Garrett Nada's Blog

Issues in Iran’s Parliamentary Election

February 5, 2020
By Garrett Nada Iran’s 2020 parliamentary election, following months of internal protests and showdowns with the outside world, will be a stark contrast to the last poll in 2016, when Iranians believed they were emerging from years of economic sanctions and political isolation. Voters go to the…

Trends in Parliamentary Elections 1980-2016

January 30, 2020
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran's politics have changed dramatically from a one-party system heavily dominated by clerics to a multi-party system dominated by lay politicians. Iran’s parliament is illustrative. Iranians will head to the polls on Feb. 21, 2020 to elect the 11th parliament. The key…

Iran’s Confrontation with Israel over Four Decades

January 21, 2020
By Garrett Nada Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran’s conflict with Israel has gradually evolved geographically and strategically. By 2019, hostilities no longer played out in a shadow war. Iran had deployed men, money and/or materiel to aid allies on three of Israel’s borders—Lebanon, Syria…

New Wave of Protests

January 13, 2020
Iranians launched a new wave of protests on January 11 after Iran admitted that the Revolutionary Guards had mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. All 176 people on board, including dozens of Iranians, were killed. Iranians were enraged at the government’s incompetence and…

Report: Iran’s Military Strategy

January 10, 2020
In a new report, Michael Eisenstadt explores Iran’s gray zone strategy of operating between war and peace. The following is the executive summary from the report, available in full here from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.    Operating in the Gray Zone: Countering Iran's…

Iran Attack: Roundup

January 8, 2020
On January 8, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Qods Force. Iran was quick to claim responsibility for the attack on U.S. forces. But its foreign minister also…

Iran’s Influence Challenged in Iraq

December 10, 2019
By Garrett Nada and Andrew Hanna For Iran, Iraq has been a foreign policy priority since the 1979 revolution for political, military, economic and cultural reasons. Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in 1980 was its first military threat; the war lasted eight years and cost more than a hundred…

Protests: Overview and Timeline

November 18, 2019
In a surprise overnight announcement on November 15, Iran hiked gas prices—by up to 300 percent—and introduced a new rationing system. The government’s goal was to raise funds to help the poor, but it backfired. Protests erupted across the country. The sudden move followed rising inflation and…

Flashpoints: Iran and Saudi Arabia

September 18, 2019
By Garrett Nada with Thomas Neal, Cameron Glenn and others Since 1979, Iran’s theocracy and Saudi Arabia’s monarchy have vied for regional dominance. Their competition has played out politically, militarily, economically, and culturally—and regularly in rhetoric. In 1987, revolutionary leader…

State of Iran-U.S. Diplomacy

September 4, 2019
A French initiative to broker direct talks between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been a roller coaster since both leaders indicated a possible willingness to meet. On August 26, French President Emanuel Macron announced a “roadmap of sorts” after talks with Trump and…