While the differences between Rouhani and Raisi are meaningful, and the competition between them is genuine, four decades of Iranian presidential elections have had little impact on Iran’s major domestic and foreign policies.
The common thread in U.S. strategy toward Iran, Syria, and North Korea isn’t changing these regimes so much as it is trying to change their behavior. More than likely, they will all remain hostile to U.S. interests.
By catering to the Saudis in Yemen, the United States has empowered al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, strengthened Iranian influence in Yemen, undermined Saudi security, and brought Yemen closer to the brink of collapse.
Perry Cammack is a fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on long-term regional trends and their implications for American foreign policy.
Chubin, who is based in Geneva, focuses his research on nonproliferation, terrorism, and Middle East security issues. He was director of studies at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland, from 1996 to 2009.
Hibbs is a Germany-based senior fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program. His areas of expertise are nuclear verification and safeguards, multilateral nuclear trade policy, international nuclear cooperation, and nonproliferation arrangements.
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.