Garrett Nada's Blog

Part 1: The Tanker Crisis in the Gulf

June 13, 2019
Tensions between Iran and the outside world have escalated since an attack on four tankers on May 12 near the Strait of Hormuz, which was followed by an attack on two more tankers on June 13. Both attacks occurred in the Gulf of Oman. The Persian Gulf flows through the Strait of Hormuz into the…

Iran Releases U.S. Resident Nizar Zakka

June 11, 2019
On June 11, Iran released Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese national and permanent U.S. resident, after he spent more than 1,350 days in prison. He was invited by the Iranian government to Tehran for a business conference focusing on entrepreneurship. The information and communications technology expert…

Diplomacy on U.S.-Iran Tensions

June 4, 2019
At least four countries – Iraq, Japan, Oman, and Switzerland – have either served as or offered to be intermediaries between Iran and the United States. U.S.-Iran tensions began building on May 5 after National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the deployment of a carrier strike group and…

U.S. Sanctions Iran’s Metals

May 8, 2019
On May 8, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to impose sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors. The White House statement noted that those metals are “the regime’s largest non-petroleum-related sources of export revenue,” some 10 percent. The metals and mining…

Hossein Salami Appointed IRGC Commander

April 22, 2019
On April 21, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Hossein Salami as the new commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is Iran’s most powerful military and security organization as well as a key economic player. Major General Salami, a veteran of the 1980-1988…

U.S. "Maximum Pressure" Campaign on Iran

April 2, 2019
On April 2, the State Department released a fact sheet on U.S. efforts to place “maximum economic pressure” on Iran. Since 2017, the Trump administration has sought to negotiate a new nuclear deal that would also address the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program, support for extremist groups…

Zarif Announces Resignation, Rouhani Rejects It

February 25, 2019
On February 25, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced his resignation in an Instagram post. “With good wishes on the occasion of the blessed birth of Her Holiness Fatima Zahra, may the peace of Allah be upon her, the day of mothers and the day of women, I am very thankful for the…

Zarif in Munich: U.S. Wants Regime Change, Israel Seeks War

February 21, 2019
On February 17, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of “exporting insecurity” to the Middle East and trying to foment regime change in his country. In a defiant address at the Munich Security Forum, he condemned Washington for reimposing sanctions and withdrawing…

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…