Garrett Nada's Blog

Khamenei: No War and No Talks with U.S.

August 13, 2018
On August 13, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected President Donald Trump’s offer of unconditional talks. He said the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal was “clear proof” that Washington cannot be trusted. Khamenei gave several reasons for why Iran would not negotiate with the…

Exiting the Deal Part 10: Economic Impact

June 28, 2018
President Trump’s announcement on May 8 — to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions — began to isolate Iran again. “We’re going to deny them the benefit of the economic wealth that has been created and put real pressure, so that they’ll stop the full scale of the sponsorship of…

Part 3: Iran’s Growing Influence in Iraq

May 3, 2018
Two Middle East experts from the U.S. Institute of Peace, Elie Abouaoun and Sarhang Hamasaeed, discuss Iran’s evolving role in Iraq with Garrett Nada.   What are the major phases that Iraq has gone through since the 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime? What has Iran’s involvement been during…

Iran’s Volatile Currency

May 1, 2018
The value of Iran’s rial declined rapidly in early April, triggering a race on foreign currency and public panic. Iranians who lined up outside banks to buy dollars were turned away because of shortages. The rial had already been depreciating for months. It lost nearly half of its value on the free…

Part 2: Pro-Iran Militias in Iraq

April 26, 2018
Since 2003, Iranian influence has deepened in Iraq through a wide array of Shiite militias. Several militia leaders and politicians spent years in exile in Tehran during Saddam Hussein’s reign in the 1980s and 1990s. One of Iraq’s most powerful armed groups, the Badr Organization, was formed in…

Part 1: Iran’s Role in Iraq

April 26, 2018
Iran has emerged as the most influential foreign player in Iraq since U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. Iran and Iraq are Shiite-majority countries that share centuries-deep cultural and religious ties — and a 900-mile border. The Islamic Republic has used these advantages to…

Part I: Iran in Syria

April 10, 2018
Since mid-2011, Iran’s military intervention in Syria has grown steadily. By 2015, at least eight Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) generals had been killed in Syria. As of February 2018, Iranian forces and their proxies were deployed in nearly 40 facilities—including headquarters,…

Iran in 2017

December 21, 2017
2017 was tumultuous for many Middle East countries, but less for Iran than in previous years. Tehran encountered few existential political or security challenges, whereas Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya faced basic questions about their long-term viability. Iran capitalized on the region’s chaos to…

Trump and Iran in 2017

December 21, 2017
Donald Trump’s election produced dramatic change in U.S. policy in 2017. As a candidate, he had blasted the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers as “the worst deal ever negotiated.” If elected, Trump said his number-one priority would be to dismantle the deal. Since taking…

The Race: Rouhani Wins Reelection

May 20, 2017
On May 20, Iran’s Interior Ministry announced that President Hassan Rouhani won a second term by a wide margin. He garnered 57 percent of the vote, compared with 38 percent for his closest rival, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi. Rouhani’s victory was a significant blow to conservatives, who were seeking a…