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Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran

Crisis Group Role

Ali Vaez is Crisis Group's Senior Iran analyst based in Istanbul. Consulting closely with all sides in the nuclear negotiations for the past few years, he led Crisis Group’s efforts in helping to bridge the gaps between Iran and the P5+1 and is renowned as one of the foremost experts on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

Professional Background

Before joining Crisis Group, he headed the Iran project at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, DC. Trained as a scientist, Vaez has more than a decade of experience in journalism. He has written widely on Iranian affairs and is a regular contributor to mainstream media outlets. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University from 2008 to 2010 and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Geneva and a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.


  • Persian
  • French
  • English

In The News

13 Oct 2017
The [Trump] administration could usher in what it purportedly seeks to prevent: greater Iranian assertiveness, more regional instability and lower odds of resolving the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq Time

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
11 Oct 2017
Given the growth in trade between the EU and Iran since the [nuclear] agreement came into force, Europe could potentially salvage the Iran deal even if the United States sought to sabotage it. Carnegie Europe

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
19 Sep 2017
[U.S. President Trump's speech at the UN General Assembly] makes it sound unlikely that the US administration will certify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA [...], setting the world up for a new crisis. The National

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
15 Jul 2017
The Iran-Iraq war was the formative experience for all of Iran’s leaders. From [commander of the Iranian Quds Force General Qassim] Suleimani all the way down. It was their ‘never again’ moment. The New York Times

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
19 Jun 2017
The strike [by Iran against ISIS in Syria] further complicates an already complex situation. If the US takes measures beyond rhetorical condemnation, tensions could escalate too far too quickly. Al-Monitor

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
9 Jun 2017
It's not the attacks that are surprising. It's that Iran has been able to avoid one for so long. The attacks were a wake-up call for Iran's security apparatus. Reuters

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran

Latest Updates

Iran Unites as Tehran Struck by Middle East’s Proxy Wars

The 7 June attacks in Tehran struck at the symbolic heart of Iran’s revolutionary republic. In this Q&A, Ali Vaez, Senior Analyst for Iran, says the outrages show how the region’s proxy wars are now reaching far beyond the battlefield.

Iran’s Bipolar Election

Iranian voters have a real choice on 19 May between a president promising engagement with the West or one focused on the ideological purity of the Islamic Revolution. At the same time, both leading candidates are clerical insiders who support the continuation of Iran’s nuclear deal.

Trump Can’t Deal With Iran If He Doesn’t Understand It

Tweets about putting Iran "ON NOTICE" are no replacement for appreciating the sources of Iranian conduct in the Middle East.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Trump's Iran Deal Options

Why renegotiation is better than repudiation.

Originally published in Foreign Affairs