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Ali Akbar Velayati: A Window into the Foreign Policy of Iran's Supreme Leader

Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor for foreign affairs to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus on August 9, 2010. (Getty)

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Khamene'i's Balancing Act

This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of Middle East Quarterly.

Seventeen months after the fraudulent June 12, 2009 presidential election, which threw the Islamic Republic into its worst political crisis since the 1979 revolution, and five months into the latest round of international sanctions against Iran,[1] Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i is desperate to demonstrate that he is the legitimate supreme authority in Iran.

Sanctions on Iran: Reactions and Impact

Bandar-e-Abbas, (Photo by Ivan Milnaric, available at Flickr)

Iran-Lebanese Hezbollah Relationship 2009

Flag of Hezbollah (Available at Wikimedia Commons)
 
 
INTRODUCTION

Hezbollah grew in strength in 2009 by entrenching itself further within Lebanon’s political structure and by building up its military capabilities. As a proxy of Iran, Hezbollah continued to receive support from Tehran and maintained a close relationship with Iranian political leadership.

Estimates for Hezbollah's Arsenal

Weapons seized off the Francop, bound for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
(Photo by IDF spokesperson.  Available at Wikimedia.)
 
 
Introduction
2010 Total Arsenal Estimates
2006 Arsenal Composition
Recently Intercepted Arms Shipments

Oman-Iran Foreign Relations

Flag of Oman (Available at Wikimedia Commons)

Hugo Chávez's Criminal Nuclear Network: A Grave and Growing Threat

Hugo Chávez's criminal activities, long the bane of his neighbors in the Americas, have now extended to Iran, where he is aiding that regime's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The U.S. policy of averting our eyes so as not to give him the attention he craves must change. The Obama administration needs to strengthen ties with the friends in the region, bring Chávez's partnerships with Iran to the attention of the United Nations (UN), and engage the Venezuelan people to confront the threat Chávez poses.

Gasoline Sanctions on Iran: How Will Tehran Respond?

A woman stands in the middle of Haft-e Tir Square in Tehran. (Photo by kamshots, available at Flickr)

 

The King is Dead, Long Live the King: Hakimullah Mehsud Takes Power in the TTP

Pakistani military outpost on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border (Photo by talkradionews, available at Flickr)

 

A Thorn in the Side of the Taliban: Turkistan Bhittani Biography and Analysis

Border crossing into the FATA, July 2008 (Photo by Reza Jan)