Selected Publications

Iran’s ‘second-generation’ Reformists off to shaky start – Al Monitor
The latest chapter in the ongoing power struggle between Iran’s various political factions is the formation of a new Reformist group called Neda. The faction could be the much-needed impetus for the Reformists’ return to the political arena; however, ranking Reformists remain skeptical. By vowing to get closer to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the group could open some breathing room for Reformists, while at the same time disenfranchising the more radical elements of the Reformist camp.

Rouhani Goes to College – The Majalla
A tug-of-war is taking place between the Rouhani administration and conservatives, with the control of Iran’s universities at stake.

Cleaning House in Tehran – The Majalla
Aside from the ongoing nuclear talks, President Rouhani’s biggest problem is the precarious state of Iran’s economy and its rampant corruption. 

Rouhani’s US-Educated Chief of Staff Knows East and West - Al Monitor
Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff is a US-educated technocrat who is close to Iran’s religious and merchant classes.

Rowhani’s first 100 daysForeign Policy
President-elect Hassan Rowhani will assume office on August 3 with a mandate thanks to his decisive first round election victory on June 14. But in his first 100 days, Rowhani will face a daunting agenda: he must address a struggling economy, form a unity government, send the right signals abroad, and start rebuilding the regime’s legitimacy. Most importantly, he must convince Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei that his agenda is worth blessing.

A Crucial Election for Iran’s Reform Movement - Jadaliyya
Today, Iranians cast their vote for the country’s eleventh presidential election. It certainly will not be an easy decision, with a field of candidates that lack any sense of major diversity in their policies and ideologies. With one glaring exception, the deck is stacked in favor of the conservative elites.

Why Iran’s City Council Elections MatterAl Monitor
On June 14, Iranians will not only cast their votes for president, but they will also be electing more than 126,000 provincial, city, district, and village council members in cities and villages throughout the country. These elected officials play a key role in planning and managing policies that directly impact the lives of their constituents in each municipality.

Morsi’s just not that into IranForeign Policy
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had high hopes for the visit to Tehran by new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. His trip on Thursday for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit might have been brief, but Iran’s leaders relished the opportunity to demonstrate progress in overcoming its isolation in the Arab world and to gain some democratic and revolutionary legitimacy by proxy.

Bahrain’s triangle of conflictForeign Policy
The triangle of conflict in Bahrain grows more entrenched by the day as moderates fall victim to the ever increasing fragmentation and polarization of Bahraini society. Any political process that holds any hope of achieving real reconciliation must include all three camps — the government, the opposition, and the loyalist opposition. Yet, in every camp, the hardline voices least likely to participate in such a dialogue grow stronger every day.

Hekmati: Iran’s latest political pawnGlobal Public Square – CNN.com
If there were any doubt that Iran has sentenced a young Iranian-American to death purely for political reasons, Amir Hekmati’s family has now provided convincing evidence of Iran’s true motives.

Potential Attack Threatens Peaceful Movement for Change - PBS – Tehran Bureau
The possibility of a military strike against Iran has become a focal point of U.S. foreign policy debates. As the hawkish voices intensify, we as members of a generation born in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War cannot help but remember the tragedy of those eight years of bloodshed that are so ingrained in our memories.

Will Ayatollah Khamenei eliminate the Iranian presidency?Global Public Square – CNN.com
So why has the Supreme Leader decided to suggest eliminating the position of the presidency in Iran? What does he have to gain from this dramatic political shift? The most obvious explanation is his determination not to repeat the disputed 2009 election and its aftermath.

Another political soap opera in IranGulf News
Like many past elections, the 2008 parliamentary election cycle was an emotional rollercoaster for the nominees, political parties and anyone following the political developments in the past several months. The overwhelming number of disqualifications made by the Guardian Council, the unprecedented involvement of the interior ministry, and the battle between the reformist and conservative parties made the Iranian political scene on par with a TV soap opera – superfluous and unpredictable.

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