Karim Sadjadpour

Senior Associate
Middle East Program
Sadjadpour, a leading researcher on Iran, has conducted dozens of interviews with senior Iranian officials and hundreds with Iranian intellectuals, clerics, dissidents, paramilitaries, businessmen, students, activists, and youth, among others.



MA, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
BA, University of Michigan 



English; Italian; Persian; Spanish


Karim Sadjadpour is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment. He joined Carnegie after four years as the chief Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group based in Washington and Tehran, where he conducted dozens of interviews with senior Iranian officials and hundreds with Iranian intellectuals, clerics, dissidents, paramilitaries, businessmen, students, activists, and youth, among others.

He is a regular contributor to BBC TV and radio, CNN, National Public Radio, PBS NewsHour, and Al-Jazeera, and he has appeared on the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Fox News Sunday, and the Colbert Report, among others. He contributes regularly to publications such as the Economist, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and Foreign Policy.

Frequently called upon to brief U.S., EU, and Asian officials about Middle Eastern affairs, he regularly testifies before Congress, has lectured at Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford universities, and has been the recipient of numerous academic awards, including a Fulbright scholarship.

In 2007, Sadjadpour was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is a board member of the Banu Foundation, an organization dedicated to assisting grassroots organizations that are empowering women worldwide.

He has lived in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.


  • Op-Ed Atlantic January 14, 2014
    What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Making a Deal With Iran

    Wondering whether the historic nuclear talks with Iran will succeed or fail? Study the brain.

  • Op-Ed National December 25, 2013
    Prediction: 2014 Will Be a Year of Surprises for Many Countries

    Next year could prove to be a pivotal one for Iran, both internally and in its relations with the outside world.

  • Op-Ed New York Times November 26, 2013 中文
    Good News, But An Alliance With Iran Is Premature

    Iran is one of the few countries in the Middle East where America’s strategic interests and democratic values align, rather than clash.

  • Podcast November 12, 2013
    China’s Perspective on Iran

    Carnegie–Tsinghua’s Paul Haenle talks with expert Karim Sadjadpour about Iranian nuclear negotiations in Geneva, President Rouhani’s charm offensive, and China’s engagement in the Middle East.

  • Op-Ed New York Times September 4, 2013
    A Meeting Point Remains Elusive

    As long as Iran sees itself embroiled in a zero-sum game in Syria, a half-way meeting point, however desirable, will likely remain elusive.

  • Op-Ed Combating Terrorism Center August 27, 2013 Русский
    Iran’s Unwavering Support to Assad’s Syria

    The surprising endurance of the Iran-Syria alliance is made more striking by the fact that it is based on neither shared national interests nor religious values, but is rather a tactical-cum-strategic partnership between two authoritarian regimes.

  • Testimony House Foreign Affairs Committee June 18, 2013
    Realistic Expectations for Iran's New President

    It was surprising that Rowhani was permitted to win by an unelected conservative establishment who over the last decade have systematically purged moderates and reformists from the corridors of power using force and intimidation.

  • Nate Silvering the Iranian Elections
    Op-Ed Foreign Policy June 13, 2013
    Nate Silvering the Iranian Elections

    Iranian presidential candidates have courted the popular vote while simultaneously auditioning to be the supreme leader's trusted lieutenant.

  • Q&A June 12, 2013
    Iran’s Presidential Election: An Autocracy Votes

    The outcome of Iran’s election will not have much of an impact on Tehran’s foreign policy and nuclear strategy—the supreme leader, not the president, makes those decisions.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Policy Association May 6, 2013
    A Candid Discussion on Iran

    If Iran were properly managed, it has the size, human capital, and natural resources to be a rising global power, not just a regional power. But Iran’s leadership has prioritized fighting the status-quo world order, rather than trying to rise within it.

  • NPR’s All Things Considered January 19, 2014
    Iran To Take First Step Toward Long-Term Deal

    There is a mismatch of expectations between America and Iran in terms of what a comprehensive deal should look like. The United States expects Iran to drive its nuclear program further in reverse, while Iran expects America to lift all of the sanctions.

  • NPR’s Morning Edition November 25, 2013
    Does Nuclear Deal With Iran Go Far Enough?

    Under the new nuclear deal, the broad sanctions architecture remains. Iran’s oil industry is still under sanctions, and if indeed Iran wants to emerge from that isolation, it’s going to require some consistent nuclear compromise.

  • CNN November 25, 2013
    Iran Nuclear Deal: A Moment for Cautious Optimism

    While the Iran nuclear deal offers a potential nuclear détente, the United States and Iran are not on the verge of a rapprochement just yet.

  • CNN’s Middle East Marketplace November 24, 2013
    Iran Nuclear Deal

    Both pressure and diplomacy were essential in pushing Iran to the negotiating table and reaching an interim nuclear deal.

  • BBC Newsnight November 24, 2013
    Nuclear Agreement Reached: Will Iran Deliver?

    The success of nuclear agreements are judged over a period of months and years, not over a period of minutes.

  • Agenda with Steve Paikin November 4, 2013
    Navigating Through Iran’s Charm Offensive

    Though the diplomatic thaw between Iran and the West is a significant step forward, it remains to be seen whether Iran wants a rapprochement with the United States and will fundamentally change its foreign and domestic policy.

  • NPR September 28, 2013
    Obama-Rouhani Phone Conversation Is A 30-Year First

    President Obama’s historic phone call to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is the first step in what could be a very long journey between the two countries.

  • NPR's Morning Edition September 20, 2013
    Iran’s New President Mounts A Charm Offensive

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may be interested in a détente with the United States, but thorny issues remain. Nonetheless, the United States should seize the opportunity.

  • PBS NewsHour September 19, 2013
    What Are the Motives Behind Iran’s ‘Charm Offensive’?

    Iran has launched a significant charm offensive, but whether this is merely a tactical compromise in order to stave off economic pressure and reduce sanctions, or is this a strategic shift by Iran to alter its relationship with the outside world, remains to be seen.

  • MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports September 18, 2013
    Obama’s Letters to Iran About Nuclear Arms

    Given everything that’s taking place in the Middle East, Iran may be one of the few sources of hope for the Obama administration to reach some kind of diplomatic accommodation.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=340

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