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Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
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Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a Harvard-educated American political scientist, policy analyst, scholar at Harvard University, expert and commentator on US foreign policy and Middle East. Rafizadeh is originally from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria. Rafizadeh is president of the International American Council on the Middle East and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. He is a journalist and human rights activist. He was a member of the Gulf 2000 Middle East Project of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and in the past he served as a senior fellow at Nonviolence International.

He completed his Fulbright Teaching scholarship in the United States where he taught in the religious studies department at University of California, Santa Barbara. Rafizadeh has previously taught at several universities including Damascus University, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Islamic Azad University. He is a columnist for Al Arabiya English.

Majid Rafizadeh is a frequent guest policy analyst on international and U.S. news shows. He also speaks at panel discussions, universities, and interfaith gathering on human rights, democratization and reforms. He has conducted research at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and has participated in a National Council on US-Arab Relations program. As a trilingual media commentator -- in English, Arabic, and Persian -- Majid Rafizadeh is a regular commentator and political analyst on various news outlets including CNN, BBC World News, ABC, BBC World Have Your Say, Al Jazeera, France 24 English, BBC English 5, Russian International English TV, ETV, ENEWS, Sky News, BBC English 4, NTN International News, Voice of America (VOA), and public radio on topics related to Syria, Iran, U.S foreign policy, democratization, human rights and the Middle East.

His works have appeared on the New York Times, New York Times International Weekly, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, Harvard International Review, Foxnews, Huffington Post, The Nation, USA Today, Jerusalem Post, Yale Journal of International Affairs, Independent, George Washington Journal of International Affairs Review, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Haaretz, Foreign Policy Association, Jadaliyya, and Alarabiya. He can speak English, Arabic, Persian, French, Hebrew and Dari. His interviews and works have been translated to several languages including French, Arabic, Turkish, Persian and Spanish.

His analysis is sought by government agencies and the private sector. He has been interviewed by, and quoted in, some of the world's most major print and television outlets. He serves as reviewer for several academic journals. Rafizadeh is a member of the advisory board of Commission on Syrian Refugees.

Twitter: @majidrafizadeh
Born: December 25, 1980

Languages: English, Arabic, Persian, French, Hebrew and Dari.

Entries by Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Paris Attacks: Iran Criticizes the West, ISIS 'Bit the Leg of Its Owners'

(2) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 3:50 PM

The reaction of the Iranian political establishment in regards to the shootings and bombings in Paris has been intriguing and contradicting.

President Rowhani and his foreign minister, Javad Zarif, sent a message of condolence to French President Francois Hollande. Rouhani pointed out "In the name of the...

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Iran's Divided Domestic Politics -- Hardliners Reassert Leadership

(2) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 4:50 PM

The smiles of Iranian President Hassan Rowhani and his American-educated Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appear to be fading as the hardliners take back the driver's seat. Rowhani spent all his political capital on the nuclear deal, to which the hardliners are reacting harshly.

Iran has halted the dismantling of...

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Islamic Republic: "Death to America" Will Remain

(3) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 3:46 PM

Improving Western-Iran diplomatic relationships, the nuclear agreement, as well as new venues of direct diplomatic communications between Iranian and U.S. high-level officials, have all raised expectations that perhaps the two countries considered enemies for so long have put their mistrust aside and have embarked on a new path.

But these...

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Khamenei's New Nuclear Conditions -- Khamenei Playing the U.S.

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2015 | 3:25 PM

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has masterfully sniffed out the weaknesses of President Obama and his administration, and the revelation of his new conditions on the nuclear deal suggests that Khamenei is ready to milk the administration more and obtain more concessions.

A flimsy deal has been signed by six...

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Iran's Corruption and Human Rights Overlooked

(4) Comments | Posted October 25, 2015 | 12:42 AM

While Iran's nuclear deal continues to hold the spotlight, two other critical issues demand much more attention than they are receiving. Despite President Hassan Rowhani's pledges to the contrary, corruption and human rights continue to pose a huge challenge.

According to Transparency International, Iran ranks 136 out of...

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Iran and U.S. to Intensify Tactical Cooperation

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2015 | 11:14 PM

President Hassan Rouhani contradicted Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's remarks about the potential rapprochement between the US and the Islamic republic.

Although, Mr. Khamenei continues to reject the idea that there would be any additional detente between Tehran and Washington, Iran's latest tactical shift in its foreign policies...

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Iran is Offering to Resolve Yemen's War; The Agenda?

(7) Comments | Posted September 26, 2015 | 2:14 PM

Iranian officials' rhetoric and tone on the Yemen crisis has slightly changed some recently for tactical reasons, not strategic ones. This change was initiated because of the shift in Iran's foreign policy regarding how to use "diplomacy" and the appropriate wording in order to achieve Tehran's ideological, geopolitical and economic...

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Business: EU and Its Comanies Helping IRGC Terror

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 10:12 PM

There is a noticeable surge in the number of foreign companies desiring to conduct business with the Islamic Republic. This surge comes primarily from many European countries and EU companies.

These short-sighted and business-driven moves by European countries and companies might bring short term benefit and profit for them,...

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Iran Married to Both Assad and the Alawite State

(2) Comments | Posted September 13, 2015 | 5:58 PM

The Iran-U.S. rapprochement, the improving ties between the Islamic Republic and European countries as well as the nuclear deal between the six world powers ( known as P5+1) and Tehran, have raised a considerable amount of expectations in regards to Iran. Some of those expectations are that Iran is going...

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Washington-Tehran Embassies? Khamenei's Private and Public Views on the U.S.

(7) Comments | Posted August 30, 2015 | 9:53 PM

Thanks to the recently established nuclear deal, which was struck in July between the six world powers (P5+1) and the Islamic Republic, other European countries (including France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, etc.) are now rushing to restore their relationships or further strengthen their economic and geopolitical ties with Iran.


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Khamenei's Calculated Game: He Has Not Signed the Nuclear Deal-Tactical and Strategic Policy

(19) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 2:26 PM

Unlike the former Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rarely puts himself in a position of responsibility for crucial issues (with regard to domestic or foreign policy issues).

Since Mr. Khamenei is the final decision maker and he enjoys the ultimate authority of approving or rejecting foreign policy issues,...

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Inside Iran: Iranian People on Iran-West, Iran-U.S. Ties and the Nuclear Deal

(5) Comments | Posted August 15, 2015 | 9:30 PM

Iran's nuclear deal and the improving Iran-West political and economic relationships have spurred various reactions among Iranian people inside and outside of Iran.

The mainstream media has predominantly focused on the thousands of Iranians who poured into the street to celebrate the agreement reached between the six world powers...

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Doing Business With Post-Sanctions Iran: Risks and Opportunities

(8) Comments | Posted August 8, 2015 | 6:35 PM

After the nuclear deal was reached, foreign countries and companies appear to be rushing to rekindle business with the Islamic Republic, which had been cut off from global trade. Iranian leaders have reciprocated the interest in conducting business -- in many areas including technology, arms, manufacturing, gas and...

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Khamenei's Inflammatory Statements, Who Can Constrain Iran? The Muslim World

(9) Comments | Posted August 1, 2015 | 11:16 PM

In the past couple of weeks, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, felt the urge to reassert and strongly articulate the Islamic Republic's policies towards its Arab neighbors and the United States.

After announcing his support for the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and the six...

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$6-$35 Billions Annually to Assad: Stronger Iran, Mightier Assad?

(8) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 5:36 PM

In the ongoing 4-year-long civil war, the Islamic Republic- one of the major bank-rollers for the Syrian government- has approximately spent between $6 and $35 billion a year in order to keep its staunchest regional ally, Bashar Al Assad in power.

This amount...

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Iran Nuclear Deal: Four Concentric Circles

(8) Comments | Posted July 18, 2015 | 4:44 PM

It is crucial not to raise our expectations when it comes to the recent nuclear agreement reached between the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus Germany) and the Islamic Republic. To have a full and realistic view of the deal, it is imperative not...

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Iran, U.S., Obama, P5+1: Nuclear Deal, Win-Win Deal? What Next?

(2) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 7:30 PM

2015-07-14-1436912286-4195886-IranP51_nuclear_negotiations_in_moscow.png Credits: Wikicommons

Iran and P5+1 powers have reached a nuclear agreement at talks in Vienna. The agreement can bring sanctions relief to the Islamic Republic as early as first half of 2016. The economic sanctions have crippled Iran's economy and significantly...

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Obama Fears Nuclear Failure While Iran Seeks Political Opprtunism

(8) Comments | Posted July 11, 2015 | 8:21 PM

Iranian Leaders Want the Deal Both Ways

One of the lengthiest diplomatic negotiations, the Iranian Nuclear Deal, seems to be never-ending. Two deadlines have already been missed in the last month. In addition, the negotiators missed the target of Washington time set by the U.S. Congress. This would grant the...

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Iran-U.S. Nuclear Talks: What Absolute Deadlines?

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 12:44 AM

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

For yet another time, a deadline for Iran's nuclear talks has been missed. Other deadlines, including the ones set for July and November of 2014 were also missed and later extended. The six world powers and Iran also...

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Will P5+1 and Iran Clinch a Deal?

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2015 | 4:38 PM

After years of negotiations, the Islamic Republic and the six world powers, known as the P5+1; China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany, are only a few days away from the June 30 deadline to seal a final nuclear deal.


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