Areas of Expertise

  • Iranian foreign policy; the Iran sanctions regime’s domestic, geopolitical, and geoeconomic impact
  • conflicts and geopolitics, foreign and development policies of the MENA region; developments in the Persian Gulf; the Arab Revolts’ socio-economic roots and geopolitical impact; Western and non-Western great powers in the MENA region
  • The current world order’s implications for foreign policy and diplomacy
  • Right-wing populism in the West and the MENA region


German, English, French, Farsi


Twitter: @AFathollah-Nejad


If you are interested in an internship in the Middle East and North Africa Program, please contact Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid:

Dr. Ali Fathollah-Nejad has been an Associate Fellow of the DGAP’s Middle East and North African Program since June 2015. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, an Associate of the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center’s Iran Project, and a Research Associate at the Centre of International Cooperation and Development Research of the Université libre de Bruxelles. Educated at Sciences-Po Lille, the University of Münster, and the University of Twente, he earned his PhD in International Relations from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, with a dissertation on Iran’s international relations in the 2000s.

Previously, he was an expert in culture and foreign policy at the Institute for International Cultural Relations (ifa).

He has taught courses on globalization and development in West Asia and North Africa, contemporary Iran, and the Arab Revolts at the Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Westminster, and SOAS.

He is the author of two monographs: Iran in the Eye of Storm: Backgrounds of a Global Crisis (University of Münster, 2007) and The Iran Conflict and the Obama Administration (in German, Potsdam University Press, 2010), and a frequent speaker at political forums, including the European Parliament, the House of Commons, the French National Assembly, the University of Law in London, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

His work has been published in The Guardian, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Internationale Politik (IP), openDemocracy, World Policy Journal, Huffington Post (France, Quebec & Germany editions), Géostratégiques, Insight Turkey, Iranian Diplomacy, and the Palestine–Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture.


Das „alte Spiel“ ist aus


Der Machtkampf zwischen Reformern und Hardlinern hat sich überholt. Bei den iranischen Präsidentschaftwahlen könnte erstmals ein Revolutionsgardist ins Amt kommen.

Der Doppelschlag von Teheran

Wie das Regime die Attacken innen- und außenpolitisch instrumentalisiert

Obwohl Schiiten dem so genannten Islamischen Staat als Ungläubige gelten, blieb der Iran vom IS-Terror lange verschont – bis zum 7. Juni. Ungereimtheiten bei den Anschlägen wecken aber Zweifel, wer dahintersteckt. Jedenfalls schlachtet das Regime die Ereignisse aus – zur Legitimierung von Repression nach innen und Aggression nach außen.