Garrett Nada's Blog

Primer: Iran’s 2024 Presidential Election

Iran will hold snap elections on June 28, 2024 after the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash on May 19. The next president will inherit a daunting set of challenges. At home, the unpopular government faced persistent inflation, high unemployment, and discontent over the lack of…

Raisi’s Death: Iran & Allied Reaction

Iranian leaders mourned the loss of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the other officials who died in the helicopter crash on May 19. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lauded Raisi, “the people’s president,” for his decades-long career in public service.…

Raisi's Death: What's Next for Iran?

On May 19, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and six other passengers and crew died in a helicopter crash. The aircraft went down in dense fog in a mountainous region of East Azerbaijan province in northwestern Iran. The officials were returning from the…

U.S. Report: Unfair Judicial System in Iran

Iran’s judicial system, including both civil and Islamic courts, failed to adhere to international standards of fairness in 2023, the State Department reported. Authorities often did not uphold rights guaranteed under the constitution, including access to a lawyer. One major loophole was the…

Election Results: Hardliners Gain, Turnout Low

Iranian hardliners consolidated their grip on power in the March 1 election for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts. The 290 seats of Parliament are elected every four years. Elected every eight years, the 88-member assembly has been charged with selecting and overseeing the supreme leader. Many…

U.S. Sanctions Technology Smuggling Network

On Feb. 14, 2024, the United States sanctioned a network that smuggled U.S. goods and technology from American companies to the Central Bank of Iran and other users in the Islamic Republic. The Central Bank of Iran had previously been sanctioned for providing financial support to the Qods Force,…

Comments: Congress on Strikes in Syria and Iraq

On Feb. 2, 2024, U.S. warplanes struck more than 85 targets in Iraq and Syria in response to the Jan. 28 drone strike that killed three American soldiers in northern Jordan. The facilities were used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and affiliated militias responsible for more than 160 attacks on U.S…

Raisi Blasts U.S. & West at U.N.

In his 2023 U.N. speech, President Ebrahim Raisi accused Western intelligence agencies of instigating one of the biggest psychological wars in history by provoking three months of nationwide protests after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in September 2022. The Iranian leader…

Iran-US Prisoner Swap: Hostage History

Iran’s practice of imprisoning foreign nationals, including Americans, has been a recurrent flashpoint since the seizure of the U.S. Embassy and 66 hostages after the 1979 revolution. Between 1979 and 2023, Iran detained nearly 100 Americans, including several U.S.-Iranian nationals. The Americans…

Iran-US Prisoner Swap: Iran Statements

On Sept. 18, 2023, President Ebrahim Raisi welcomed the prisoner swap with the United States as a “confidence builder” that could lead to future “humanitarian actions.” But he also criticized Washington. The swap “could have been accomplished much sooner had it not been for the wrong calculus of…