Interviews

Rouhani at the U.N.

October 1, 2019
On September 23, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in New York City to attend the U.N. General Assembly. In his address to world leaders, Rouhani accused the United States of “economic terrorism.” He said Tehran would not enter talks on its nuclear program or other issues unless the United…

Zarif in New York: On U.S. and Regional Tensions

September 27, 2019
On September 20, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in New York City ahead of the U.N. General Assembly opening. Zarif discussed U.S. tensions, the Saudi oil attacks and other issues in interviews with several news outlets and television networks. The following are excerpts from…

Zarif on “All-Out-War”

September 22, 2019
On September 19, Iranian Foreign Minister warned that Tehran could respond to a U.S. or Saudi military strike with “all-out war.” He questioned Saudi resolve and told CNN that the kingdom was prepared to fight "to the last American soldier." Zarif said Tehran hoped to avoid conflict but added, “We…

Interview with Zarif in New York

July 19, 2019
On July 18, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed major issues in two interviews, one with Robin Wright and another with a small group of journalists (including Wright) at the Iranian Mission to the United Nations in New York City. The following are excerpted remarks on topics…

Zarif in New York: On War and U.S. Talks

July 16, 2019
Foreign Minister Zarif attended U.N. meetings in New York from July 15-19. During which he did interviews with several journalists and television networks. The following are excerpts from three television interviews. He also did a separate interview with print correspondents available at this link…

The Impact: Iran Breaches Nuclear Deal

July 8, 2019
By Kelsey Davenport   Since July 1, Iran has engaged in two breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal. On July 1, it increased its stockpile of low-enriched uranium above the 300-kilogram limit. On July 8, it increased enrichment from the limit of 3.67 percent to 4.5 percent. Iran had previously complied…

Zarif on Growing U.S.-Iran Tensions

April 24, 2019
On April 24, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ruled out negotiating a new nuclear deal with the United States. “The United States does not need a new [negotiating] table. The table is there. … And I know that neither Iran nor the United States will ever get a better agreement,” he said at the…

Zarif in Munich: U.S. Wants Regime Change, Israel Seeks War

February 20, 2019
On February 17, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of “exporting insecurity” to the Middle East and trying to foment regime change in his country. In a defiant address at the Munich Security Forum, he condemned Washington for reimposing sanctions and withdrawing…

Rouhani’s First Interview Since Protests

January 26, 2019
On January 22, President Hassan Rouhani gave his first interview since protests over economic grievances and corruption broke out in late December and early January. Rouhani reiterated his support for citizens expressing their opinions, although the interviewer never brought up the demonstrations…

Part 2: Rouhani on U.S. at U.N.

October 3, 2018
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani repeatedly rebuked the Trump Administration—for abandoning the historic 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and “bullying the world”— during his four-day visit to the U.N. General Assembly. “The government of the United States—at least the current administration—seems…

Zarif in New York: On the U.S., Syria, Israel

October 3, 2018
Robin Wright had two interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his week-long trip to the United Nations in New York. One was one-on-one, and the second was with a group of journalists. The following are excerpts arranged by issues.    U.S. Policy and Potential for…

Zarif in New York: On the Nuclear Deal

April 20, 2018
On April 19, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in New York City to attend a high-level U.N. meeting on peacebuilding. Zarif told reporters that he would propose ideas for establishing dialogue and sustainable security in the Persian Gulf region. Zarif also spoke with several…

The Zarif Interviews: On Syria, Chemical Weapons

July 20, 2017
This is part two of a series based on interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a one-on-one interview with Robin Wright and another with a group of American journalists (including Wright) on July 18 in New York City. The following are excerpted remarks on the conflict in Syria…

Rouhani on Economy, Nuclear Deal, Environment

August 16, 2016
On August 2, President Hassan Rouhani gave a wide-ranging interview on state television that covered the economy, nuclear deal, environment and more. The following are excerpted remarks arranged by topic.   Economy, Oil & Business “1394 was a hard economic year because of plunge in oil…

How Iran Feels About the U.S. Debate

September 1, 2015
Interview with Nasser Hadian How has the debate over the nuclear deal played out in Iran? There are four major reactions to the deal among Iran’s political elites.   First, there are those who support the deal unconditionally, because they are tired of the economic and political situation in…

American CEOs Eye Iran

May 6, 2015
Interview with Christopher Schroeder How often do you travel to Iran?   I have gone on two trips to Iran, in spring of 2014 and 2015. They were coordinated by a small group of members of the Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization — a global network of some 22,000 CEOs…

Sagging Oil Prices and Iran

January 21, 2015
Matthew M. Reed What impact has the fall in global oil prices had on Iran?  The oil price collapse since June has had only a modest impact on Iran— so far. But lower revenues have already forced President Hassan Rouhani to significantly reduce budget projections and even decrease Iran’s…

Former US Congressman Visits Iran

January 21, 2015
Interview with Jim SlatteryJim Slattery, a former U.S. Congressman from Kansas, visited Iran in December 2014 to attend the “World Against Violence and Extremism” (WAVE) conference, an initiative led by President Hassan Rouhani. He was the first former congressman to visit Iran since the 1979…

Nasser Hadian: Iran’s Concerns about Iraq

June 18, 2014
Interview with Nasser Hadian The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a militant Sunni group, has taken control of much of eastern Syria and, most recently, northern Iraq. What are the implications for Iran?               Stabilizing Iraq is extremely important to Iran for a number of reasons…

US and Saudi Arabia: Differences on Iran

April 4, 2014
Interview with David Ottaway by Faris Al Sulayman What came out of President Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia and discussions on pressing issues of mutual concern, especially on Iran nuclear talks?              Obama and King Abdullah agreed that their shared goal is to prevent Iran from gaining a…

Ominous Divide : Shiite Iran v Sunni Gulf

February 18, 2014
Frederic Wehrey What is the current state of Sunni-Shiite tension in the Gulf? How has it changed over the last 15 years?               Sectarian tensions have become a major part of political life in the Gulf Arab states, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Shiites in each state…

Rouhani’s Next Test: Empty Coffers

December 5, 2013
Kevan Harris What is the status of Iran’s economy three months after President Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration?      In a televised interview marking his first 100 days, President Rouhani acknowledged that the state coffers were virtually empty when he assumed the presidency. The government…

Nasser Hadian on Why Iran is Ready

September 23, 2013
Nasser Hadian      Iran’s entire socio-political landscape has changed since President Hassan Rouhani’s June election. There are a lot of hopes that things are going to get better, especially given what happened under the previous government. But this is a cautious hope or optimism, not the wild-…

Marriage and Divorce of Hamas and Hezbollah

August 29, 2013
Hanin Ghaddar             Iran has always been the element that tied Sunni Hamas and Shiite Hezbollah together. The Islamic Republic’s priority was to foster organizations that would be part of the “resistance” against Israel and the West. Hanin Ghaddar analyzes the split between the two…

Iran Sanctions: Which way out?

August 5, 2013
Ali Vaez       The United States has imposed several layers of sanctions against Iran—for widely diverse reasons—dating back to the 1979 revolution. Tehran now wants relief from sanctions as part of any diplomatic deal on its controversial nuclear program. But lifting sanctions is often harder…

Rouhani and the Revolutionary Guards

July 23, 2013
Will Fulton            Fulton is the author of “The IRGC Command Network: Formal Structures and Informal Influence,” which details the evolution of a powerful faction within the Revolutionary Guard’s core leadership and its influence on regime decision-making. How have the Revolutionary Guards…

What Iran’s Election Means for the Future

July 18, 2013
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo      Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo was a member of Iran’s parliament between 2000 and 2004. Elected at the age of 30, she was the youngest woman member ever elected to the Majles and one of only 13 women — among 290 — in the sixth parliament. Haghighatjoo charged the Revolutionary…

Part I: Iran-Syria Religious Ties

June 3, 2013
Mehdi Khalaji            Iran and Syria are unlikely bedfellows. Iran has been an Islamic republic—and the world’s only modern theocracy—since the 1979 revolution. Syria has been a rigidly secular and socialist country since Hafez Assad took over in 1970. Ethnically, Iran is predominantly Persian,…

Latest on the Race: Rafsanjani Redux?

May 20, 2013
By Robin Wright and Garrett Nada            Among the 680-plus candidates who registered to run for president of Iran, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stands alone as the most experienced and savviest politico — by far. He has almost done it all.      He was speaker of parliament for nine terms in the…

Latest on the Race: Jalili, Ideologue on Twitter

May 15, 2013
Garrett Nada             Saeed Jalili has never held elective office, yet he may have an important edge in the presidential race because of his close ties with Iran’s supreme leader. He is an insider’s insider. At the same time, Jalili is not a charismatic figure. He unsuccessfully ran for…