Farzan Sabet

Farzan SABET

Senior Research Associate
Spoken languages
English, French, Persian
Areas of expertise
  • Financial Sanction
  • Nuclear Nonproliferation and Counter-proliferation
  • International Relations and Middle East Politics and Societies

Dr. Farzan Sabet is an expert on economic sanctions, nuclear non-proliferation, and Middle East politics. He is a Senior Research Associate of the Global Governance Centre and the Sanctions and Sustainable Peace Hub at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

Dr. Sabet was previously a Researcher in the Middle East WMD-Free Zone Project at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Global Governance Centre at the Geneva Graduate Institute, a Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow at the Centre for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. 

Dr. Sabet holds a Ph.D and M.A. in International History and Politics from the Geneva Graduate Institute and a B.A. in History and Political Science from McGill University. He speaks English, French, and Persian.


Selected Publications

Monographs and Volumes

Sabet, Farzan. Narratives of the Middle East WMD-Free Zone: Drivers, Themes, and Historical Accounts. Geneva, Switzerland: UNIDIR, 2023.

Zak, Chen, and Farzan Sabet. [eds] 2021. From the Iran nuclear deal to a Middle East Zone? Lessons from the JCPOA for the ME WMDFZ. Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone Series 3, Geneva: UNIDIR.


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Sabet, Farzan. “Sleeping beside the Elephant: The United States in Canada’s Middle East Policy.” In Middle Power in the Middle East: Canada’s Foreign and Defence Policies in a Changing Region, edited by Thomas Juneau and Bessma Momani, University of Toronto Press, 14-30. 2022.

Zach, Chen, and Farzan Sabet. “Introduction.” In From the Iran nuclear deal to a Middle East Zone? Lessons from the JCPOA for the ME WMDFZ, edited by Chen Zak and Farzan Sabet, Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone Series 3, Geneva: UNIDIR, 1-9. 2021.

Mallard, Gregoire, and Farzan Sabet. “Compliance and Enforcement.” In From the Iran nuclear deal to a Middle East Zone? Lessons from the JCPOA for the ME WMDFZ, edited by Chen Zak and Farzan Sabet, Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone Series 3, Geneva: UNIDIR, 69-83. 2021.

Mallard, Grégoire, Farzan Sabet, and Jin Sun. “The Humanitarian Gap in the Global Sanctions Regime: Assessing Causes, Effects, and Solutions.” Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, 26:1, 121–153. 2020.

Sabet, Farzan, and Roozbeh Safshekan. “The Revolutionary Guard in Iranian Domestic and Foreign Power Politics.” In Routledge Handbook of International Relations in the Middle East, edited by Shahram Akbarzadeh, Routledge, 96-109. 2019.

Sabet, Farzan. “The April 1977 Persepolis Conference on the Transfer of Nuclear Technology: A Third World Revolt Against US Nonproliferation Policy?” The International History Review, 40:5, 1-18. 2018.

Sabet, Farzan. “Iran: Resolving the Nuclear Crisis.” Journal of Public International Affairs: 74–92. 2013.

Safshekan, Roozbeh, and Farzan Sabet. “Discoloured Revolution: The Iranian Green Movement, Coloured Revolutions and Factional Politics in Iran.” McGill Journal of Middle East Studies XII: 2–29. 2011.

Safshekan, Roozbeh, and Farzan Sabet. “The Ayatollah’s Praetorians: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the 2009 Election Crisis.” The Middle East Journal 64.4: 543–58. 2010.


Reports and Papers

Safshekan, Roozbeh, and Farzan Sabet. “The Source of Legitimacy in the Guardianship of the Jurist: Historical Genealogy Political Implications.” POMEPS Studies 28, New Analysis of Shia Politics. Dec. 2017.

Sabet, Farzan. “The Nuclear Renaissance and Nonproliferation Regime in 2017.” 2016-2017 Graduate Research Awards for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Ottawa: The Simons Foundation and International Security Research and Outreach Programme of Global Affairs Canada. 2017.

Sabet, Farzan. “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Political Elite On Syria: Understanding What They Think Through Iranian Media Narratives.” Philadelphia: Iran Media Program, Center for Global Communication Studies, University of Pennsylvania. 2013.

Sabet, Farzan, and Roozbeh Safshekan. “Soft War: A New Episode in the Old Conflict between Iran and the United States.” Philadelphia: Iran Media Program, Center for Global Communication Studies, University of Pennsylvania. 2013.


Book Reviews

Sabet, Farzan, “Can Iran’s State Media Warriors Reframe the Islamic Republic for a New Generation?”, review of Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic, by Narges Bajoghli, Texas National Security Review, September 08, 2020.


Selected Commentary

Analysis (Selection)

Iran Deal Scenarios and Regional Security.” Arms Control Today, October 01, 2021.

How the Assassination of an Iranian Scientist Could Affect Nuclear Negotiations with Iran.” The Washington Post Monkey Cage, December 11, 2020.

A Fraught Road Ahead For The JCPOA?” UNIDIR, August 20, 2020.

What Would Reagan Do on Iran?” Foreign Policy Magazine, October 30, 2018.

Iran’s holding presidential elections. Here are the candidates to watch.” The Washington Post Monkey Cage, April 27, 2017.

The Rouhani Presidency at Three.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, August 18 2016.

Iran’s 2016 Elections: Change or Continuity?” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 09 2016.

Why Iran’s Assembly of Experts election is the real race to be watching.” Washington Post Monkey Cage, February 24 2016.

Ayatollah V President: The clash of visions over Iran’s opening to the West.” New America Foundation, February 18 2016.

U.S.-Iranian Relations after the Nuclear Deal: From Detente to Rapprochement?” War on the Rocks, September 03 2015 .

Iran’s Conservative Consensus on the Nuclear Deal.” Washington Post Monkey Cage, April 15 2015.

Military Intervention, Iranian-style.” War on the Rocks, June 30 2014.

Iran’s Delicate Nuclear Consensus.” Washington Post Monkey Cage, May 29 2014.


Interviews (Selection)

Iran’s voters cast ballots in election seen as one-horse raceNikkei Asia, June 18, 2021.

Iran protests: why Rouhani’s foes are backing off their hard lineChristian Science Monitor, July 02, 2018.

Iran calls new U.S. sanctions a violation of nuclear dealWashington Post, August 03, 2017.

The muscular signals Iran is directing at the U.S. Axios, August 02, 2017.

Iranians vote for president, with the nuclear deal and economy on their mindWashington Post, May 19, 2017.

Rouhani, the ultimate insider, promises change in IranCNN, May 18, 2017

In the race to unseat Iran’s Rouhani, two conservatives emerge as front-runnerWashington Post, May 13, 2017.

Rouhani Fires Away at Leading Rival a Week Before Iran ElectionBloomberg Politics, 12 May 2017.

What We Learned From Iran’s Presidential Debate: QuickTake Q&ABloomberg Politics, 30 April 2017.

Iran’s Ahmadinejad registers to run for president. Agence France-Presse, April 27, 2017.

4 reasons Iran’s new parliament is a really big deal. Vox, May 26, 2016.

Nine Takeaways From Iran’s Elections. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 04, 2016.

Iran Elections: Why They Matter. Newsweek, February 24, 2016.

In Iran, Friday’s tightly controlled elections will be pivotal for moderates: Analysis. Toronto Star, February 24, 2016.

Surge in anti-American hostility in Iran is setback for jailed US reporter. Christian Science Monitor, October 23, 2015.

Could Iran’s Hardliners Derail a Nuclear Deal? The Atlantic, July 02, 2015.

Syria, Iran’s “Strategic Province”IranWire, July 16, 2014.