Karim Sadjadpour


Karim Sadjadpour is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a regular contributor to the Atlantic and appears frequently on CNN, BBC, and NPR. In 2007 he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

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Recent Commentary

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Cold War Lessons For Iran Strategy

by Karim Sadjadpourvia The Caravan
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

“Strategy,” wrote Lawrence Freedman in his book of the same name, “suggests an ability to address causes rather than symptoms, to see woods rather than trees.” While Iran’s expanding influence in the Middle East is primarily the symptom of an underlying cause—the power vacuums created by the 2003 Iraq War and the 2011 Arab uprisings—there is now a symbiotic relationship between Iranian ambition and Arab disorder. The latter accentuates the former, and the former accentuates the latter. 

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Ayatollah Machiavelli

by Karim Sadjadpourvia Analysis
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Islamic Republic of Iran and its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have arguably become the most powerful country, and leader, in the Middle East. A Machiavellian combination of ruthlessness, radicalism, and realism—underpinned by a 2500-year history of subtle statecraft—has helped Tehran fill political vacuums created by the Iraq war and Arab uprisings. Though American and Iran share numerous common interests—and adversaries—as long as Iran continues to define itself as a revolution rather than a nation-state cooperation will be minimal, containment will be necessary, and confrontation may be unavoidable