Garrett Nada's Blog

Latest on the Race: Debate on Culture, Women

June 6, 2013
Garrett Nada                       Iran’s eight presidential candidates clashed on issues of culture, personal freedoms and women’s rights at the June 5 debate. Hassan Rouhani and Mohammed Reza Aref repeatedly criticized government censorship of the internet, press and academia. They argued that…

Part II: Shiite Holy Sites in Syria

June 3, 2013
Garrett Nada            Syria is home to some 50 sites holy to Shiites. Some have been badly damaged in the fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels since 2011. At least one shrine has been reportedly desecrated by Sunni extremists. Several top Iranian officials have condemned attacks…

Khomeini’s Rebel Grandchildren

May 29, 2013
By Helia Ighani and Garrett Nada            On the eve of a pivotal election, Iran’s theocratic regime faces one of its most striking challenges from the grandchildren of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the revolutionary leader who mobilized millions to end more than 2,500 years of dynastic rule.…

Latest on the Race: Jalili, Ideologue on Twitter

May 15, 2013
Garrett Nada             Saeed Jalili has never held elective office, yet he may have an important edge in the presidential race because of his close ties with Iran’s supreme leader. He is an insider’s insider. At the same time, Jalili is not a charismatic figure. He unsuccessfully ran for…

Sport I:Iran and US Wrestle--in a different way

May 13, 2013
Garrett Nada           Iran and the United States have at least one urgent interest in common: Their wrestling federations have teamed up to salvage wrestling for the 2020 Olympics after the Olympic Committee recommended dropping the sport in February 2013. The Iranian and American teams were…

Sport II: The Basketball Bridge

May 13, 2013
Garrett Nada      For more than a decade, Iran has looked to the United States to improve its caliber of basketball. In 2000, the national team even hired American coach Gary LeMoine. Since then, dozens of Americans ― reportedly 37 during one season ― have played on Iranian teams. Jonas Lalehzadeh…

Politics and Art of Iran’s Revolutionary Tulips

April 23, 2013
Garrett Nada       Their petals are on the national flag. They line the dome above Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb. They adorn billboards of martyrs from the war with Iraq. They have been depicted on coins and postage stamps. And hotels, parks and restaurants are named after them…

Latest on the Race: Rival Conservative Coalitions

April 11, 2013
Garrett Nada             In Iran, conservative candidates come in many shades. The presidential race has already produced two new coalitions among the Islamic Republic’s many hardline factions. The goal is to consolidate the political clout of individual candidates two months before the June…

Latest on the Race: Ex-Nuke Negotiator to Run

April 11, 2013
Garrett Nada             Hassan Rouhani, head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council for 16 years from 1989 to 2005, declared his candidacy for president on April 11. Born in 1948, he also served as the lead nuclear negotiator in earlier rounds of diplomacy with European powers.        The…

Latest on the Race: Appeals to Khatami to Run

March 28, 2013
Garrett Nada             Iran’s political limelight is increasingly focused on whether former President Mohammad Khatami will run again. On March 16, 91 reformist leaders published an open letter calling on Khatami, who was president from 1997 to 2005, to run again in the June 14 election…