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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

8 Nov 2018
The only thing the Iranian leadership deems more dangerous than suffering from sanctions is surrendering to them. TIME

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
25 Sep 2018
The emphasis on coercion and pressure may find a receptive audience among U.S. regional allies, but is hardly going to lure the Iranians back to the table. Lowering tensions between Tehran and Washington is critical - but insults make any accommodation a less likely proposition. AFP

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
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

Latest Updates

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.

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