Shahram Bahadori

Featured briefing
The temporary supreme leader

The internal conflicts and subversive power plays within the regime’s clerical elite as well as between conservatives and reformists have come to the fore. 
The outcome is not only destabilizing for the government but has the potential of casting doubt on the very legitimacy of the supreme leader. 

Steering a theocratically powered machine

Few expected such a resounding victory for the moderates. Now Iran’s Hassan Rouhani can move more decisively in the direction that conservatives had opposed. The hostility from the Trump administration is only an additional hurdle to overcome.

Cover story
Iran loses its linchpin

A giant in Iranian politics, Hashemi Rafsanjani, has died. He played a number of roles throughout his long career, but whatever happened at the highest rungs of Iranian politics, you could be sure his influence was there.

Featured briefing
The interface is where it's at

As virtual economies multiply, their lack of infrastructure and tangible goods forces us to redefine what we mean by value.

Redrawing the Gulf
Iran's reformist resurgence

The Islamic Republic’s government involves a sophisticated system of checks and balances. President Rouhani has proved himself to be very adept at navigating the various forces at play and giving the country a more moderate line. 

Europe’s dark hour
Learning from history

Some suggest that a divide and rule strategy in the Middle East would suit the West. But a closer look at the historical conditions that enabled such a strategy to be successful might discourage such an approach.

World economy
The ayatollah wears Prada

Iran is opening up to international business. But the fashion business – from clothing manufacturers to modeling agencies – must take into consideration certain peculiarities of the Islamic Republic. 

Middle East
Steps to revolutionary reform

Iranian President Rouhani is poised to usher in a new era in the Islamic Republic. With sanctions lifted he must now try to manage a host of domestic problems that could transform Iran from within.

Middle East
Iran’s sanctions workaround

Doing business in Iran involves adapting to the effects of sanctions. As Iranians prepare for normalized relations with the West, the element of mistrust looms large in the collective psyche.

The Islamist connection

In need of money to capture territory and spread their radical ideas, Islamist groups have turned to the cash cow of drug smuggling to finance their endeavors, making strange bedfellows along the way.

Inside Iran

Foreigners reporting on Iran make little effort to understand the situation from within, perpetuating a series of myths in the process. From the Iranians’ point of view, however, there is a degree of diversity that would surprise most Westerners.

Saudi Arabia
All the King’s dilemmas

The recently crowned King of Saudi Arabia finds himself at the helm of what has long been a bastion of stability in a maelstrom. Having financed the source of so much of the chaos, the Saudis now fear it could come back to haunt them.

Islam’s Thirty Years’ War
The Islamic State’s franchising strategy

The establishment and spread of a contemporary Islamic caliphate was outlined years ago. Now, with the help of social media as a recruitment and propaganda tool, the Islamic State is carrying out a definite strategy.

Euro Sisyphus faces jihad
The Middle East mess: from ideology to geopolitics

Between claims of responsibility and denunciations, the Sunnis and Shiites are shoring up their positions in the aftermath of Europe’s rude awakening to the threat of Islamist terrorism.