With just about everyone expecting the need for a runoff, it came as a significant surprise when moderate presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani captured more than 50 percent of the vote. A late surge of enthusiasm and some key endorsements gave Rouhani the victory and seems to have given new life to Iran’s reform movement. Haleh Esfandiari, the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program Director, provides context.
By choosing the candidate least identified with the recent policies of the ruling system, a majority sent a strong message to the Supreme Leader and the regime, writes Haleh Esfandiari, in the New York Time's "Room for Debate" section.
The field of candidates may be limited, but the outside world can still learn a lot from Iran's 2013 presidential poll, writes Robin Wright in a ForeignPolicy.com op-ed.
"The commentariat is looking for ways to press the administration to act. Their arguments are largely correct: Syria is indeed a moral, humanitarian, and strategic disaster. But their prescription for action is long on generalities and short on specifics," writes Aaron David Miller in a Foreign Policy op-ed.
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called on all Iranians to vote in Friday's elections. Last minute changes to the field of candidates and new endorsements for moderate candidate, Hassan Rouhani, have created “buzz” according to a journalist in Tehran. Will this late excitement have an impact on voter turnout, and more importantly, on the actual outcome? To gain insight into the field of candidates and the forces influencing the election, we spoke with the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program Director, Haleh Esfandiari.
Wilson Center Senior Scholar Marina Ottaway discussed the legitimacy of the outcome of Egypt's recent elections and the validity of the country's new constitution in a June 6, 2013 National Interest article.
"Governing is about choosing. When America acts, it has to ask itself two questions, not just, can it accomplish it? If we wanted to unseat the Assads, we could do it. The question is not just that, it's what will it cost? It's the second question that always needs to accompany the first," said Aaron David Miller.
Jane Harman and Zbigniew Brzezinski debate a U.S. intervention in Syria on Morning Joe. "I hope we have a strategy to work this out diplomatically with the Russians on the other side and the leader is moved out even if he stays in country and another transitional government takes his place,” said Jane Harman.
"In Syria, there are no good options, American credibility is at stake, and the pressures to act are considerable in the face of great uncertainties," writes Aaron David Miller in Salon.com.
President Obama is now faced with a dilemma: Defending his red line could undermine his carefully crafted strategy of steering clear of direct military involvement in the Syria crisis. Aaron David Miller notes several points the president should keep in mind as he grapples with this conundrum.
The Iran Primer Blog
The Islamists Are Coming
Experts & Staff
- Haleh Esfandiari // Director, Middle East Program
- Mona Youssef // Program Associate
- Kendra Heideman // Program Assistant
- Michael Adler // Public Policy Scholar
- Margot Badran // Senior Scholar
- Shlomi Eldar // Fellow
- Aaron David Miller // Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar
- William Green Miller // Senior Scholar
- Amal Mudallali // Senior Scholar
- David Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Marina Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Emad El-Din Shahin // Public Policy Scholar
- Joby Warrick // Public Policy Scholar
- Robert Worth // Public Policy Scholar
- Robin Wright // USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar