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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

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
5 May 2018
It took 13 years of a nuclear standoff with Iran to get a deal. It would be a pity to lose it as a result of something that could at the end of the day be considered a rough patch. Bloomberg

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
1 May 2018
We need the [Iran nuclear] deal to verify [Prime Minister Netanyahu's] claims, without it Iran can do whatever it wants. Al Jazeera

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
16 Mar 2018
One doesn’t ascend to the pinnacle of power from the position of a virtual underdog in Iran’s politics without having Machiavellian skills. No one could pose a serious challenge to [Ayatollah Khamenei]. Bloomberg

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
16 Mar 2018
The Trump administration’s move to the right with [former Secretary of State] Tillerson’s departure, [replaced by former CIA director Mike] Pompeo, signals further hardening of Washington’s stance. Bloomberg

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.

A Huthi Missile, a Saudi Purge and a Lebanese Resignation Shake the Middle East

Volatility is rising across the Middle East as local, regional and international conflicts increasingly intertwine and amplify each other. Four Crisis Group analysts give a 360-degree view of the new risks of overlapping conflicts that involve Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Israel.