Iran | Wilson Center


Decision Point: Iran, the Nuclear Deal, and Regional Stability

President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement will have far reaching implications for U.S. policy; the trans-Atlantic alliance; non-proliferation efforts; and even on regional stability -- particularly in the Israeli-Lebanese-Iranian-Syrian arena. Indeed, those implications may go far in defining the U.S. posture in the region for years to come.

Four veteran analysts and policy advisers on the Middle East assessed the implications of the president’s decision, including on U.S. foreign policy in the region at large.

'Confronting the Iranian Challenge': Jane Harman Testifies Before House Foreign Affairs Committee

Ahead of President Trump’s looming deadline for certification of the Iran nuclear deal, Jane Harman testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the strategy and the stakes. 


Part 2: Pro-Iran Militias in Iraq

By Garrett Nada and Mattisan Rowan 


Since 2003, Iranian influence has deepened in Iraq through a wide array of Shiite militias. Several militia leaders and politicians spent years in exile in Tehran during Saddam Hussein’s reign in the 1980s and 1990s. One of Iraq’s most powerful armed groups, the Badr Organization, was formed in 1982 by Iraqi exiles to fight Hussein with the support of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

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?