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Analysis & Commentary - Saeed Ghasseminejad

Saeed Ghasseminejad's Latest Articles

13th December 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iranian Budget Hints at British Ransom Payment

Saeed Ghasseminejad

This past weekend, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson departed Tehran without securing the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Iranian-British dual citizen being held hostage by Tehran. However, a single line in Iran’s newly released budget proposal for the coming fiscal year suggests that London and Tehran may be close to a ransom arrangement. more...

1st November 2017 – The Hill

Iran’s supreme leader has a business empire — the US must sanction it

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran Analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu and Research Fellow Saeed Ghasseminejad discuss the need to have a high-profile determination to target EIKO (Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order) – an Iranian holding company owned by the Supreme Leader that has a stake in nearly every sector of the Iranian economy. more...

8th October 2017 – Fox News

Trump should refuse to certify the Iran deal as the first step to fixing a deeply flawed agreement

Saeed Ghasseminejad, David Adesnik

The Washington Post and New York Times reported Thursday night that President Trump will soon announce his refusal to certify that the nuclear deal with Iran is in America’s national interest. This is the right call, because decertification is the indispensable first step toward fixing a deeply flawed agreement that puts Iran on the path to becoming another North Korea. more...

18th July 2017 – Foreign Policy

If Trump Is Serious About Curbing Iran, He’ll Kill Boeing’s Plan to Sell It Planes

John Hannah, Saeed Ghasseminejad

If the president and his administration are as committed to combating terrorism and Iranian aggression as they’ve suggested, blocking the Boeing and Airbus deals really shouldn’t be too hard of a call. more...

29th June 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

How the Nuclear Deal Boosted Iran’s Economy

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Last week, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced a staggering 12.5 percent GDP growth rate for the most recent year on the Persian calendar, which ran from March 2016 to March 2017. more...

24th April 2017 – RealClearDefense

CEO of Iranian Airline to Buy Boeing Jets Has Ties to IRGC

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Boeing announced last month it would sell 30 B737 Max aircraft to Aseman Airlines –Iran’s third-largest carrier – in a deal valued at around $3 billion. more...

11th April 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

CEO of Iranian Airline to Buy Boeing Jets Has Ties to IRGC

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Boeing announced last week it would sell 30 B737 Max aircraft to Aseman Airlines – a government-owned carrier that is Iran’s third-largest – in a deal valued at around $3 billion. The deal appears to be permitted under the 2015 nuclear agreement, which lifted U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s aviation sector. There is, however, a problem: Aseman’s CEO, Hossein Alaei, is a decades-long senior member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, which remains under U.S. sanctions. more...

3rd April 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Gets a Raise

Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Iranian parliament passed two pieces of legislation this month with wide-reaching repercussions for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). more...

21st March 2017 – Foreign Policy

Rouhani, the Deceiver

John Hannah, Saeed Ghasseminejad

In two months’ time — on May 19, to be exact — Iran will hold presidential elections. As things currently stand, odds are that the incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, will win a second term. more...

19th March 2017 – The Cipher Brief

After Nuclear Deal, Iran Looks to Profit in Syria

Tony Badran, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s powerful, ideological military force, is one of the country’s most influential institutions, with major stakes in key sectors of the economy and supervision of Tehran’s vast network of militias and terrorist proxies in conflicts throughout the Middle East. more...

3rd March 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iranian Officials: Obama-era Prisoner Release was ‘Ransom’

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iranian intelligence agencies are fighting over credit for forcing the U.S. to pay ransom for five U.S. prisoners in January 2016. more...

2nd March 2017 – FDD Research

Mohsen Qomi: A Revolutionary Diplomat on the Rise

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Mohsen Qomi, a 56-year-old cleric, is a Khamenei confidant and his aide for international relations. Qomi is well-known in Iran for his nearly 20-year tenure at the Assembly of Experts – the body that chooses the supreme leader – and his long-term leadership of the supreme leader’s representative office for universities. more...

4th January 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Hunger Strikes: The Last Resort for Iran’s Desperate Prisoners

Toby Dershowitz, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Arash Sadeghi, a political prisoner in Iran, is 13 months into a 19-year sentence in the notorious Evin Prison. His alleged crime: “Assembly and collusion against national security, propaganda against the state, spreading lies in cyberspace and insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic and its supreme leader.” more...

12th December 2016 – Newsweek

Iran’s Hostages-for-Cash Scheme Continues - How Should the West Respond?

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Annie Fixler

Iran is currently holding Iranian-British charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hostage to pressure London to pay back hundreds of million pounds it allegedly owes the Islamic Republic. more...

18th November 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s First Major Post-Deal Oil Contract Is Risky Business

Amir Toumaj, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran last week struck its first major oil agreement with international firms following the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions pursuant to last summer’s nuclear deal. more...

15th November 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

Orange Telecom Mulls Partnership with IRGC-Controlled Firm

Orange Telecom Mulls Partnership with IRGC-Controlled Firm

Saeed Ghasseminejad

The French telecom company Orange is in negotiations to buy shares of the Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (MTCI or MCI), a firm jointly held by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and foundations controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. more...

11th October 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

Supreme Leader’s Conglomerate Poised to Reap Oil Windfall

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Amir Toumaj

As Iran opens its petroleum sector to the world following last summer’s nuclear deal, business interests under the direct control of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei are making sure they are the prime beneficiaries. more...

4th October 2016 – FDD Press

How the Nuclear Deal Enriches Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad, Annie Fixler , Amir Toumaj

During the first week of September, Iranian speedboats twice harassed U.S. Navy ships in international waters near the Strait of Hormuz. Those boats belonged to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). more...

25th July 2016 – The Hill

Will Iran wordsmith its way off our terrorism list? It certainly is trying

Toby Dershowitz, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran is on a diplomatic offensive to persuade global illicit finance regulators to accept that Hezbollah is not a terrorist group. It may be just a matter of time before the international body in charge of protecting the global financial system succumbs to pressure from businesses on a gold rush back into Iran. more...

18th July 2016 – The Huffington Post

The Obama Administration Gambled On Tehran’s Moderation — And Failed

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Emanuele Ottolenghi

A year ago, the Obama administration made a gamble, striking a nuclear accord with Tehran that it hoped would transform its behavior, leading to a thaw in bilateral relations and a more stable Middle East. more...