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Council on Foreign Relations Media Guide
Iran's Election

In the lead up to Iran's June 14 presidential elections, this guide offers CFR and Foreign Affairs analysis and opinion on the road ahead. View more resources on our websites, and

How to Read Iran's Elections

Ray Takeyh, Bernard Gwertzman

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. Read the Interview »

Interactive: A Look at Iran

Explore Iran's complex political structure and controversial nuclear program, and watch experts discuss policy options with this Emmy Award-winning multimedia guide. View "Crisis Guide: Iran" »

Why This Election Is Different

Author and journalist Hooman Majd, and Iran scholar Mohsen Milani discuss the presidential race, the political future of the country, and the impact on U.S. foreign policy. Listen to the Call »

Background Resources

A One-Stop-Shop for Resources on Iran's Election

Are Iran's presidential elections too tightly controlled, or will they offer an opportunity for reformist voices to emerge? This Issue Guide traces the campaign and offers essential background. Read more »

International Sanctions on Iran

Sanctions have sharply cut back Iran's oil exports, isolated the country from international banking systems, and contributed to a big drop in the value of its currency. A debate over the efficacy of these sanctions persists, however, because Iran has continued to pursue its nuclear program. Read the Backgrounder »

A Primer on Human Rights

Global monitors say Iran's human rights situation is poor and unlikely to improve amid a climate of political uncertainty and growing external pressures. Activists, though, urge continued international scrutiny of Iran's violations. Read the Backgrounder »


Trying Too Hard?

Ray Takeyh

Iran's presidential election is again inviting speculation about which candidate might nudge the Islamic Republic toward moderation and pragmatism. Such games miss the point—that the theocratic state is defined by an ideology that demonizes the West and relies on conspiracies to explain global affairs.  Read more »

Don’t Discount the Iranian Election

Dennis Ross

It is tempting to dismiss Iran's presidential elections as irrelevant, reasoning that the Supreme Leader makes all the important political decisions—above all, those relating to the nuclear program. The presidential election does seem to matter to Ayatollah Khamenei, though, which is precisely why it should matter to observers in the West. Read more on »

Three Options for the United States: Bomb, Coerce, or Contain

Gregory D. Koblentz

Like many foreign policy challenges the United States faces—from Syria to North Korea—options for dealing with Iran are at best limited. Understanding what the options are, including their assumptions and trade-offs, is the first step to an informed choice. Read the Op-Ed »

Shifting Alliances

Farideh Farhi, Bernard Gwertzman

After the disqualification of popular former president Rafsanjani, it's unclear which of the remaining, mostly conservative candidates will triumph in the June presidential election. Read the Interview »

Iran: The Nuclear Challenge

Robert Blackwill, Elliott Abrams, Robert Danin, Richard Falkenrath, Meghan O’Sullivan, and Ray Takeyh

This book maps the objectives, tools, and strategies for dealing with one of the most vexing foreign policy conundrums: Iran's nuclear program. Read the eBook »

A Window Into Contemporary Iranian History

In his book Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Ray Takeyh traces the course of Iran's domestic and foreign policy since the 1979 revolution. Learn More


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