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What’s Next for Iran After Raisi’s Death?

What’s Next for Iran After Raisi’s Death?

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

On May 19, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and six other passengers and crew died in a helicopter crash. The aircraft went down in dense fog in a mountainous region of East Azerbaijan province in northwestern Iran. The officials were returning from the opening ceremony for a dam on the border with Azerbaijan. Less than 72 hours after Raisi’s death, the focus has turned to the political changes that come next with elections slated for June 28.

Type: Question and Answer

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

The Pivotal Elections of 2024: Key Races That Will Shape the Global Landscape

The Pivotal Elections of 2024: Key Races That Will Shape the Global Landscape

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Around 2 billion people in more than 50 countries, including India, Chad, Mexico and South Africa, will go to the polls this year in what has been described as the Super Bowl of elections. From major democracies to emerging nations, the outcomes of these votes will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future trajectory of countries around the world. While some elections could produce conflict, most will take place under the threat of disruption — all of this will have serious implications for U.S. foreign policy and security.

Type: AnalysisQuestion and Answer

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Elections & Conflict

What You Need to Know About China’s Saudi-Iran Deal

What You Need to Know About China’s Saudi-Iran Deal

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Iran and Saudi Arabia announced last Friday a Chinese-brokered deal to restore relations. After decades of enmity and a formal cutting of ties in 2016, the rapprochement has been touted as a momentous development in the region. But how it ultimately impacts the Middle East remains a very open question, as the long adversarial powers are fighting a proxy war in Yemen and continue to support opposing sides across the region. Amid perceived U.S. retrenchment from the Middle East, the deal is a diplomatic win for China as it increasingly seeks to present an alternative vision to the U.S.-led global order.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

Takeaways from Blinken’s Trip to the Middle East

Takeaways from Blinken’s Trip to the Middle East

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Middle East has not been a high priority for the Biden administration thus far, with issues such as Russia’s war in Ukraine and escalating tensions with China taking precedence. However, recent developments in the region are catching the administration’s attention, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank earlier this week sought to reaffirm U.S. engagement in the Middle East amid political turnover in Israel, spiraling violence in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, stepped-up Iran-Israel tensions and a deepening economic crisis in Egypt.

Type: Analysis

Peace Processes

How the Region is Reacting to the Taliban Takeover

How the Region is Reacting to the Taliban Takeover

Thursday, August 19, 2021

While the Taliban’s swift advance into Kabul over the weekend has left much of the West reeling, Afghans themselves will bear the brunt of the militant group’s rule. Beyond Afghanistan’s borders, its neighbors will feel the most immediate impact. Earlier this year, Russia, China and Pakistan affirmed that the future of Afghanistan should be decided through dialogue and political negotiations. How will they engage with the Taliban now?

Type: Analysis

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

What You Need to Know About Iran’s Election and New President

What You Need to Know About Iran’s Election and New President

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential election amid a historically low turnout on June 18. He will be inaugurated in early August and have significant influence over domestic policy and foreign affairs, although Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the ultimate say. Raisi’s election comes as the Biden administration is working with other major powers to bring the United States and Iran into full compliance to the 2015 nuclear deal, which the president-elect has expressed interest in reviving to take advantage of its economic benefits. USIP’s Garrett Nada looks at the implications of Raisi’s election victory and what it could mean for the Islamic Republic’s ties to the outside world.  

Type: Analysis

Democracy & Governance

What You Need to Know about Iran’s Coronavirus Crisis

What You Need to Know about Iran’s Coronavirus Crisis

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Iran’s outbreak has been the worst in the Middle East by far and there are concerns that the pandemic’s spread is significantly worse than reported by Iranian authorities. The virus hit at a particularly bad time for Iran with the economy already suffering from the impact of U.S. sanctions. USIP’s Garrett Nada discusses the debate over the number of cases, Tehran’s decision to ease containment measures, and whether the coronavirus crisis could open the door to de-escalation with the United States.

Type: Analysis

Fragility & ResilienceGlobal Health