United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Robin Wright's Blog

The War that Haunts Iran’s Negotiators

Robin Wright

The historic nuclear diplomacy taking place in Vienna’s elegant Coburg Palace has roots in a gritty war between Iran and Iraq that ended more than a quarter of a century ago. Iran suffered more than a hundred and fifty thousand dead between 1980 and 1988. In Tehran, it’s called the Sacred Defense. In the final stages, U.S. aid to Iraq contributed to Iran’s decision to pursue nuclear capability—the very program that six world powers are now negotiating to contain.
 
 
Click here for the full article in The New Yorker.

 

“Madam Secretary” and the Real Iran Deal

 
In a new article for The New Yorker, Robin Wright reports that officials involved in nuclear talks say that diplomacy is further along than was indicated by the so-called blueprint for a deal, which was announced in Lausanne on April 2. “What is more striking, after eighteen months of negotiations, is the changing climate, whether in popular culture, public opinion, or diplomacy,” according to Wright. “In the case of ‘Madam Secretary,’ an American TV drama dared to build a whole season around rapprochement with Iran.”
 

Click here to read the full article.

The Test in Tikrit

Robin Wright (for The New Yorker)

“Victory [in Tikrit] will not be decided on the battlefield. More important to the ultimate success of the campaign will be how Baghdad proceeds politically in Saddam’s home town—both in creating a climate where the Sunnis will not feel defeated and in using Tikrit as a model for more inclusive and tolerant rule of Iraq’s diverse communities.”
 
Click here to read the full article in The New Yorker.
 

Iran's Dinner Diplomacy

Robin Wright (for The New Yorker)

           Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, did not shake hands with Barack Obama at the United Nations this week, a year after their celebrated cell-phone chat. The two men didn’t even pass each other in the hallway. But Rouhani did give a quiet dinner at his hotel on Tuesday for twenty former American officials—including a secretary of state, three national-security advisers, and a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—from all six Administrations since the 1979 revolution.

Click here for the full article.

Iran's Dissidents, Released But Not Freed

Robin Wright
(Excerpt from The New Yorker)

            Rouhani’s victory, an upset, spawned great expectations of change. A pragmatic centrist, he campaigned on the promise of “hope and prudence.” After the election, in a series of speeches and tweets, he pledged new freedoms and challenged past practices, including censorship. His quasi-official account tweeted, “Web filtering unable to produce results. Which important piece of news has #filtering been able to black out in recent years.” Rouhani was particularly tough on the country’s state-controlled television, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (I.R.I.B.):

            Over the past year, though, Rouhani has conspicuously failed to uphold his promise.

Click here for the full article in The New Yorker.

 

Connect With Us

Our Partners

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Logo