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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

15 May 2019
[If sanctions fail to bring down the Iranian economy] there will be people in Washington who will push for limited kinetic action against the Iranian regime to cut it down to size. NYT

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
9 May 2019
[Iran has] increasingly less to lose because the U.S. sanctions have effectively deprived them of all the benefits that the nuclear deal promised. USA Today

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
6 May 2019
[Iran has] plenty of options. The problem is, given that there are no off-ramps, and no channels of communication between [Iran and the U.S.], the risks of a confrontation quickly spiraling out of control are quite high. The Atlantic

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
5 May 2019
My sense is that [Iran is] going to break out of some of the [JCPOA's] limits on research and development. It’s an escalation, but an incremental and reversible one. Politico

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
26 Apr 2019
The intent [of the sanctions] is clear: bankrupt Iran into acceding to unilateral U.S. demands or, even better, imploding its regime. But the campaign against Iran is more likely to fuel resistance and retaliation than capitulation. The Guardian

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
27 Mar 2019
Washington's approach is systematic as well as binary: allies must be supported, rivals must be curbed. But how effective it is in bringing Iran back to the table on US terms still very much uncertain. Twitter

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran

Latest Updates

Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ Won’t Make Iran Yield

The one thing Tehran would find more intolerable than the crushing impact of sanctions is raising the white flag because of them.

Originally published in The Atlantic

Europe Tests the Boundaries on Iran

A New Trade Vehicle Could Preserve the Nuclear Deal’s Core Bargain

Originally published in Foreign Affairs

The Risks of Maximising Pressure on Iran

The Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran is more likely to fuel resistance and retaliation than capitulation. Washington should heed past lessons lest it provokes a new nuclear crisis or a regional escalation.