Shaul Bakhash's Blog

Iran’s Tumultuous Revolution: 35 Years Later

February 10, 2014
            The following article was originally published as Viewpoints No. 52 by the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  Shaul Bakhash       The Iranian revolution, resulting in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Islamic Republic…

Iran at the UN: Khamenei to Rouhani

September 19, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             On September 24, Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani will make his debut at the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He is far from the first Iranian president to make this appearance. For a quarter century, Iran’s top elected leaders have all…

Part IV - Pivotal Election: The Issues

January 31, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             Three major issues will dominate Iran’s presidential election in June: ·    A deteriorating economy due to both chronic mismanagement and tough international sanctions, ·    The nuclear stand-off with the West, the flashpoint undermining Iran’s broader foreign…

Part III - Pivotal Election: The Reformists

January 30, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             Iran’s reformers transformed revolutionary politics between 1997 and 2005 under former President Mohammed Khatami. But today, the reformists’ ability to contest the presidential elections in any meaningful way appears slim. Conservatives have even taken to labeling them…

Part II - Pivotal Election: The Ahmadinejad Camp

January 29, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             Despite their current political dominance, Iran’s conservatives appear inordinately fearful of challenges looming in the June presidential election. Perhaps the most surprising is their concern that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may field a member of his inner circle…

Part I - Pivotal Election: The Conservatives

January 28, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             Iran’s presidential elections, slated for mid-June, will take place against a background of domestic uncertainty. The economy has been battered by sanctions from abroad and mismanagement at home. Oil sales and foreign exchange earnings have plummeted, while inflation…

No Elected President for Iran?

October 31, 2011
Shaul Bakhash 
   In mid-October, Supreme leader Ali Khamenei said in a speech that Iran’s executive presidency could be replaced by a parliamentary government if the interests of the state required it. The president, he implied, could be replaced by a prime minister. The remark, out of the blue…

Iran's Conservatives: The Headstrong New Bloc

September 12, 2011
Shaul Bakhash       This is the fourth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012:       In preparation for the 2012 parliamentary election, Iran's diverse conservative parties are already forging a strategy to marginalize or even exclude their principal opponents, especially…

A revolution’s anniversary: Iran’s creeping military rule

February 9, 2011
Shaul Bakhash Iran’s revolution marks its anniversary on Feb. 11. What is the political situation in Iran today?Iran marks the revolution’s 32nd anniversary in dramatically altered circumstances. It emerged from the disputed 2009 presidential election as a far more militarized state. The…