Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 02/2014

Tehran Calling: Understanding a New Iranian Leadership

Cornelius Adebahr

January 2014

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


After years of tension, sanctions, and deadlocked negotiations, Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s relatively moderate new president, has provided an opening for improved relations between the Islamic Republic and the West. While Rouhani has not ushered in a new Iran, Tehran has adopted a more conciliatory tone on its nuclear program since he took office. This shift is more than just talk, but the West will have to carefully calibrate its response to determine whether Rouhani’s changed rhetoric signals the beginning of a new direction for Iran.