Ties between Tehran and Damascus have been close since the 1979 revolution, but the relationship deepened after Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011. With the Assad regime’s survival at stake, Tehran doubled down on its support, providing critical military assistance—fighters and strategists—and economic aid estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Tehran’s interventions in conflicts throughout the Middle East have become a particular point of contention for detractors of the Iran Deal, which placed constraints on the country's nuclear program without addressing its role in Syria, Yemen, and across the region. There is no place Iranian influence has played a more conspicuous role than in neighboring Iraq.
This week in Washington, Prime Minister Netanyahu successfully shifted the optics from mounting domestic pressure. Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen shares her analysis about Netanyahu’s warm reception at the AIPAC conference and his White House meeting focused on Iran. The conversation continues with Kurtzer-Ellenbogen explaining the latest hurdles for Middle East Peace and the anticipation for the Trump administration’s Middle East Peace Plan.
Maria Stephan discusses non-violent action in Iran and the diversity among participants in the recent protests. Stephan tackles the impact of cyber suppression on protesters and how "he...
Mona Yacoubian gives us a glimpse into the changing dynamics in Syria, addressing Assad’s grip on power, Russia’s support, and Iran and Turkey’s roles and interests. Yacoubian also addresses the rising tensions between Turkey and the United States over the Kurds.
Even before President Donald Trump upended a core U.S. policy recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, late 2017 has been tumultuous in the Middle East. The Islamic State (ISIS) “caliphate” collapsed. Syria’s Assad regime all but won the six-year civil war, consolidating Iranian and Russian influence. Saudi Arabia purged...
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Sochi on Tuesday to discuss efforts to end the Syrian civil war. The presidents of Iran and Turkey are scheduled to meet Putin on Wednesday as Russia promises to scale back its military presence in Syria and push for a diplomatic solution.
For decades, Iran has vexed the international community. It introduced Islam as a form of governance in 1979 and has supported militants abroad and defied international norms. Recent developments—including the centrist Hassan Rouhani’s presidential victory and the 2015 nuclear deal—hold the potential for improved international relations and a boost to the economy. However, economic revitalization is slow, and the nation remains a complex and contentious factor in global politics.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won a decisive victory for a second four-year term, with more than 41 million of 56.4 million eligible voters casting ballots, and 57 percent granting him their vote. But his platform of loosening political restrictions at home and greater engagement abroad will face challenges domestically and internationally.
Iranians head to the polls on May 19 to determine whether President Hassan Rouhani wins another four-year term, or is ousted or forced into a runoff by one of his challengers. The result has ramifications for relations with the U.S., as President Trump suggests a tougher line from Washington, and it will impact Iran’s actions in a Middle East roiled by wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Rouhani has been more open to engaging with the West and improving relations with Iran’s Sunni neighbors in the Persian Gulf than his conservative critics.