Garrett Nada's Blog

Raisi’s First Moves on Foreign Policy

September 23, 2021
In the early days of his presidency, Ebrahim Raisi outlined two main priorities in Iranian foreign policy: improving relations with neighbors, and expanding ties with Asian powers, including China and Russia. “I extend a hand of friendship and brotherhood to all countries in the region, especially…

Iran and the Taliban Takeover

August 25, 2021
Iran welcomed the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan while it also scrambled to deal with the sudden influx of thousands of refugees along the 572-mile border. For months, Iran had been positioning itself for the transition by hosting a Taliban delegation in January and intra-Afghan peace…

U.S. Sanctions Iran Oil Smuggling Network

August 13, 2021
On August 13, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned an oil smuggling network for supporting the Qods Force, the external operations branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The Qods Force “has been using revenue from Iranian petroleum sales to fund its malign activities,” Secretary of…

Iran Behind Oil Tanker Attack

August 2, 2021
On July 29, an oil tanker with ties to Israel was hit in a drone strike off the coast of Oman, killing two crew members. The Mercer Street was owned by a Japanese company and flew the Liberian flag, but was managed by Zodiac Maritime, a company headed by an Israeli shipping magnate. On August 1, U.…

In Farewell, Rouhani Admits Mistakes

August 2, 2021
Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani apologized to Iranians for their suffering during his eight years in office. “If we had any shortcoming and flaws, we ask people’s forgiveness and mercy,” he said during his last cabinet meeting on August 1. Rouhani said that his administration would have been more…

Iran, Afghanistan and the Taliban

July 28, 2021
For decades, Iran has faced an ever-growing array of challenges from neighboring Afghanistan, with which it shares a 572-mile border. Iran had long sought the withdrawal of U.S. forces, which President Joe Biden announced on April 14. But the absence of the U.S.-led NATO forces has also created new…

Raisi: Election Results Explainer

June 23, 2021
What were the results of the 2021 presidential election? On June 19, Iran’s Interior Ministry announced that Ebrahim Raisi, the head of Iran’s judiciary, won the presidential election with 62 percent of the votes, although the majority of Iranians did not turn out. The other three candidates,…

Dull Presidential Debates: 2021

June 9, 2021
The moderator selects a candidate's number from a bowlIn nationally televised debates, the seven candidates vying to win Iran’s presidential election offered limited insight on how they would address critical economic, diplomatic and social challenges. They invoked buzzwords – including “corruption…

Flap Over Iran's U.N. Dues

June 8, 2021
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif On June 2, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres reported that Iran will lose its voting rights in the General Assembly after failing to pay its dues. Iran can continue to vote in the current session, which ends in September. But the Islamic Republic would…

Explainer: Iran’s Presidential Election

May 12, 2021
Iran’s presidential election is scheduled for June 18. Registration for candidates began on May 11, and seven candidates were selected to run on May 25. The poll will be pivotal to Iran's future since President Hassan Rouhani cannot run again; the Islamic Republic has a limit of two consecutive…