• 2022-01-07

    Two years after Gen. Soleimani’s assassination, the Islamic Republic might best be served by discarding the quixotic pursuit of unattainable goals and focusing instead on what its rulers are supposed to do: providing for the security and well-being of their citizens. That may well include shifting from the goal of “expelling the U.S.” to trying to redefine the relationship based on a degree of mutual acceptance, at least for as long as the Democratic administration is in power.

  • 2021-12-24

    While the west bangs on about Vienna talks, sanctions and military options, Iran has been quietly building a vast network of alternative solutions to cement its Asian ascent

  • 2021-12-14

    On December 12, President Ebrahim Raisi submitted his proposed budget to parliament for the Iranian year 2022/23, which begins in March. According to the initial numbers, Tehran appears to assume that nothing will emerge from the nuclear talks in Vienna, and that the country will not be any more successful than it has been at evading U.S. sanctions.

  • 2021-12-14

    Protests and strikes persist around the globe as workers continue to struggle for their basic rights. Iran is no exception, and has seen workers from across the labor spectrum organize strikes and protests to demand better working conditions, fair wages and improved benefits. In recent days, demonstrations by Iranian teachers have again spread across several cities in Iran and gathered large crowds in support.

  • 2021-12-09

    On November 8, a group of local farmers arrived in the city of Esfahan to protest in front of the offices of the official state news agency and the regional water authorities. The protestors called on the government to release water into the Zayendeh River, which has laid dusty and bare for months, a reoccurring phenomenon. Over the next days, the farmers continued their demonstration in the dried-out beds of the river, camping out close to one of downtown Esfahan’s iconic bridges.

  • 2021-12-02

    Russia is the one state with the necessary clout, tools, sweeteners and relationships to nudge the Persian Gulf into a new security paradigm. Russia is teeing up a re-launch of its Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf Region

  • 2021-12-02

    While the JCPOA helped reinforce Khamenei's flailing attempt to build a Russia-Iran strategic alliance, the drive by both Tehran and Moscow's dictatorial regimes to cement an anti-U.S. alliance will backfire. Decades of official Islamic Republic hostility to the United States have not eroded and, indeed, likely may have encouraged a general friendliness by the Iranian public toward America. To try to push Russia upon the public will likely accelerate that trend while Moscow's close association with an increasingly unpopular Khamenei and Raisi will reinforce Iranian public hostility toward Russia for decades to come. The nature of dictatorship, however, means that in the short term, such sentiments will not affect policy as both Tehran and Moscow work to erode the post-World War II liberal order and U.S. dominance on the regional and global stage.

  • 2021-12-01

    Iran is continuously looking for new oil agreements and investments as it strives to bring its production back to 5 million bpd. China is continuing to buy Iranian oil despite U.S. sanctions, and other markets such as Venezuela are also heavily reliant on Iran’s crude. Talks resumed in Vienna this week about the nuclear agreement, although analysts are uncertain if an agreement will be met.

  • 2021-11-22

    Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, has spent his first 100 days in office touring the country in order to meet with communities and to hear their grievances. A steady tempo of protests, including major protests in Esfahan over water shortages, make clear that Raisi faces significant pressure to respond to deep public pessimism about Iran’s economic circumstances. This pessimism and doubts over the ability of the Iranian government to safeguard the welfare of ordinary Iranians overshadowed the Iranian presidential election, which took place in July. Official turnout reported by Iran’s Ministry of Interior was 48 percent, a historic low. A new nationally representative survey fielded by the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM), sheds light on public mood in Iran and makes clear the role that economic malaise is playing in strained state-society relations. In CISSM’s September 2021 survey, 53 percent of respondents claimed they “voted on the day of the election,” slightly higher than the official turnout (the difference between the two figures is slightly greater than the survey’s margin of error).

  • 2021-11-20

    A translation of a news report on the Turkish foreign minister’s recent visit to Tehran, during which plans for a joint comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement between Iran and Turkey was discussed.