Best Analysis

Belfer Iran Brief – US “fully prepared” to walk away from talks as “significant gaps” remain, and other news

Belfer Iran BriefUS Secretary of State John Kerry said the US will leave talks if negotiations don’t yield more progress, the Iranian government again lowered its prediction for future oil revenues, and other news in this week’s Belfer Iran Brief, covering …

Quandaries of Emulation

Professor Roy MottahedahRoy Mottahadeh, Gurney Professor of Islamic History at Harvard University, highlights a previously little understood dynamic: the importance of Shia religious leaders in influencing the religious, political, and social views of their followers. In The Quandaries of Emulation, Professor Roy Mottahedeh traces the development of Shia religious leaders, specifically marja al-taqlids, or "sources of emulation," and the bases of their influence within the Shia community.

Belfer Iran Brief: March 24 deadline solidifies, Khamenei agrees that “no deal is better than a bad deal,” and other news

Belfer Iran BriefIranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and US President Barack Obama all stated that negotiations between the West and Iran should not continue past March 24 if substantial progress is not made in the meantime, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that he agrees with Obama that “no deal is better than a bad deal,” and other news in this week’s Belfer Iran Brief, covering February 3 to February 9, 2015.

Belfer Iran Brief — Rouhani accuses hardliners of “sabotage” and other news

Belfer Iran BriefPresident Hassan Rouhani accused hardliners of trying to “sabotage” the national interest, “as if they are cheering on the rival team,” leader of Friday prayers in Tehran said Iranians should be able to endure eating one meal per day in the name of a “resistance economy,” and more in this week’s edition of the Belfer Iran Brief, covering January 24 to February 2, 2015.

Assessing the new Kirk-Menendez sanctions legislation (Updated)

Henry RomeHenry Rome analyzes the newly drafted Kirk-Menendez legislation and finds the key differences between the current bill and its prior incarnation in the 113th Congress. He notes that the new bill contains significant differences specifically in regards to the suspension of sanctions, staggered implementation of new sanctions in the event of a failure of negotiations, and in the sense of Congress section.

Belfer Iran Brief – “Our ideals are not bound to centrifuges,” assessing the Congressional debate and other news

Belfer Iran BriefIranian President Hassan Rouhani announced he may put key national issues to a public vote, Iran Matters breaks down versions of Congressional legislation on Iran and more in this holiday edition of the Belfer Iran Brief, covering December 24, 2014 to January 12, 2015.

Belfer Iran Brief – Nuclear deal and rapprochement, Cuba comparisons and other news

Belfer Iran BriefA nuclear deal will not lead to rapprochement between Iran and the U.S., according to senior Iranian security official, Iranian newspapers see renewed U.S.-Cuba relation as evidence that sanctions fail, and more in this week’s Belfer Iran Brief, covering December 16-22. Note: Belfer Iran Brief will return in January 2015.