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Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran

Crisis Group Role

Ali Vaez is Crisis Group’s Iran Project Director and Senior Adviser to the President. He led Crisis Group’s efforts in helping to bridge the gaps between Iran and the P5+1 that led to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. Previously, he served as a Senior Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and was the Iran Project Director at the Federation of American Scientists. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Professional Background

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, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs. He is a frequent guest on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and NPR. Vaez 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.

Languages

  • Persian
  • French
  • English

In The News

2 Mar 2022
If the negotiators [on the Iran nuclear deal] fail to bridge the remaining gaps, the best fall back option is a moratorium that averts a perilous cycle of escalation. Bloomberg

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
19 Jan 2022
Russia neither wants Iran with a bomb nor Iran bombed. The Russians are very good at compartmentalizing their differences with the West. The New York Times

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
1 Dec 2021
Israel is not the most important factor in the fate of these negotiations [on the nuclear deal] as Iran’s own attitude and negotiation strategy is. TRT World

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
11 Nov 2021
By insisting on its maximalist demands [in the nuclear talks with the U.S.], Iran is likely to get neither sanctions relief nor the guarantees it is seeking. Reuters

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
22 Sep 2021
[Iranian President] Raisi’s harsh denunciation of the United States doesn’t suggest that Iran is prepared to demonstrate the kind of flexibility that is needed to restore the JCPOA. The National

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
3 Sep 2021
Tehran and Washington will remain at daggers drawn, and under those circumstances, Iran-Saudi de-escalation is unlikely, if not impossible. Foreign Policy

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran

Latest Updates

The Impact of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine in the Middle East and North Africa

Spikes in prices of grain and fuel, with uncertain political reverberations, are the Ukraine war’s primary effect to date on Middle Eastern and North African countries. But diplomatic and military developments are important, too, as Crisis Group experts explain in this look around the region.

Also available in العربية

The Ukraine War: A Global Crisis?

The overwhelming support for a UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion shows that countries around the world see it as attacking global norms. Yet policymakers also view the crisis in terms of their own national interest. Crisis Group experts assess the war from thirteen vantage points.

Also available in Español

Will the Iran Nuclear Deal Survive and What Happens if Not?

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group expert Ali Vaez about Iran’s nuclear program, the fate of the Iran nuclear deal and the risk of a military escalation between the U.S. and Iran if it collapses.

Podcast

New Ways to Think About Nuclear Weapons

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and guest co-host Ali Vaez are joined by Emma Belcher, President of Ploughshares Fund, to talk about the extent to which nuclear policy debates have changed and ask whether we can break the deadlock by rethinking our approach to nuclear threats.

Commentary / Asia

With the Taliban Back in Kabul, Regional Powers Watch and Wait

The Taliban’s return to power raises questions not only about how the movement will use its newfound authority but also about what Afghanistan’s neighbours will do in response. Crisis Group experts offer a 360-degree view of these countries’ initial reactions and what is behind them.