Regional Implications of an Independent Kurdistan


This report examines the potential implications for the region if the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq were at some point to declare its secession from Iraq. Specifically, the authors analyze the interests of three key regional neighbors — the Iraqi central government, Turkey, and Iran — and explore policies each actor may pursue in response Read more »

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The Future U.S. Role in the Middle East


Scotten Consulting founder Ali Scotten was interviewed by The Great Middle East about the future U.S. role in the region. There is increasing talk about US strategic interests shifting towards the South-East Asia region, and the Middle East—particularly the Gulf region—becoming a lower priority for Washington. There are also disagreements and a certain coldness in Read more »

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The Potential Impact of Iranian Politics on Future Iran-GCC Relations

Persian Gulf

The results of Iran’s February 26, 2016, parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections could prove to be an important turning point in the history of the Islamic Republic. Coming on the heels of the implementation of the nuclear deal, the election served as a referendum in favor of President Hassan Rouhani’s moderating approach to international Read more »

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Interview with Ali Scotten on Iran’s Future after the Elections


In a lengthy interview with E-International Relations, Scotten Consulting founder Ali Scotten discusses Iran's future in light of the recent parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections results. He also assesses the future of U.S.-Saudi relations following the implementation of the nuclear deal. To read the interview, click here. Read more »

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Iran Picks New Battle against Islamic State with State-Commissioned Film


At a dusty compound in Robat Karim, a town just outside Tehran, a thickly-bearded commander in military fatigues gives a rousing speech in Arabic to a group of armed young men ready for martyrdom. The black flag of the Islamic State (Isis) flutters in the background. Suddenly, from among a crowd of onlookers, a man Read more »

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Obama Should Tell GCC Leaders to Address Sectarian Conflict

Obama Saudi Picture_2

As Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) officials meet with President Obama at Camp David, their lobbying efforts are revolving around one question: In the event of a nuclear deal with Iran, what will the U.S. do to counter the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East? The more important question, however — and one that Obama Read more »

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Are Islamic State Militants Operating Inside Iran?


According to villagers in western Iran, beginning around mid-August, teams of Islamic State (IS) fighters have been conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in the rural areas of Iran’s Kurdish regions. At nights, the fighters enter villages and harass the locals. In at least two instances, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has clashed with Read more »

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How Iran Helped the United States—and 9 Other Facts About Iran and Afghanistan

Excerpts from an Iran Wire article by Roland Brown, including quotes from Ali Scotten: Iran calibrated its attacks to cause problems for U.S. troops, but limited them so as not to provoke an attack on Iran, a RAND Corporation expert Ali Scotten says. “Their main goal has been to bleed the U.S. within Afghanistan and Read more »

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Iran’s Influence in Afghanistan: Implications for the U.S. Drawdown

Rouhani Karzai

Iranian influence in Afghanistan should not be a great concern for the United States. Iran and the United States both want to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming dominated by the Taliban and a safe haven for al Qaeda. A peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis and the continued strengthening of relative pragmatists in the Read more »

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Poll Results Suggest Majority of Rouhani’s Opponents are Reformists – And Why That May Be a Good Thing

Nuclear Protest

  The Zogby polling agency has just released the results of a poll it conducted in Iran this past September, shortly after Hassan Rouhani assumed the presidency. Two patterns, which struck me as interesting, could contribute to a positive outcome in the Iranian nuclear dispute:     The nuclear program is a low priority for Read more »

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