Key Points

In 2017, pro-Khamenei groups once again urged Fattah to run for the presidency, but he again refused. As Hasan Rouhani, Iran’s current president and the principlists’ main political rival, approaches the end of his second term, the principlists need a candidate who can retake the administration. Fattah’s modest style of living, obedience to Khamenei, deep connection to the IRGC, years of service to the poor, and managerial experience make him a formidable candidate. If he runs, Fattah will wrap himself in Ahmadinejad’s populist mantle. At the same time, he will pose a far more dangerous adversary for the West since he will not sow division at home. Think of him as the new and improved Ahmadinejad.

Read More

The more forcefully, publicly, and continuously the Trump administration makes a detailed case against the Islamic Republic, for both its nuclear and non-nuclear transgressions, the more difficult it will be for any subsequent administration to embrace a return to the JCPOA or another deficient agreement. As long as the administration is prepared to approach concurrently and inseparably the nuclear and conventional threats posed by the clerical regime in any direct diplomacy, then talks with Tehran need not lead to the large concessions made by the Obama administration. Broadening the scope of issues while increasing pressure is the only possible way the United States can severely weaken Iran’s theocracy at home and abroad to the point where Tehran will have no choice but to negotiate a truly comprehensive agreement.

Read More

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.

Read More

Projects