Great Power Competition in Iran as the US Exits the Arena

US President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, and thus re-impose broad sanctions against the Islamic Republic, sends a clear signal that Washington has reverted to a full containment policy against Tehran. But, lacking a clear overarching Middle East strategy, US policymakers do not appear to be weighing the merits of this Read more »

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Protect the Nuclear Deal, Protect the Protesters
, 2018.

Every decade or so, a mass protest erupts in Iran that shocks the government, each round targeting the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy more directly than the last. As if on cue, demonstrations took place over the past two weeks, ushering in the country’s most widespread unrest since the Green Movement rose up to protest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Read more »

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Iranian Domestic Challenges to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany) has proven successful so far. However, some major challenges to the JCPOA from within Iran may emerge in the future. This RAND Corporation Perspective examines the nature of the factional Read more »

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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

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

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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