Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. His areas of specialization are Iran, political reform in the Middle East, and Islamist movements and parties.
Prior to joining the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Takeyh was Senior Advisor on Iran at the Department of State. He was previously a fellow at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy and has taught at National War College, Yale University, and University of California, Berkeley.
Takeyh is the author of The Guardians of the Revolution: Iran'sApproach to the World (Oxford University Press, 2009). He is also the author of two previous books, Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in theIslamic Republic (Henry Holt, 2006) and The Origins of the Eisenhower Doctrine: The U.S., Britain and Nasser's Egypt, 1953-1957 (St. Martin's Press, 2000). Dr. Takeyh has published widely, including articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Interest,Survival, World Policy Journal, Washington Quarterly, Orbis, Middle East Journal and Middle East Policy. His commentary has also been featured in many newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times and International Herald Tribune.
Takeyh has testified frequently in front various congressional committees and has appeared on PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, BBC, FOX and CSPAN.
Dr. Takeyh has a doctorate in modern history from Oxford University.
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.
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.
It has long been the conceit of Iran specialists and political commentators that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was not informed that militant students intended to take over the U.S. embassy in Iran in 1979. The Western intelligentsia has vouched for the Islamic Republic and claimed that the hostage crisis was a product of an internal power struggle. It was not about America, but rather about a revolution sorting itself out. As such, the hostage drama should not stand in the way of a rapprochement between the two nations.
In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ray Takeyh argues that irrespective of the ebbs and flows of nuclear diplomacy, the United States should continue to focus its efforts on ways of limiting Iran's aggressive policies in the Middle East.
While the supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains Iran’s most consequential decision-maker, many of Iran’s most popular yet purged opposition leaders have decried the nuclear program as not economically beneficial, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Given that these reformers could win open and free elections, it is important to pay close attention to their arguments.
For as long as the shah of Iran occupied the Peacock Throne, his relations with the United States depended on a mutually accepted falsehood. Neither side stood to gain from acknowledging that Washington’s favorite dictator owed his position to American skullduggery.
Authors: Eric Edelman, Dennis Ross, and Ray Takeyh The Washington Post
With the extension on the nuclear deal with Iran, Western powers would do well to reconfigure their assumptions on how to pressure Iran into a deal, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Instead of economic or diplomatic punitive measures, the United States needs a comprehensive and coercive strategy that would mend fences between the White House and Congress on the foreign policy front, strengthen alliances in the Middle East, and isolate Iran from its partners.
In his testimony before the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation, and Trade, Ray Takeyh argues that Iran participates in the nuclear talks because they serve so many of its interests—one of which may yet be an accord that eases its path toward nuclear empowerment.
While many seek to pressure Iran into a deal soon, they fail to recognize that Iran continues to participate because the talks act as a shield servicing Iran's interests, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh. From the very start, the Islamic Republic's main policy goal has been to achieved legitimate recognition for its expanding atomic infrastructure.
As the November 24 deadline for the P5+1 negotiations with Iran approaches, Iran's hardliners seem more willing to expand the nuclear program than encourage economic growth, writes Ray Takeyh. Motivated by a desire for self-sufficiency, the decision of hardliners may push Iran toward a catastrophic future.
In his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ray Takeyh argues that in order to successfully combat Iran's destabilizing influence in the Middle East, the United States must be an active player in Syria and Iraq and undertake a more systematic effort to contest all of Iran's regional assets.
Back in 2009, during his heavily promoted Cairo speech on American relations with the Muslim world, U.S. President Barack Obama noted, in passing, that "in the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government."
Authors: Ray Takeyh, Eric Edelman, and Dennis Ross The Washington Post
Arms control has often been a bone of contention between the White House and Congress. Presidents and their diplomats prefer to reach agreements in secret and then shield the accord from congressional scrutiny, much less consent.
Contrary to popular myths and conspiracy theories about Washington's desire to control the Middle East, for the past six decades, U.S. policymakers have usually sought to minimize the United States' involvement there.
The tragedy of Iran is that it may not be able to reach an agreement over its nuclear program even when it knows it needs one. The Islamic Republic's political class knows its hold on power depends on sustained economic growth, and that in turn requires a resolution of the nuclear issue.
Director: Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies 2010—Present
General Meeting ⁄ New York
NY Town Hall: Middle East Update
Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative, and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations, Steven A. Cook, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Robert M. Danin, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations, Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Irina A. Faskianos, Vice President, National Program & Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations
Kenneth M. Pollack, Senior Fellow and Director of Research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution, Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Author, "Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic"
Barbara Slavin, Senior Diplomatic Reporter, USA Today
The Emerging Shia Crescent Symposium: Is Shia Power Cause for Concern?
Steven A. Cook, Douglas Dillon Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, Toby C. Jones, Mellon Post Doctoral Fellow in Middle East History, Swarthmore College, Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow, Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Ethan S. Bronner, Deputy Foreign Editor, The New York Times
Negotiating Iran from the European and Russian Perspectives
Charles A. Kupchan, Senior Fellow and Director for Europe Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations