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Majid Rafizadeh
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Majid Rafizadeh is an American political scientist, scholar at Harvard University, policy analyst, 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 former 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

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

Entries by Majid Rafizadeh

Iran and US: The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

(8) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 11:41 AM

As the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and other affiliated militant groups, have been making remarkably rapid military advances across Iraq, and as Iraqi cities appear to be falling into the control of ISIS, two countries and enemies have shown great concern regarding their national interest in...

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Heightened Moscow-Tehran Cooperation and Economic Deals

(1) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 8:36 PM

The economic, geopolitical and strategic ties between Tehran and Moscow have recently been on the rise, particularly after the Crimean crises and since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani participated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek.

Several Iranian-Russian energy deals worth billions of dollars have inevitably raised concern in...

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The Supreme Leader, Khamenei's Euphoria About Drones

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 12:06 PM

In a short video of a ceremony that came from an unexpected visit, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sits in front of an Iranian-made drone copy of the advanced CIA spy drone, the RQ-170 spy plane, while listening to an IRGC general explain the functions of the new...

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Women Rights and Gender Equality

(2) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 5:02 PM

Last week, in a speech marking Women's Day, President Hassan Rouhani made international headlines by condemning any form of sexual discrimination and advocating for equal opportunities and rights for women.

According to Fars News, at the National Forum on Women Shaping the Economy and Culture in Tehran, Rouhani pointed...

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Syria: High-Priced Economic Card for Iran?

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 3:58 PM

Recent statements by top Iranian officials appear to divulge the Islamic of Republic of Iran's frustration and dissatisfaction of the Assad apparatuses' incapability to thoroughly crack down on various rebel groups and oppositional fronts, and to regain full control of the state.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, deputy foreign minister for...

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Surge in Executions and Human Rights Violations in Iran: Evidence of Rouhani's 'Moderate' Rule?

(1) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 12:26 PM

Iran: Ranks Number One in Executions Per Capita

Many Iranian citizens who voted for the moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani believed that he would deliver on his promises in improving the standards and conditions of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. These human rights issues encompass areas ranging from...

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Ukraine Crisis Bolstering Iran-Russia-China Axis

(4) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 3:01 PM

The tensions between Russia and the West have further ratcheted up this week since President Vladimir V. Putin reclaimed Crimea as part of Russia and since the Crimean Peninsula's local government called for a referendum to secede from Ukraine. The current standoff between the West and Moscow concerning Ukraine might...

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Iranian-American Rapprochement: Iran's Shift Is Tactical, Not Strategic

(1) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 5:24 PM

While listening to Secretary of the State John Kerry's speech at AIPAC's annual policy conference in Washington DC this year, several issues and comments reflected the White House's underlying and fundamental policy position regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Usually, President Obama would deliver the speech at this conference,...

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Human Rights: Iran's Crack Down on Arab Minority

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 3:31 PM

Although there has been a considerable amount of reports, media coverage and scholarly debates about the marginalization, discrimination and persecution of minorities such as the Baha'i community in the Islamic Republic of Iran, one of the less discussed minority groups that has received scant attention is the Arab ethnic group...

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The Challange and Dilemma: Fact Checking in Journalism and Research

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 11:08 AM

A well-written and thought-provoking article can be totally discredited by neglectful fact checking. When a reader comes across an article on a subject matter that they are interested in, that reader expects to receive accurate information. As a journalist, it is important to ensure that the article that is produced...

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Iranians Celebrated the 35th Anniversary of Islamic Republic

(0) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 11:59 AM

Ceremonies in the Islamic Republic of Iran began two weeks ago, marking the 35th anniversary of the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which deposed pro-West monarch Muhammad Reza Shah and brought in the Islamic Republic.

The beginning of the 10 days of celebration, called the 10-Day Dawn (Fajr)...

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United Nations' Invitation and Irans Reversal

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 8:21 AM

Many nations attending the Geneva II conference, including the United States, appear to have been totally caught off guard by a recent hastily organized news conference and announcement issued by U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Just a day after the controversial announcement, the United Nations withdrew its invitation to the...

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The Final Move to a Comprehensive Nuclear Accord?

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 1:08 PM

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, who represents the P5+1-- the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany -- with regards to negotiations over Iran's nuclear program confirmed the news that Iran's interim nuclear deal is scheduled to begin on January...

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Will Iran Use its Political Influence in Syria to Halt the Violence?

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 11:39 AM

Will Iran Use its Influence in Syria to Stop the Government's Bombardments?

The "London 11," consisting of several countries that have been supporting the moderate Syrian opposition, will hold a meeting in Europe next week, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also scheduled to attend. In this convention, the...

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Third Round of Nuclear Talks: Economic Recovery as Hardliners Strike Back

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 10:52 PM

Iran and the P5+1 (the U.S., Russia, France, China, Britain, and Germany) launched the third round of nuclear negotiations with expert-level talks in Geneva last week, in an attempt to discuss the mechanisms and platforms for implementing the Joint Plan of Action, the interim and temporary nuclear deal struck in...

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Heightened Sectarian and Political Tensions: Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Shiite Coalition

(2) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 3:04 PM

With the involvement of Hezbollah (the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement) ratcheting up in various cities throughout Syria by fighting alongside Assad's forces and against various rebel groups, the number of attacks in Lebanon, particularly Hezbollah's military bases and the areas where supporters of Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrullah reside, have increased...

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OPEC Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 1:44 PM

Islamic Republic of Iran Threatens to Lower OPEC Oil Prices

Shortly after the four-page, six-month long nuclear deal was reached between p5+1 (United States, Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (and after some signs pointing towards the easing of sanctions on Tehran), Iranian authorities...

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Hardliners and Comprehensive Nuclear Deal

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 1:17 PM

Domestic dynamics of Nuclear Deal: What next?

While the Iranian reformist parties, newspapers, and media have depicted the recent nuclear deal with the West as a victory, some prominent hardliners disagree, including Kayhan newspaper's hardliner editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari (who was appointed by Ayatollah Khamenei, and...

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First Nuclear Deal: P5+1 and IAEA

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 3:05 PM


Who is the Winner and Loser?

A nuclear deal has been struck just months after Iran elected President Hassan Rouhani, seen as a relative moderate, replaced the hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.After four days of negotiations in Geneva, representatives of the P5+1 group...

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Islamic Republic of Iran: Buying Time or Serious Nuclear Talks With US, IAEA, and P5+1?

(2) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 5:26 PM


(Image: Mojtaba Salimi via Wikimedia Commons)

By choosing to speak in English to present a PowerPoint titled "Closing an Unnecessary Crisis: Opening New Horizons," the American-educated Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif projected a new Iranian image as he...

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