Saudi Arabia Iran

After Hajj, Iran-Saudi Rivalry Back On

Some have speculated the successful participation of Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Hajj could mark the start of a rapprochement between the two regional enemies. In early September, a leader of Iran’s pilgrimage team thanked the Saudis for their support, and Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced diplomats from both nations would visit the other to inspect their respective diplomatic facilities. The bonhomie was short-lived, however. On September 3, Iran’s defense minister said his country would co... Continue Reading

Iran Nuclear Deal Rouhani

Iran: Domestic Politics Drive Nuclear Deal Posturing

On August 15, President Rouhani threatened to withdraw from the P5+1 nuclear deal “within hours” should the United States impose further sanctions on Iran. A day before the statement, in a show of power, Ayatollah Khamenei named a slate of new, mostly conservative members to the Expediency Council, a high-level advisory body that mediates legislative disputes between Parliament and the Guardian Council. ... Continue Reading

Iran-Saudi Rivalry Saudi Arabia Qatar Iran

Qatar the Outcast

ON MAY 14, Predata observed that, while the war of words between Tehran and Riyadh had been heating up, the reaction of Persian-language and Arabic-language audiences to this increase in threatening rhetoric was muted. Four weeks later, several developments suggest that the potential for an expansion of the two countries’ proxy war may have grown. On May 23, the government of Bahrain cracked down on Shia protestors – resulting in five deaths and hundreds of arrests. Predictably, while Saudi Ara... Continue Reading

iran saudi june 11
Hassan Rouhani Iran Deep State

Can Iran's "Deep State" Make a Comeback?

DESPITE CLAIMS of fraud by losing conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s Guardian Council on May 30 confirmed President Rouhani’s re-election. Given that Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei holds substantial power over many of the government’s most powerful institutions, the principal analytic question now is how much can Rouhani achieve in the face of “resistance” by hardline elements supported by the Supreme Leader. The current expectation among most Iran observers is that Rouhani faces major c... Continue Reading

iran deep state 6/4/17