Part 1: Iran's Role in Iraq

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 permeate Iraq’s political, security, economic, and religious spheres.

In Iran Contra's Cold War Shadows: A Correspondent's Murder, a Senator's Anger, a Mercenary's Secret

Photos courtesy San Diego State University Network Television News Archive.

His hands bound, the American stood between two military guards as a Nicaraguan judge approached, stepping over metal debris strewn across the jungle floor.

Pointing to the twisted fuselage of a downed C-123 cargo plane, the judge asked, in halting English, "Is this the craft your Imperialist superiors sent you with weapons to destroy the people’s government of Nicaragua?"

West Germany's Secret Nuclear Assistance to Iran

West Germany was willing to secretly export sensitive nuclear technology 

Are Iran and Israel Going to War in Syria and Lebanon?

Last week, tensions exploded along the Israeli-Syrian border in a sequence of historic firsts: an Iranian drone penetrated Israeli airspace; Israel attacked Iranian-manned sites in Syria; Syria shot down an Israeli fighter jet for the first time since 1982; and Israel conducted intensive airstrikes against Syrian air defenses.

Raised Stakes: U.S. Policy Toward Iran in 2018

With the exception of North Korea, there is probably no higher foreign policy priority for the Trump administration in 2018 than dealing with Iran. Recent mass demonstrations in the Islamic Republic, Iran’s emboldened posture in the region, and the fate of the Iran nuclear agreement create uncertainty and raised stakes as the U.S. tries to define its approach toward the country.

Indeed, what is the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran and how is it likely to be implemented in the year ahead? Will 2018 see confrontation, compromise, accommodation or a hybrid?

Protests in Iran: Their Motives and Meaning

As protests sweep the Islamic Republic, Iran-watchers are wrestling with their precise triggers and consequences. These demonstrations, leaderless and unorganized, may well fade in the face of the repressive powers of the state, but what are their larger significance for Iran's domestic and foreign policy? What opportunities or risks do they present for the Trump administration's approach to the country and the region? 

In this Ground Truth Briefing, three veteran Iran analysts and journalists addressed these issues. 

Despite the Protests, Little Will Change in Iran

After a week of political unrest in Iran, it is now possible to delineate the prominent features of the protests and demonstrations.

History Meets Politics: Government and Academic Specialists Discuss Latest FRUS Volume on Iran 1953 Coup

In June 2017, Iran scholars fairly rejoiced when the State Department suddenly released its long-suppressed Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) volume covering the years 1951-1954 in Iran. The defining event of that period, of course, was the coup d’etat against Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, orchestrated by the US and British governments with Iranian participation.