Iran Politics

June 9, 2014
Shaul Bakhash One year after President Hassan Rouhani’s election, what are his administration’s main accomplishments?         After the eight disastrous years of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration, Rouhani’s signal achievement is simply to put government back into the hands of adults…
June 3, 2014
      June 3 marks the 25th anniversary of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s death —and the emergence of new Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The following are comments by The Iran Primer’s original authors on Khamenei’s quarter century in power.   Alireza Nader…
May 20, 2014
Nima Gerami             Iran’s political elite has become increasingly divided over the course of nuclear negotiations with the world’s six major powers, which began last fall. The current debate appears to fall into three camps:   • Nuclear supporters. This faction reportedly includes…
April 4, 2014
      On March 26, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars convened a panel of four experts to discuss prospects for change in Iran during the next five years. The Middle East Program then published a compilation of short papers based on their presentations. The following are excerpts…
February 14, 2014
       On February 14, the U.S. State Department urged Iran’s government to release of former presidential candidates and Green Movement opposition leaders. Mir Hossein Mousavi (left) and Mehdi Karroubi (right) —a former prime minister and former speaker of parliament—remain under house arrest for…
October 23, 2013
Semira Nikou              The voice of Ali Larijani, Iran’s parliament speaker, disrupted our dinner party.             We left our plates filled with fruits and nuts to huddle around the television, as the speaker read the names of…
September 24, 2013
            Former President Mohammad Khatami has called on the international community to engage in dialogue with his successor to solve longstanding tensions and avoid even greater tension in the volatile Middle East that threatens “global catastrophe.” In an op-ed in The Guardian newspaper, the…
September 18, 2013
Garrett Nada             In the first big move on human rights since President Hassan Rouhani took office, Iran released noted activist Nasrin Sotoudeh on September 18. The government did not make a formal announcement, but Rouhani’s office retweeted reports claiming that seven other female…
September 17, 2013
      On September 17, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Revolutionary Guards commanders that he is not opposed to more flexible engagement with the outside world. “I am not against proper political moves in diplomacy. I believe in what was named many years ago as ‘heroic flexibility,’”…
September 17, 2013
            Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani hosted what was almost certainly the most high-profile funeral held this year in Tehran. The funeral for Soleimani’s mother was an unusually public acknowledgment of his increasingly powerful role in the Islamic Republic. Iran’s political and…