Research examines Iran’s domestic politics, social change, and prospects for economic reform, alongside Iran’s role in regional conflicts.

The Islamic Republic is facing waves of external pressure stemming from international sanctions and tensions with the United States over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – or Iran Nuclear Deal – and regional conflicts, alongside its own internal economic crisis, political factionalism, governance, and social challenges.

Most Iranians suffer stagnant living standards because Iran’s economy cannot flourish while the country is mired in financial crises, as well as a chaotic banking sector, struggling oil exports, and a uniquely peculiar political system mixing theocratic and republican institutions.

Politics remains a complex system of competing institutions, parliamentary factions, powerful families, and military-business lobbies, but is dominated by hardline conservative groups. Civil society and pro-democracy groups are largely suppressed and freedom of expression is highly restricted.