Garrett Nada's Blog

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…

The Race: The Final Stretch

May 16, 2017
The pace and intensity of Iran’s presidential campaign have picked up in the final days before the May 19 vote. The election has basically turned into a two-man race between President Hassan Rouhani and conservative Ebrahim Raisi. For the first time in 20 years, the top two candidates are both…

The Race: Third Presidential Debate

May 15, 2017
Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf The third presidential debate, technically on the economy, often devolved into personal attacks over corruption, personal gains at public expense, nepotism, and association with human rights abuses. The angry sniping and name-calling played out largely between President…

The Race: A Combatant Campaign

May 11, 2017
Iran’s presidential campaign has gone from feisty to combative. President Hassan Rouhani has dared to rebuke his rivals and even scolded hardline clerics and the powerful Revolutionary Guards. At campaign rallies and in television debates, he has presented the election as a stark choice between…

The Race: It’s the Economy, Stupid

May 8, 2017
The economy is the primary issue in the 2017 presidential campaign for at least three reasons. The 1979 revolution was carried out in the name of the “oppressed,” but decades of international isolation and sanctions crippled the theocracy’s ability to deliver. As they go to the polls on May 19,…

The Race: Second Presidential Debate

May 5, 2017
The most interesting aspects of Iran’s second presidential debate, on May 5, were discussions of the nuclear deal and a nuanced but obvious question about the Revolutionary Guards. All six candidates implicitly supported the nuclear deal with the United States and five other major powers, which has…