Garrett Nada's Blog

Part 2: COVID-19 Toll on Chemical Weapons Victims

June 1, 2020
Victims of chemical weapons during Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq have proven to be among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. In April 2020, veterans accounted for 7.5 percent of the 4,500 COVID-19 deaths, or about 337 people, the Islamic Revolution Veterans Association reported. Tens of thousands of…

Part 1: COVID-19 Toll on Doctors and Nurses

June 1, 2020
Iran’s doctors and nurses have made heavy sacrifices in the fight against COVID-19. In the first three months of the pandemic, more than 100 healthcare workers died and some 10,000 had been infected. The death toll could be much higher, since statistics were still being collected from across the…

Part 1: U.S. on U.N. Arms Embargo

May 11, 2020
In late April 2020, the United States announced a new diplomatic initiative to extend the U.N. embargo limiting Iran’s ability to purchase conventional weapons, which is due to expire on October 18, 2020. The embargo limits all U.N. member states from selling weaponry – including battle tanks,…

The COVID-19 Blow to Iran’s Economy

April 29, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has created new challenges and exacerbated old ones for Iran’s economy. The outbreak of COVID-19, first announced on February 19, forced businesses nationwide to close just before Nowruz, the Persian New Year, on March 20. Trade slowed due to border closures. By mid-April,…

Iran’s Oil Price Plummets

April 22, 2020
Already hard hit by U.S. sanctions, Iran faced a stunning decline in the price of oil – a major source of revenue – as an unexpected byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic. By April 1, the price of Iran’s heavy crude fell to below $14 per barrel — down from $44 or more per barrel in February. The…

Rouhani: “Necessary Decisions” on COVID-19

April 1, 2020
Six weeks after the first COVID-19 deaths, President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran was successfully containing the outbreak. “Fortunately, the statistics I read last night from all the provinces shows a downward trend in all provinces,” he said at a cabinet meeting on April 1. Rouhani claimed that…

U.S. Charges Iran Lying on COVID-19 Facts

March 24, 2020
On March 23, the State Department issued a fact sheet disputing Iran’s claims on the scope of its COVID-19 crisis. It came one day after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected U.S. aid to help combat the coronavirus outbreak. Khamenei also had cited a baseless conspiracy theory that COVID-…

Khamenei Refuses U.S. Help on COVID-19

March 23, 2020
In a televised address, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected U.S. aid to help combat the coronavirus outbreak. “You might give us a medicine that would spread the disease even more or make it last longer,” he said on March 22. Khamenei also cited a baseless conspiracy theory that COVID-19…

Iran’s Roster of Political Influence Abroad

March 9, 2020
Since the 1980s, Iran has forged a network of political alliances across the Middle East that now give it more influence than its Gulf rivals and the United States. Tehran has exploited local grievances, sectarian identity, and conflicts to create or foster political parties, most visibly in…

2020 Parliamentary Election Results

February 24, 2020
Conservative and hardline factions, including candidates closely aligned with the Revolutionary Guards, won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections held on February 21. They won 221 of the 290 seats, more than doubling their presence in parliament; 83 were elected in the 2016 poll, according…