable, broadly accepted mechanism for deescalating conflicts, setting norms and building confidence and cooperation between states in the region. World powers should consider the ongoing Vienna talks — aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew from — the first step in this direction. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

A Year After Soleimani Strike, Iraq Bears the Brunt of U.S.-Iran Tensions

A Year After Soleimani Strike, Iraq Bears the Brunt of U.S.-Iran Tensions

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun; Sarhang Hamasaeed

The January 3, 2020 U.S. drone strike that killed powerful Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil marked an escalation in already simmering U.S.-Iran tensions. For Iraqi leaders, the Soleimani strike exacerbated an already challenging balancing act in maintaining Baghdad’s relationships with the United States and Iran, with whom it shares a long border and religious and social ties. During the past tumultuous year for Iraq, U.S. forces and Iranian-allied armed groups engaged in tit-for-tat attacks in Iraq. USIP’s Elie Abouaoun and Sarhang Hamasaeed look at how U.S.-Iran tensions played out last year in Iraq and the region and if the incoming U.S. administration, and its desire to reengage in nuclear talks with Iran, could help allay the impact on Iraq.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran: What’s Ahead for the Biden Administration?

Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran: What’s Ahead for the Biden Administration?

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

By: Robin Wright

Of all the pressing issues in the volatile Middle East—wars in Syria, Yemen and Libya, unstable Iraq, imploding Lebanon, and the 10,000 ISIS fighters and other al-Qaida franchises still on the loose—the most pressing for President-elect Joe Biden will be Iran’s controversial nuclear program. He has repeatedly promised to rejoin the nuclear deal, brokered by the world’s six major powers in 2015, which Donald Trump pulled out of in 2018.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications