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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

28 Apr 2021
This is the Iranian equivalent of an October surprise -- a deliberate leak timed to prevent the pro-engagement forces of Iranian politics from having any say in the upcoming elections RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
15 Apr 2021
It is clear that the more the diplomatic process drags on, the higher the risk that [Iran nuclear talks] gets derailed by saboteurs and those acting in bad faith France 24

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
26 Mar 2021
The nuclear pact is not a domestic political issue in Europe; they didn’t understand how much of an obstacle domestic political opposition to progress it would be. Foreign Policy

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
2 Mar 2021
Iranians have come to believe that the Biden administration is nothing but Trump 2.0. They doubt it is serious about diplomacy. TRT World

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
29 Apr 2020
Depriving Tehran from having access to the arms market will compel Iran to double down on its support for proxies and its ballistic missiles program. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
15 Apr 2020
The Iranians are keen on demonstrating to the U.S. that the COVID crisis has neither debilitated them nor has altered their strategic calculus. Time

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran

Latest Updates

Biden Should Cap, Freeze and Roll Back Iran’s Nuclear Program

Iranian and U.S. leaders face domestic pressure to further harden their positions in negotiations to revive the faltering 2015 nuclear accord. Both parties should start a three-phase synchronised process to bring them back into compliance with their nuclear deal obligations before Iran’s June presidential elections.

The Coronavirus Crisis is a Diplomatic Opportunity for the United States and Iran

Washington and Tehran could use the public health emergency to show goodwill, dial down tensions while saving face, and avoid a dangerous confrontation.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

U.S. “Maximum Pressure” on Iran Hurts the Women It Claims to Help

To help justify its coercive measures against the Islamic Republic, Washington often evokes Iranian women’s struggles for inclusion and equality. But evidence from today’s Iran shows that U.S. policies are instead contributing to holding women back.

U.S. Maximum Pressure Meets Iranian Maximum Pressure

Eighteen months after Washington quit the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, Tehran is proceeding with staggered steps away from its own compliance. The deal is unravelling against the backdrop of high regional tensions. A de-escalation along the lines developed by France provides an off-ramp.

After the Aramco Attack: A Middle East One Step Closer to Its “1914 Moment”

On 14 September, strikes of uncertain provenance hit Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities, taking some 50 per cent of the kingdom’s oil production temporarily offline. Crisis Group offers a 360-degree view of the attacks and their implications for Middle Eastern and international peace and security.