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 Iranís most consequential decision-maker, many of Iranís most popular yet purged opposition leaders have decried the nuclear program as not economically beneficial, writes CFRís 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 Washingtonís 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 CFRís 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 interestsóone 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.
Despite the recent parliamentary approval authorizing cross-border operations into Syria and Iraq, and even at the risk of jeopardizing peace talks with the Kurds as the city of Kobani remains under siege, Turkey is not fully committed to confronting ISIS militants head-on, says CFR's Steven A. Cook.
The ties between American allies and Hamas—a terrorist organization—contribute to instability and violence, CFR Senior Fellow Steven A. Cook told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on the Middle East and North Africa and Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. Under political, financial, and military pressure from Israel, the United States, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, Hamas has found relief in support from Qatar and Turkey.
Almost from the start of the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the commentariat has been seized with the idea of "empowering [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas" as the only way out of the recurrent violence between Israel and Hamas.
In his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Stephen Biddle assesses the U.S. government's options for responding to the advances made by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq.
Stephen Biddle and Ivan Oelrich argue that accurately defending airspace is more complex than having the right equipment; it requires a well-functioning organization, something the Ukrainian separatists lack.
The David Rockefeller Studies Program is CFR’s “think tank.” Its work is integral to achieving CFR’s goal of contributing to the foreign policy debate. Fellows in the Studies Program do this by researching, writing, and commenting on the most important challenges facing the United States and the world.