Bookkeepers, Mad Mullahs, and the Sources of Iranian Conduct

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by Paul R. Pillar The Trump administration’s policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran so far shows no sign of inducing any desirable change in Iranian policy. Several reasons underlie this failure.  The administration has given the Iranian regime no realistic… Continue Reading  

Iran’s Khuzestan Arabs

Ahvaz military parade attack (Fatemeh Rahimavian via Wikimedia Commons)

by Scheherezade Faramarzi The September gunfire assault on a military parade in the predominantly Arab Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran and the alleged Iranian retaliatory assassination plot in Denmark shed rare light on the plight of Khuzestan’s estimated four million… Continue Reading  

U.S. Syria Policy Is a Strategic Failure

Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (vector_brothers via Shutterstock)

by Daniel Brumberg U.S. policy toward Syria pivots around vague and potentially incompatible goals that are not linked to adequate means. The White House wants to insure the permanent destruction of the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), expel Iranian and… Continue Reading  

Dissecting International Concerns about Iran’s Missiles

Quds Day rally (saeediex via Shutterstock)

by Tytti Erasto While trying to save the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, some European leaders have stepped up pressure on Iran’s ballistic missile program, simultaneously demanding talks and threatening sanctions. Iran—which sees… Continue Reading  

Iran’s Economic Populism: Antidote to U.S. Pressure

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by Kaveh L. Afrasiabi Exactly 30 years ago, I wrote a dissertation of over 500 pages on state and populism in Iran that ended with a chapter on “permanent populism.” This concept draws together various strands: the pattern of post-revolutionary… Continue Reading