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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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Qods Force Terrorist Plot in the U.S.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and FBI Director Robert Mueller announce a plot was foiled involving men allegedly linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and to bomb the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel in Washington at a news conference October 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

China-Iran Ties: Assessment and Implications for U.S. Policy

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates meets with Chinese defense ministry officials in January 2011. (Photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison,

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.

Internal Divisions Mask External Unity

Highway into Tehran (photo available at Wikimedia Commons)

Iran-Lebanese Hezbollah Relationship 2009

Flag of Hezbollah (Available at Wikimedia Commons)

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.

Russia-Iran Foreign Relations

Flag of Russia (Available at Wikimedia Commons) 
Reaction to June 2009 Iranian Presidential Election:

Uzbekistan-Iran Foreign Relations

Flag of Uzbekistan (Available at Wikimedia Commons). 

Uzbekistan has largely held back from the public debate over Iranian nuclear enrichment and United Nations Security Council resolutions.  In May 2006, Uzbek President Islam Karimov argued against military strikes targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities and supported diplomatic methods to resolve the conflict.[1]


Israel-Iran Foreign Relations

Flag of Israel (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.