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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.


  • Persian
  • French
  • English

In The News

12 Jan 2018
President Trump’s decision [to renew Iran's nuclear deal] leaves the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the state of limbo it acquired shortly after his election. Newsweek

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
11 Jan 2018
[U.S.] President [Trump] is [probably] going to once again decertify [Iran's nuclear deal] and continue to waive sanctions but at the same time slap new sanctions on Iran on non-nuclear issues. The Guardian

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
10 Jan 2018
Without addressing the main drivers of these protests, the Iranian leaders are buying time until the next one. NBC

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
5 Jan 2018
That the protests originated on 28 December in Mashhad, a bastion of [Iranian President] Rouhani's opponents and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's hometown, is highly significant. Voice of America

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
4 Jan 2018
[Iran's President] Rouhani has nothing to lose. A botched second term could doom his political future​, while an obstructed reform agenda could become an asset. AFP

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
3 Jan 2018
It’s hard to imagine that [Iranian] authorities would have allowed [a] protest to take place. And the kind of finger pointing, which is solely targeting [President] Rouhani, is rare. Vox

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran

Latest Updates

Iran Unites as Tehran Struck by Middle East’s Proxy Wars

The 7 June attacks in Tehran struck at the symbolic heart of Iran’s revolutionary republic. In this Q&A, Ali Vaez, Senior Analyst for Iran, says the outrages show how the region’s proxy wars are now reaching far beyond the battlefield.

Iran’s Bipolar Election

Iranian voters have a real choice on 19 May between a president promising engagement with the West or one focused on the ideological purity of the Islamic Revolution. At the same time, both leading candidates are clerical insiders who support the continuation of Iran’s nuclear deal.

Trump Can’t Deal With Iran If He Doesn’t Understand It

Tweets about putting Iran "ON NOTICE" are no replacement for appreciating the sources of Iranian conduct in the Middle East.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Trump's Iran Deal Options

Why renegotiation is better than repudiation.

Originally published in Foreign Affairs