Ray Takeyh is Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His areas of specialization are Iran, political reform in the Middle East, and Islamist movements and parties.
Prior to joining CFR, Takeyh was senior advisor on Iran at the Department of State. He was previously a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Takeyh is the coauthor of The Pragmatic Superpower: Winning the Cold War in the Middle East and is the author of three previous books, Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs, Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic, and The Origins of the Eisenhower Doctrine: The US, Britain and Nasser's Egypt, 1953–1957. He has also written more than 250 articles and opinion pieces in many news outlets including Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
Takeyh has testified more than twenty times in various congressional committees and has appeared on PBS Newshour, Charlie Rose, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, BBC, FOX, and CSPAN.
Takeyh has a doctorate in modern history from Oxford University.
Persian (fluent); Arabic (working knowledge)
In The Pragmatic Superpower, Ray Takeyh and Steven Simon reframe the legacy of U.S. involvement in the Arab world from 1945 to 1991 and shed new light on the makings of the contemporary Middle East. Cutting against conventional wisdom, the authors argue that, when an inexperienced Washington entered the turbulent world of Middle Eastern politics, it succeeded through hardheaded pragmatism—and secured its place as a global superpower.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft
For over a quarter-century, Iran has been one of America's chief nemeses. But as Ray Takeyh shows in this accessible and authoritative history of Iran's relations with the world since the revolution, behind the famous personalities and extremist slogans is a nation that is far more pragmatic—and complex—than many in the West have been led to believe.
See more in Iran; Politics and Strategy
A groundbreaking book that reveals how the underappreciated domestic political rivalries within Iran serve to explain the country's behavior on the world stage. A leading expert explains why we fail to understand Iran and offers a new strategy for redefining this crucial relationship.
See more in Diplomacy and Statecraft; Iraq; Weapons of Mass Destruction; Iran
Post-Qaddafi Libya will face difficulties with rebel infighting, the anger of Qaddafi loyalists, and more, but the long-time dictator's death also creates an opening for a more peaceful country. CFR's Richard Haass, Ed Husain, and Ray Takeyh weigh Libya's prospects.
See more in Nation Building; Libya
Osama bin Laden's death is a real and symbolic blow to al-Qaeda, and its stature in the Middle East is already diminished by the pro-democracy movements in the region, but the group remains lethal. Seven CFR experts discuss.
See more in Afghanistan; Terrorism; Pakistan
President Ahmadinejad's final UN General Assembly address lacked the bombast of previous speeches and added little to the debate over Iran's nuclear program, says CFR's Ray Takeyh.
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In four decades of rule, Qaddafi chased doomed adventures that isolated his regime from Arabs and the world. Libyans now have a chance to recast their state and reintegrate with their region, says CFR's Ray Takeyh.
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Bin Laden's death dealt a blow to al-Qaeda, but the events of this year have shown the Arab masses have emphatically rejected the terror group's ideology as they seek democratic reforms, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh.
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U.S. supporters of a UN resolution aimed at protecting Libyan rebels should understand an entangling military commitment may now be underway, argues CFR's Ray Takeyh.
See more in Human Rights; Global Governance; Libya
The Saudi intervention to help quell a Shia-dominated uprising in neighboring Bahrain is misguided and the kingdom should instead focus on guiding the way to political modernization, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh.
See more in Saudi Arabia; Bahrain; Politics and Strategy
The framework deal with Iran surpassed expectations and revived concerns about how such a deal could be implemented, says CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
See more in Iran; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament
Iranians' choice of Hassan Rowhani as president stirs hope he will moderate domestic and foreign policy but other regime sectors could interfere, says CFR's Ray Takeyh.
A conservative candidate seems likely to win Iran's presidential election this week, but the reform movement may yet be energized by the remaining moderate contender, says CFR's Ray Takeyh.
See more in Elections; Iran
This week's nuclear talks ended without resolving the issue of uranium enrichment, leaving Iran to potentially face tougher sanctions, says CFR's Ray Takeyh.
See more in Weapons of Mass Destruction; Iran; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament
Iran's more receptive tone with Western powers in nuclear talks signals concerns about the bite of sanctions and the threat of an Israeli military strike, says CFR's Ray Takeyh.
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Upheaval in Iran's neighbor and ally Syria as well as power struggles at home create Iranian vulnerabilities the United States can exploit in a region pushing for democracy, says CFR's Ray Takeyh.
See more in Iran; Politics and Strategy
Yesterday's dueling speeches at the UN suggest a continued impasse on Iran's nuclear program, says CFR's Ray Takeyh. And Iranian politics make that unlikely to change anytime soon.
See more in Iran; Proliferation
CFR Iran expert Ray Takeyh argues that a stronger U.S. stand in favor of political reform in Iran can work in tandem with efforts to limit Iran's nuclear program.
See more in Proliferation; Iran; Political Movements and Protests
CFR's Ray Takeyh examines the unsettled nature of Iranian politics, pointing to a fractured opposition and a regime divided on how to proceed on talks over its nuclear program.
See more in Iran; Political Movements and Protests
CFR's Iran expert Ray Takeyh says Washington's Iran policy needs to frame the nuclear development question within the context of a broader range of diplomatic issues, and that Iran's domestic turmoil hinders negotiations on its nuclear program.
See more in Proliferation; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Iran
Amid Tehran's fresh assertions of its right to pursue uranium enrichment, CFR's Ray Takeyh says the widening split in Iran's political system casts greater doubt on prospects for nuclear talks with the West.
See more in Weapons of Mass Destruction; Iran; Proliferation
Ray Takeyh, CFR’s top Iranian expert, draws mixed policy messages from the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.
See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Proliferation; Iran
Ray Takeyh, a leading Iranian expert, says the recent elections in Iran show a growing loss of confidence in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by the middle class.
See more in Proliferation; Iran; Elections