Iran | Wilson Center


Tensions in the Gulf: Implications for U.S. Policy

The dramatic decision by Saudi Arabia, key Gulf states, and others to isolate Qatar is part of a deeper problem that has been brewing for years. How big a challenge does this recent turn of events, including the first major ISIS attack in Iran, portend for U.S. policy and interests in the region? Is this just a headline or does it represent a significant trend line that could reshape Arab politics and power balances?

In this ground truth briefing, three veteran analysts and practitioners of U.S. policy in the Gulf and the region share their views on these and other matters. 

The Impact of Iran’s Presidential Election on Domestic Issues and Foreign Policy

Panel 1: Presidential Elections, Domestic Politics, and Future Challenges


Four experts discussed the domestic challenges Iranian President Hassan Rouhani faces after his reelection on May 19, 2017.

Drivers of Insecurity and Instability in the Middle East and South Asia

The Middle East and South Asia are complex and volatile regions.

Satire Under a Bright Red Star

A look at Iran’s Chelengar, 1950-1953

The period leading to the August 19, 1953, coup against Mohammad Mossadegh marked a unique instance in the history of the modern Iranian press. The weakness of the royal court, the limited state censorship imposed by Mossadegh’s National Front government, and the relative strength of opposition parties were all factors conducive to a lively and unique press scene in Iran, one on which the global Cold War cast a strong influence.

U.S.- Iran Relations: Opportunities for the New Administration

Key Quotes 

Quotes from Catherine Ashton, Baroness of Upholland:

·         “This was an incredibly technically complicated agreement that required a lot of experts to burn the midnight oil, both at the talks and at home in the different countries.”

From West Africa to the Middle East, Water and the Rise of Insurgencies in the "Arc of Instability"

Water scarcity has contributed to an “arc of instability” characterized by conflict and displacement that stretches from West Africa to the Middle East, said a panel of experts at the Wilson Center on March 1. Two authors from an upcoming compilation of case studies on water security and violent conflict by World Wildlife Fund gave overviews of challenges in Nigeria and Iran and recommendations for U.S. engagement.

Fallout From Iran Missile Test

Fallout from Iran’s recent missile test has resulted in new US sanctions and warnings from the Trump Administration that the country is “playing with fire” and is now “on notice.” Is the test a violation of the Iran Nuclear Deal? What can we expect moving forward? We asked nonproliferation and national security expert, Robert Litwak to provide analysis. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.


The Long Career of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who died in Tehran from a heart attack Sunday, January 8, was one of the dominant and enduring leaders of the Iranian revolution and the Islamic Republic: a fiery revolutionary, a member of parliament, a shaper of the Islamic Republic’s governing structure, and a moderate president who favored economic reform over religious dictates.