Alireza Nader's Blog

Iran & Region III: Goals in Syria

January 26, 2015
Alireza Nader What is Iran doing in Syria? How important is Iran in the ground war?   Iran is playing a crucial role in buttressing President Bashar Assad, through military advice, provision of weapons, and funding of the cash-strapped Syrian government. The Assad regime might not survive without…

Iran & Region II: Salvaging Iraq

January 26, 2015
Alireza Nader What is Iran doing in Iraq? How important is Iran in the ground war against ISIS?    The Iranian government, particularly the Revolutionary Guards, is playing a huge role in helping the Iraqi security forces fight the Islamic State, especially in Diyala. The Guards are working with…

What to do now? Iran Torn on Syria

September 11, 2013
Alireza Nader             Iran has mixed feelings and conflicting interests in the Syrian crisis. Tehran has a strategic interest in opposing chemical weapons due to its own horrific experience during the 1980-1988 war with Iraq. For years, President Saddam Hussein’s military used chemical…

Report: Iran-Turkey Rivalry

August 26, 2013
            Turkish and Iranian interests in the Middle East are increasingly at odds, especially in Syria and Iraq, according to a new report by the Rand Corporation. Turkish energy needs and massive Iranian oil and natural gas resources heightened levels of cooperation between the two countries…

Rouhani: Rival Constituencies

June 24, 2013
Alireza Nader            Hassan Rouhani now faces the hard part. Iran’s president-elect won a decisive and surprising victory because he appealed to three conflicting constituencies— conservatives, reformists exiled from the political system, and Iranians dissatisfied with the status quo. Now his…

Rand Report on Iran Election

June 4, 2013
            In a new Rand report, Alireza Nader examines the implications of the election, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's objectives, the regime's electoral strategy, the competing factions and personalities, and the potential implications for the United States, especially…

The Supreme Leader’s Revenge

May 30, 2013
Alireza Nader            Iranian politics are personal. Indeed, the theocrats are decidedly earthly in their rivalries. But the 2013 election is particularly telling. It may be settling a score dating back a quarter century between the revolution’s two most enduring politicos—Supreme Leader…

Nukes Unlikely to Change Iran’s Strategy

May 12, 2013
            Nuclear arms would be unlikely to change Iran’s fundamental interests and strategy in the Middle East, according to a new report by the Rand Corporation’s Alireza Nader. Tehran is primarily concerned with survival. So it probably would not attack Israel or U.S. interests in the Persian…

Iran: A Rough Year in 2013

January 2, 2013
Alireza Nader            For Iran, 2013 could be one of the most challenging years—both at home and in relations with the outside world—since the 1979 revolution. The Islamic Republic faces the potential of stronger economic sanctions and even an Israeli and/or U.S. military strike because of its…

Part III: Would Iran Turn to Terror?

October 2, 2012
Alireza Nader             In a conflict with the United States or Israel, Tehran could turn to terror tactics—directly or indirectly through proxies—to create leverage when it is significantly outmanned and outgunned against conventional military forces. The Islamic Republic has sporadically…