Robin Wright's Blog

The Iran Deal: A Humanizing Breakthrough

November 24, 2013
Robin Wright            In 1981, I stood at the foot of the plane that flew the 52 Americans held hostage 444 days in Iran to freedom in Algiers. They were all pasty-faced and captive-weary as they disembarked into the cold January night. It was after midnight. Tehran had delayed their…

Part I: Opposition to a Deal - The Gulf

November 14, 2013
Robin Wright and Garrett Nada            The new diplomacy between Iran and the world’s six major powers faces growing opposition from key players in the Middle East, including the oil-rich and influential Gulf states. The Sunni sheikhdoms are nervous the Shiite theocracy will do a deal on its…

Iran's Man on Wire: Javad Zarif

October 18, 2013
Robin Wright             When Mohammed Javad Zarif left the United Nations in 2007, I asked what he had achieved in five years as Tehran's ambassador. "Not much," he said with a sigh. "A stupid idealist who has not achieved anything in his diplomatic life after giving one-sided concessions--this is…

US-Iran: Other Signs of New Times

September 30, 2013
Robin Wright             A week of remarkable U.S.-Iran diplomacy has been followed by other indications of shifting tones in both the Islamic Republic and the United States. Among the most startling was the headline “On the Wave of Telephone Diplomacy” in Iran’s Bahar newspaper…

Breakfast with President Rouhani

September 25, 2013
Robin Wright             I had breakfast with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani this morning. He is personable and a striking departure from President Ahmadinejad. He entered the room with presidential flair; he wore a white turban and robes. (I had been early so I had to go through both…

Youth in Iran Part 1: "The Determinators"

August 9, 2013
Robin Wright              They’re the determinators—the politically savvy, socially sassy, and media astute young of Iran. And they count, quite literally, as never before as a new president takes over.        President Hassan Rouhani owes his election to the young, who are Iran’s largest voting…

The Fires Facing Hassan Rouhani

July 30, 2013
Robin Wright      One of the most important questions in the Middle East this year is whether Hassan Rouhani's election will mark a new era -- both for Iranians and the outside world. The answer could mean the difference between peace and yet another war. Rouhani's campaign certainly made…

Ahmadinejad’s Legacy: Top 10 (Mis)Hits

July 25, 2013
Robin Wright            President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leaves office with little to show for his eight years in power. Iran’s toxic economy is often blamed on his mismanagement as much as on international sanctions. Politically, his reelection in 2009 ignited the largest protests since the 1979…

What the world will learn from Iran’s election

June 6, 2013
By Robin Wright             The field of candidates may be limited, but the outside world can still learn a lot from Iran’s 2013 presidential poll. The election will provide three pivotal metrics about the Islamic republic now that the Ahmadinejad era is ending.        First, the (real) turnout…

Latest on the Race: Rafsanjani Redux?

May 20, 2013
By Robin Wright and Garrett Nada            Among the 680-plus candidates who registered to run for president of Iran, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stands alone as the most experienced and savviest politico — by far. He has almost done it all.      He was speaker of parliament for nine terms in the…