In this section, IranTracker goes beyond the information provided in other areas of the site to present a selection of in-depth, analytical pieces that examine the most relevant issues about the Islamic Republic to present a clearer picture of what is Iran, how it works, and where it is going.

In this section

A New Era for Iran’s Military Leadership
By Paul Bucala, Marie Donovan, December 1, 2016

Iran is reshaping its military command structure to enhance its ability to deploy and use conventional military power throughout the Middle East. 

Supreme Leader's Adviser Discloses Details on Iranian Efforts Abroad
By Paul Bucala, October 27, 2016

A recent interview with Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, a senior military advisor to the Supreme Leader, provides valuable insight into the regime’s perceptions of its soft and hard power efforts.

Iran's Kurdish Insurgency
By Paul Bucala, Shayan Enferadi, September 26, 2016

Kurdish militants have escalated attacks against Iranian security forces in the past six months. An escalation of the conflict would divert military resources that Iran might otherwise have deployed to Syria and elsewhere. 

Iran Presidential Election Tracker: Updates and Analysis

AEI’s Critical Threats Project has been tracking Iranian presidential election developments closely. This page will be continually revised as the election progresses. 

Russian Basing in Iran is about More than ISIS
By Marie Donovan, August 24, 2016

Russia’s use of Iran’s Hamedan airfield may have “ended for now,” but Russo-Iranian military cooperation is far from over.

The Strategic Impact of the S-300 in Iran
By Christopher Harmer, August 18, 2016

The deployment of S-300 components to Iran is a strategic game changer in the region, and a challenge to which international attention should now turn.

Is this proposal the future of Iranian elections?
By Caitlin Shayda Pendleton, July 27, 2016

Iran is likely to revise its electoral system in the near future. A proposal by Guardian Council spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodaei would reduce the council’s overt involvement in the candidate vetting process but still maintain its ability to disproportionately disqualify reformist candidates. 

Here's How Iranian Airlines Are Violating Sanctions

Here’s the inescapable bottom line: Iran Air is violating sanctions.

Iran's Airbridge to Syria
By Paul Bucala, Ken Hawrey, July 13, 2016

Tehran appears to have developed an expansive network of repurposed commercial aircraft to supply its expanding war effort in Syria.

What the Khan Tuman defeat means for Iran
By Paul Bucala, May 12, 2016

The IRGC suffered its first significant setback in the Aleppo campaign when al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra and allied groups in the Jaish al Fatah coalition overran Iranian positions in the town of Khan Tuman south of Aleppo city on May 6.

The Artesh in Syria: A fundamental shift in Iranian hard power
By Paul Bucala, May 4, 2016

The Supreme Leader and Iran’s military leaders appear to have decided to re-purpose elements from the Artesh to support the IRGC actively in its mission of defending and expanding the Islamic Revolution abroad.  

Translation: The Artesh's Evolving Rhetoric
By Paul Bucala, May 4, 2016

Rhetoric from Artesh leadership in the weeks following the deployment to Syria hints at a fundamental transformation in the orientation of Iran’s conventional military. 

Iran is muscling up. We should push back

Reports are swirling that Russia is finally delivering an advanced S-300 air defense system to Iran, although they may be premature again.  The implications of that and the other items on Iran’s military shopping list need our attention fast.

Translation: The Deployment of Artesh Special Forces to Syria
By Ken Hawrey, Alice Naghshineh, April 11, 2016

Soldiers from Iran’s conventional military service, the Artesh, are fighting and dying in Syria. At least three members of the Artesh Special Forces were reported killed on April 11, marking the first time the Artesh has sustained casualties abroad since the Iran-Iraq War.  

IRGC commander warns President Rouhani to back off
By Marie Donovan, April 7, 2016

IRGC Commander General Jafari delivered a stern warning to President Rouhani on April 5: Stop opening up to the West. It seems that the Guards’ tepid support for Rouhani’s policies over the last 18 months is coming to an end.

Iran in Syria: flexing more, not less, military muscle
By Paul Bucala,, April 6, 2016

Iran is rotating forces in and out of Syria, bolstering pro-Assad militia units and likely beefing up Tehran’s ability to project military force abroad. These developments deserve close scrutiny rather than optimistic misinterpretation if we hope to keep a very bad situation in the Middle East from getting worse.

Iranian cyberattacks: What the Justice Department's indictment means and what it doesn't
By Paul Bucala, Frederick W. Kagan, March 25, 2016

The Justice Department’s indictment of seven Iranian hackers for a “coordinated cyber assault” against 46 major financial institutions and a New York dam on March 24 was a good symbolic gesture, even though there is no measurable chance that any real action against the Iranian attackers will result. 

Iran's Evolving Way of War: How the IRGC Fights in Syria
By Paul Bucala, Frederick W. Kagan, March 24, 2016

Iranian officials have labored to conceal the extent of their involvement in the Syrian conflict, repeatedly insisting that they are only training, advising, and assisting Syrian forces. The announcements of Iranian casualties reported by Iranian media and social media tell another story. 

Translation: Rouhani expresses support for Iran's missile program in December letter
By Caitlin Shayda Pendleton, March 22, 2016

Some in the West have pointed to the losses of hardliners in recent elections as indications that Iran’s foreign policy will begin to change. An open letter President Hassan Rouhani wrote to Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan on December 31, 2015 shows that this assumption is tenuous at best regarding the missile program. 

Iran Elections Tracker: Updates and Analysis

AEI’s Critical Threats Project has been tracking election developments closely in Iran. This page will be continually updated with analyses of the results and their significance as the elections progress.

Unopposed Candidates in the Assembly of Experts Election

The composition of the political body charged with selecting Iran’s next supreme leader is already tilting away from the moderates. This slide deck sheds light on the nine candidates who are currently running unopposed in their districts and their political leanings. 

Moderates face uphill battle in Assembly of Experts

The contours of the next Assembly of Experts are thus becoming clear weeks in advance of the polling—and those contours are shaping for a conservative body likely to select a new supreme leader in a similar ideological mold as the incumbent. A reforming wave is not about to engulf the Islamic Republic.

Get ready for another election crackdown in Iran--the Iranian regime is.
By Paul Bucala, Marie Donovan, February 2, 2016

The hardliners in the Iranian regime have set the stage for the upcoming elections to Parliament and the Assembly of Experts to prevent moderates and reformists from gaining influence, particularly over the selection of the Supreme Leader’s successor. 

Rouhani’s Challenge in Parliamentary Elections: The Disqualification of Key Allies
By Caitlin Shayda Pendleton, January 20, 2016

One of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s greatest victories, the implementation of the nuclear deal, overlapped this weekend with a significant defeat: the mass disqualification of many of his supporters seeking to run in parliamentary elections. 

Iranian Cyber Strategy: A View from the Iranian Military
By Paul Bucala, Caitlin Shayda Pendleton, November 24, 2015

IRGC Brigadier General Second Class Behrouz Esbati’s interview offers a unique window into the regime’s evolving perceptions of cyberspace and suggest what to expect as Iran seeks to achieve its goals in the post-deal environment. 

Iran’s Domestic Political Scene and the Nuclear Deal
By Marie Donovan, October 5, 2015

Iran’s parliament has been fighting with President Hassan Rouhani about its right to approve the nuclear agreement, allowing Rouhani’s conservative opponents to disrupt the victory lap he began following the agreement. It has also given them an issue around which to try to unify in advance of upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.  

Iran's Leaders Say They Will Expand Their Military Capabilities
By Frederick W. Kagan, September 4, 2015

The Iranian regime and military appear united in a determination to use the easing of sanctions to expand the Islamic Republic’s conventional and unconventional military power, including its ballistic missile program. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran has no qualms about exploiting the nuclear deal’s weaknesses
By J. Matthew McInnis, August 6, 2015

If there is one thing the Iranian leadership wants you to know, it is that the recently signedJoint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will not in any way compromise Iran’s ability to defend itself from military coercion or attack.

Iran Tracker Blog: President Rouhani lays out vision for the new Middle East
By J. Matthew McInnis, July 29, 2015

While Washington debates whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will mean a long-term shift in relations with Tehran, Iran is staking its claim for leadership in the Middle East.

Iran Tracker Blog: Khamenei has his own tough sell on the nuke deal
By J. Matthew McInnis, July 22, 2015

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is still holding back from fully endorsing last week’s announced Iran deal: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). His reticence is smart and to be expected. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Lifting arms embargo would be a real coup for Iran
By J. Matthew McInnis, July 8, 2015

In the latest snag in the P5+1 talks, Russia is pushing for lifting the conventional arms embargo on Iran as part of the nuclear agreement. The United Nations imposed this embargoin March 2007 as part of Security Council Resolution 1747, which tightened the council’s nuclear sanctions on Tehran. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Near to a nuclear deal, Iran grapples with bigger headaches
By J. Matthew McInnis, July 7, 2015

As the world is focusing on the yet-again extended nuclear talks, Iranian leaders are expressing ever greater concerns about the perceived threats from ISIS and Saudi Arabia. How Tehran may respond, including deploying ground forces in Iraq, should give everyone pause.

Iran Tracker Blog: Did Iran’s leaders admit they are intellectually bankrupt?
By J. Matthew McInnis, June 17, 2015

Iran is perhaps facing its most ominous security environment since the Iran-Iraq War, yet Iranian leaders are being surprisingly open and frank about the severe challenges they face and their need to find better strategies in response. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on June 10 that the war against terrorists was “more difficult” than the war against Israel. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Can Arresting Another Former Vice President Help Save Iran From Itself?

The regime’s internal angst has been on full display, with a nuclear deal nearing completion and sectarian contests with regional Sunni rivals and extremists escalating. The past week was like watching a morality play to restore faith in the system, in four acts.

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran in Knots Over Inspections, Interrogations, and Western Spies
By J. Matthew McInnis, June 3, 2015

The weeks leading up to the June 30 deadline for Iran’s negotiations with the P5+1 have been—and will continue to be—a flurry of leaks, accusations, and counter-accusations as the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani try to sell the potential deal to skeptics within their own leadership.

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran Doubles Down in the Fight for the Middle East
By J. Matthew McInnis, May 28, 2015

The Deputy Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, Brigadier General Esmail Ghani, finally admitted on May 23 that Tehran has been training the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

What Does Mohsen Rezaei's Return to the IRGC Signify for the Regime?

Former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Mohsen Rezaei appears to have officially returned to active duty. His return to uniform likely signifies the end of his political activities, but it is less clear what else it signifies.

Iran Tracker Blog: So What Did Iran Think of the GCC Summit?
By J. Matthew McInnis, May 20, 2015

It has been all smiles from the Obama administration since the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit concluded last week. The summit was ostensibly convened to reassure our Arab allies that the United States would continue to back their security after a potential nuclear agreement with Iran. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Nuke Talk Pressure Is Getting to the Ayatollah
By J. Matthew McInnis, May 13, 2015

The United States and other regional powers have long suspected the IRGC uses legitimate humanitarian operations as a cover to smuggle weapons and munitions.

Iran Tracker Blog: How Far Will Obama Go in the Strait of Hormuz?
By J. Matthew McInnis, May 5, 2015

In a flashback to US operations against Iran from 1987-1988 during the Tanker War, the Navy has begun accompanying US-flagged commercial ships as they pass the through the Strait of Hormuz. The administration has realized the encirclement of the Maersk Kensington on April 24 and the detention of the Maersk Tigris on April 28 were not anomalies.

Imam Hossein University: Cyberattacks and IT Systems
By Frederick W. Kagan, April 28, 2015

Pistachio Harvest is a collaborative project between Norse Corporation and the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute to describe Iran's footprint in cyberspace and identify important trends in Iranian cyberattacks. As part of this project, the Norse Intelligence Network has exposed cyberattacks and IT systems linked to Imam Hossein University. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran's Dangerous Calculations on the Sea
By J. Matthew McInnis, April 28, 2015

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy fired at and then later detained the Marshall-Islands-flagged M/V Maersk Tigris on April 28 as it entered the Strait of Hormuz. The US Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain dispatched a destroyer, the USS Farragut, in response to the Maersk Tigris’ distress call. Official Iranian explanations for these actions conflict so far, and the IRGC’s next moves remain uncertain. 

Bank Sepah: Cyberattacks, IT Systems, and Components
By Frederick W. Kagan, April 28, 2015

Pistachio Harvest is a collaborative project between Norse Corporation and the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute to describe Iran's footprint in cyberspace and identify important trends in Iranian cyberattacks. As part of this project, the Norse Intelligence Network has exposed cyberattacks and IT systems linked to Bank Sepah. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran is Afraid of 2017. We Shouldn't Be
By J. Matthew McInnis, April 21, 2015

Last week’s approval by the US Senate Foreign Relation Committee of the Corker-Menendez bill to review any nuclear agreement with Iran did not bother Tehran much. Iran’s leaders understood the bill would have minimal impact on reaching a final deal and reacted accordingly. 

The Growing Cyberthreat from Iran: The Initial Report of Project Pistachio Harvest

Iran is emerging as a significant cyberthreat to the US and its allies. The size and sophistication of the nation’s hacking capabilities have grown markedly over the last few years, and Iran has already penetrated well-defended networks in the US and Saudi Arabia and seized and destroyed sensitive data. 

Iran Tracker Blog: What Does Iran Really Want in Yemen?
By J. Matthew McInnis, April 14, 2015

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and other senior leaders loudly condemned Riyadh’s ongoing Operation Decisive Storm against the al Houthi rebels last week, and the shape of Iran’s counter-narrative is now emerging. Today Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced a peace plan calling for a ceasefire and dialogue. But what does Iran really want?

Iran Tracker Blog: IRGC Exercises in the Strait, Rouhani in Qom
By Mehrdad Moarefian, Tara Beeny, March 4, 2015

Iran’s Great Prophet 9 military exercises were held February 25-27 throughout the Persian Gulf and showcased the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)’s latest weapons and capabilities. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran Likes the Looks of This Emerging Nuclear Deal
By J. Matthew McInnis, February 26, 2015


Iran shows no signs of giving in to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) demands to disclose its alleged nuclear weapons research activities. 

Testimony: Beyond Nuclear: The Increasing Threat from Iran
By Frederick W. Kagan, February 11, 2015

The protracted negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program have distracted attention from other aspects of the threat Iran poses to the security of the United States and its allies in the region and around the world. The global Iranian threat—independent of the status of its nuclear program—is greater today than it has ever been.

Iran Tracker Blog: Fajr Launch Highlights Missile Component of Iran Nuclear Negotiations
By J. Matthew McInnis, February 10, 2015

The effect of Iran’s Fajr satellite launch last week on the talks is uncertain, but it should bring Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its potential capability to deliver a nuclear payload back on the agenda for the P5+1 negotiators. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Are Iran and Hezbollah on the same page?
By J. Matthew McInnis, February 3, 2015

Lebanese Hezbollah does not want to escalate its confrontation with Israel while the group focuses on its main fight in Syria. The bigger question may be whether Iran does.

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran Commends Hezbollah Attack That Killed Two Israeli Soldiers
By J. Matthew McInnis, January 29, 2015

Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah’s desire for additional retaliation against Israel for the airstrike that killed IRGC Quds Force Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allah Dadi and several Lebanese Hezbollah senior officers puts Hezbollah in a difficult position. 

Iran Tracker Blog
By The Editors, January 28, 2015

This blog series analyzes the most important Iran news events of the past week and provides an outlook of the regime's strategic calculus. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Killing of Another Senior Iranian General in Syria May Generate New Conflict with Israel
By J. Matthew McInnis, January 21, 2015

IRGC Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allah Dadi’s death, along with that of several Lebanese Hezbollah officers, following an alleged Israeli gunship strike on January 18 in Syria will test Iran and Lebanon’s willingness to escalate their current confrontation with Tel Aviv. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Possible Changes in Iranian Foreign Policy
By J. Matthew McInnis, January 14, 2015

President Rouhani and Supreme Leader Khamenei’s recent rhetoric portrays an Iranian regime weighing significant shifts in its foreign and economic policies, including its negotiating position at the nuclear talks.

Iran Tracker Blog: Rouhani Possibly Signalling New Tactics in Nuclear Negotiations
By J. Matthew McInnis, January 8, 2015

President Rouhani's proposal for a referendum on the nuclear negotiations during a January 4 speech is unlikely to succeed, despite the majority of Iranians supporting the approach. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran Accelerates Military Enhancement
By J. Matthew McInnis, December 23, 2014

Tehran announced a major multi-service military exercise in late December focused on defending against an attack from the Gulf of Oman. The expansive propaganda around the exercise corresponds with efforts to promote Iran’s military strength following the extension of the nuclear negotiations on November 24. 

Iran Tracker Blog: Iran Doubts Obama's Ability to Deliver a Deal but Reaffirms Commitment to Getting Sanctions Lifted
By J. Matthew McInnis, December 16, 2014

The Iranian regime expressed doubts that President Obama can deliver on any deal he commits to, but remains committed to negotiations narrowly restricted to the nuclear program and lifting of sanctions. The regime continued efforts to ensure its stability in advance of possible public discontent should sanctions remain in place.

Iran Tracker Blog: Situation Report Week of December 8, 2014
By J. Matthew McInnis, December 9, 2014

This blog series analyzes the most important Iran news events of the past week and provides an outlook of the regime's strategic calculus. 

Iran's Economy of Resistance: Implications for Future Sanctions
By Amir Toumaj, November 17, 2014

Economic sanctions have not changed Iran’s nuclear policy, although they have pressured Tehran to engage in negotiations.The Resistance Economy doctrine is intended to make the Iranian economy resistant to all external economic shocks in the long term, including Western sanctions and global financial crises. 

Iran Situation Report
By The Editors, October 21, 2014

The Critical Threats Project has been tracking activities and announcements in Iran, with a focus on political, military, economic, and nuclear developments, as well as Iran's response to regional crises.

He's Just Not That Into Us: The Supreme Leader's Resistance Strategy Expands
By Mehrdad Moarefian, September 2, 2014

Recent events in Iraq, Syria, and Gaza are increasing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s determination to expand the anti-American and anti-Israeli strategy he calls “resistance.”  The tide of that resistance strategy will increase hostility and tension over the coming months, regardless of US policy.

Iranian Response to Regional Crisis: July 23 - August 7, 2014

A look at Iran's regional activity from July 23 to August 7, 2014.

Iranian Response to Iraq Crisis: June 13 - July 23, 2014

Between June 13 and July 23, 2014, deployed IRGC forces and advisers, led by Quds Force Commander Qassem Suleimani continued their efforts to shore up ISF, protect Shi’a shrines, and coordinate activities throughout central Iraq against IS. 

Iran Situation Report
By Mehrdad Moarefian, Marie Donovan, October 23, 2014

This daily publication provides an update on activities in Iran, especially in reference to the Iraq crisis.

Iraq Through the Eyes of Iran's IRGC
By Mehrdad Moarefian, July 7, 2014

The feasibility of cooperation with Iran in Iraq depends in part on how the IRGC sees the problem.  This post is the first in a series that will look at the Iraq crisis from the perspective of the IRGC.

The IRGC Command Network: Formal Structures and Informal Influence
By Will Fulton, July 18, 2013

This report examines the formal structures that comprise the IRGC’s senior leadership and the informal influence networks that dominate these structures in order to identify and describe the networks that actually control Iran’s most powerful organization.

Iranian Strategy in Syria

Iran has conducted an extensive, expensive, and integrated effort to keep President Bashar al Assad in power as long as possible while setting conditions to retain its ability to use Syrian territory and assets to pursue its regional interests should Assad fall.

IRGC Messaging: Insight into a Revolutionary Regime
By Will Fulton, May 20, 2013

This assessment examines messaging from senior IRGC officials on issues of critical importance to U.S. national security, including: IRGC response to an attack on Iranian territory; Iran’s involvement in Syria, and; Iran’s nuclear program.

Testimony: Iran’s Global Force Projection Network: IRGC Quds Force and Lebanese Hezbollah
By Will Fulton, March 20, 2013

The Islamic Republic of Iran is first and foremost concerned with regime preservation, and its strategic calculus and behavior are deeply influenced by this concern. It is therefore essential that Iran’s global terror campaign is considered within this context.

The Assassination of Iranian Quds Force General Hassan Shateri in Syria
By Will Fulton, February 28, 2013

On February 13, 2013, IRGC Quds Force Brigadier General Hassan Shateri was assassinated in Syria. His death is a serious blow to the Quds Force, and his very presence in northern Syria shows the depth of Iran’s involvement in that conflict.

IRGC Shows Its (True) Hand in Syria
By Will Fulton, January 14, 2013

Iran has been deploying training teams to Syria, drawn from some of its elite regular combat formations, similar in some respects to the advisory units the U.S. has sent to help train Iraqi and Afghan forces.

Iranian Regime Exerts Pressure on Green Movement
By Will Fulton, January 9, 2013

As Iran's presidential election draws near, it appears there is an effort underway to rekindle a national debate about the regime’s legitimacy, prompting a series of harsh reactions from regime officials.

IRGC Rank Insignia Guide
By Will Fulton, October 31, 2012

Understanding the IRGC's formal rank system is an important component of understanding the Iranian regime's power structure and its key players. This slide deck explains the rank structure of the IRGC and the relative degree of formal military authority granted to guardsmen at each rank.

IRGC Command Network: Formal Structures and Informal Influence
By Will Fulton, October 10, 2012

Understanding the IRGC is essential to understanding Iran. Whether it is Iran’s nuclear program, conflict in Syria, international terrorism, or domestic security, the IRGC is a key decision maker. This video and accompanying slide deck assess the IRGC Command Network, its structure, and cohesion.

Iranian Influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Since 2008, the Islamic Republic of Iran has continued to pursue a coordinated soft-power strategy throughout its sphere of influence, using political, economic, and military tools to promote its agenda, although not always with success.

Khamenei's Team of Rivals: Iranian Decision-Making, June-July 2014
By Frederick W. Kagan, July 29, 2014

American strategies that rely on severe tensions within Iran’s senior leadership or that imagine that Rouhani is somehow seriously at odds with the Supreme Leader and the IRGC on foreign, defense, or nuclear policy are likely to fail.  We must reckon, at least for now, with an Iran firmly under the control of the Supreme Leader whose commanders and president are pulling in the same direction—a direction inimical to U.S. interests in the region and the world.

Iran Tracker Blog: Nuclear Framework Agreement Has Iran Smiling
By J. Matthew McInnis, April 7, 2015

It has been congratulations all around in Tehran since Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif returned home with a framework for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with the P5+1.

Iran Tracker Blog: A Partial Nuke Deal Would Salvage a Horrible Week for Iranian Foreign Policy
By J. Matthew McInnis, March 31, 2015

A likely partial agreement and extension of the nuclear talks comes as no surprise. Iran recognized the March 31 deadline for a political agreement did not really matter and behaved accordingly

Iran Tracker Blog: Don't Hold Your Breath for a Moderate Post-Khameini Iran
By J. Matthew McInnis, March 11, 2015

Those hoping that successful nuclear negotiations will be a harbinger of a less confrontational or even cooperative Iran received a rude awaking March 10.

Iran Tracker Blog: Why Phased Sanction Relief is So Hard For Iran to Swallow
By J. Matthew McInnis, March 25, 2015

Last week there was widespread optimism that a deal on Iran’s nuclear program was close. Now a less enthusiastic tone has emerged, especially from Western negotiators, and a key problem appears to be how much and how fast sanctions relief will come.

Iran loses a key player in its Syria strategy
By Marie Donovan, October 9, 2015

The IRGC and Iran just suffered a big blow in the death of Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani on October 8 in Syria. His death may disrupt Iranian efforts in Syria and possibly throughout the region.  It could also create opportunities that the U.S. and our allies could exploit.