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Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran

Crisis Group Role

Ali Vaez is Crisis Group's Iran Project Director. Consulting closely with all sides in the nuclear negotiations for the past few years as our former Iran Senior Analyst, 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.

Languages

  • Persian
  • French
  • English

In The News

7 Aug 2018
Sanctions are effective as they have international support. This time around, the U.S. is basically bullying the rest of the world into compliance. There are many countries who would not comply like China or Russia. As a result of it, the leaky sanctions regime would not be as effective as the previous round. Al Jazeera

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
26 Jul 2018
There’s so much friction between Iran, the U.S. and their respective allies throughout the region. There’s so many flash points that a single miscalculation could result in a confrontation that could easily spiral out of control. TIME

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
24 Jul 2018
Unlike the case of North Korea, enmity with Iran is quite ideological in [the Trump] administration... The more the U.S. threatens Iran, and the more ordinary Iranians have to deal with economic hardships, the less motivation [Iranians] may have for pursuing any kind of radical change The Washington Post

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
9 Jul 2018
Trying to appropriate Iranian women’s discontent to advance regime change is a surefire way to undermine their cause. The more the Trump Administration tries to deepen Iran’s domestic fault lines, the more likely it is that the political élite will close ranks and bring down the iron fist. The New Yorker

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
5 Jun 2018
Europe should [try to save the Iran nuclear deal] not because it has economic interests in Iran, which are quite negligible, but because it is in its own security interest. Without the nuclear deal, Iran will either obtain a nuclear bomb or will be bombed. Both of these outcomes will adversely affect Europe, who will feel the impact through more refugee flows and radicalisation. Debating Europe

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
14 May 2018
From the perspective of the leadership in Tehran, Iran and Europe against the US is a much better scenario than the U.S. and Europe against Iran. CS Monitor

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran

Latest Updates

The Iran deal is on life support. Can Europe revive it?

The key question is whether the sum total of what Europe can offer Iran is sufficiently robust – financially and symbolically – to give those in Iran who argue for restraint and continued engagement a chance. 

Originally published in euronews

Iran’s Protests: Time to Reform

Without addressing head-on the drivers of the protests and pursuing popular reform, the Iranian leaders are only buying time until the next standoff between the state and the society.

Originally published in Open Democracy

How Iran’s President Rouhani Can Turn Crisis into Opportunity

Daily street protests across Iran since 28 December 2017 have pitted many young Iranians against the government, but the state’s response is revealing deep fractures in the political establishment. To outflank both the unrest and his political opponents, President Rouhani’s best option is to address head-on the drivers of the protests and pursue popular reform.