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Reza Marashi
Reza Marashi joined NIAC in 2010 as the organization’s first Research Director. He came to NIAC after four years in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to his tenure at the State Department, he was an analyst at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) covering China-Middle East issues, and a Tehran-based private strategic consultant on Iranian political and economic risk. Marashi is frequently consulted by Western governments on Iran-related matters. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, and The National Interest, among other publications. He has been a guest contributor to CNN, NPR, the BBC, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, among other broadcast outlets.
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Entries by Reza Marashi

Have Democrats Learned From The Mistakes Of War?

(1) Comments | Posted July 7, 2016 | 6:06 PM

A draft copy of the 2016 Democratic Party platform has been circulated online, and the Iran section is a cause for concern to many progressives who championed President Obama's historic diplomatic achievements. Its support for the Iran nuclear deal is a no-brainer, but its assertion that we "will not hesitate...

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The World Needs People Like Siamak Namazi

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 3:04 PM

Our friend, Iranian-American consultant Siamak Namazi, has been in Tehran's Evin prison for six months. He has not been charged with a crime, and his detention has no legal basis. Access to Siamak's lawyer has been denied. His health is at risk. He has been through a hunger strike and...

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Siamak Namazi Is a Good Man. Iran Should Release Him.

(3) Comments | Posted March 16, 2016 | 9:26 AM


My friend, Iranian-American consultant Siamak Namazi, has been in Tehran's Evin prison for five months. His 80-year old father, Baquer Namazi - a former senior UNICEF official - was imprisoned three weeks ago. The motives behind these arrests have been lucidly explained, but...

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Iranian Voters Seek Gradual Change, Electing Moderate Candidates

(56) Comments | Posted February 29, 2016 | 12:32 PM

Iran can still surprise. Despite thousands of candidate disqualifications, tens of millions of Iranians flocked to the polls to vote in their 2016 elections. Turnout has surpassed 60 percent. Victory by candidates aligned with President Hassan Rouhani already exceeds expectations. Thus far, there have...

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The U.S.-Iran Prisoner Swap Is Yet Another Victory for Diplomacy and Human Rights

(157) Comments | Posted January 16, 2016 | 9:54 AM

Diplomacy's great promise is that one can never predict where discussions will lead once they have begun. Serious, sustained negotiations first produced a historic nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran. They continued working together to ensure that 10 American sailors were released from Iranian custody less than 24 hours...

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The Middle East is Changing, Hillary Clinton's Policy Isn't

(18) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 11:19 AM

For someone who has been running for President seemingly her entire political career, Hillary Clinton raises more questions than answers when it comes to Middle East policy. It is not a lack of clarity that plagues her campaign -- on the contrary, her views are crystal clear.

Instead, it...

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Obama's Real Achievement With the Iran Deal

(127) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 9:00 AM

One cannot help but feel sorry for President Barack Obama. After twenty months of painstaking negotiations with Iran and America's coalition partners, hours of hearings on Capitol Hill, countless closed briefings for lawmakers, and scores of articles and opinion pieces about the nuclear deal, few if any have taken note...

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Five Myths About the Iran Deal

(29) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 12:23 PM

As the final round of nuclear negotiations begins here in Vienna, opponents of a deal have become schizophrenic in their efforts to torpedo it. Unable to base their objections on science or the technical facts currently being drafted, they have instead resorted to a loose mélange of poorly constructed straw...

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Why Iran Won't Capitulate

(138) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 6:19 PM

Part of the reason why opponents to a nuclear deal with Iran are so bewildered by President Barack Obama's diplomacy is because their belief that Iran can be forced to capitulate. They adhere to a George W. Bush administration-era argument: If the U.S. only were to ramp up pressure, it...

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In Vienna, U.S. and Iran Working to Beat the Clock

(8) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 1:25 PM

"The Iran nuclear negotiations are on life support. Iranian officials are trying to leverage regional instability to win more favorable terms in a nuclear deal. Iran's stubbornness has caused it to miss the last best chance at finalizing a nuclear deal by the November 24th deadline." These are the latest...

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Meet My Friend Imprisoned in Iran

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 10:14 AM

My friend, Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian, was recently arrested in Iran. When his home was raided, Jason's Iranian wife and two other dual nationals were also taken into custody. Fast forward one week, and four unknowns increasingly frighten Jason's friends and family: his whereabouts; the charges against him; who exactly...

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In Vienna, U.S. and Iran Building a Recipe for Success

(4) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 6:44 PM

As the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) came to a close here in Vienna, one thing stood out above all else: the two sides are equally invested in building a recipe for success.

With each...

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Quel Iran choisirons-nous?

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 10:01 AM

L'accord intermédiaire historique entre les membres permanents du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies plus l'Allemagne (P5 + 1) et l'Iran sur la crise du nucléaire n'est pas seulement une question de capacités d'enrichissement, de centrifugeuses et de capacités de nucléaire militaire. A terme, il aidera à déterminer...

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In Vienna, U.S. and Iran Shave Down the Mistrust

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 11:30 AM

After chatting with Iranian and American officials about their negotiations here in Vienna, I was reminded of Winston Churchill's words: "To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day." The truth of Churchill's observation will...

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In Vienna, U.S. and Iran Inch Toward a Better Future

(14) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 7:31 AM

As nuclear talks commence here in Vienna, much of the discussion has rightly focused on the various technical details that a final nuclear deal must address. Indeed, the devil is in the details. However, the bigger picture is no less important, and it provides an important backdrop to the negotiations...

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Which Iran Will We Choose?

(30) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 12:23 PM

The historic interim agreement between the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran over its nuclear dispute is not just about enrichment, centrifuges and breakout capabilities. Ultimately, it will help determine who and what will define Iran's foreign and domestic policies for decades to come....

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In Geneva, U.S. and Iran Near the Finish Line

(11) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 10:15 AM

As three days of intensive negotiations came to a close here in Geneva, I was reminded of an old Winston Churchill quote that aptly describes the challenge facing America and Iran: "Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for...

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Innocent Iranians Off the Agenda in Almaty

(44) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 7:17 AM

As a new round of talks between permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran came to a close, both sides expressed cautious optimism on the road ahead. Despite this positive momentum to start 2013, by no means was the agenda in Almaty comprehensive. Both...

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How Obama Can Succeed on Iran

(189) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 11:22 PM

With the elections behind him, President Obama must quickly shift his focus to key foreign policy challenges that were put on pause due to election season paralysis. On Iran, the President should hit the ground running.

Obama has a unique opportunity to make headway on the diplomatic front between November...

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At the NAM Summit in Tehran, 'It's the Economy, Stupid!'

(32) Comments | Posted August 31, 2012 | 6:23 PM

With the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit in the books, Iran has finished hosting its largest international conference in over three decades. Iranian officials sought to make a case that it is not the "international community" that has problems with the Islamic Republic, but rather a U.S.-led "coalition of the willing"...

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