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Analysis & Commentary - Saeed Ghasseminejad

Saeed Ghasseminejad's Latest Articles

11th April 2018 – The Hill

Iran’s currency is in free fall — time for the US to exploit it

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Richard Goldberg

The Iranian rial fell to a record low this weekend, largely in response to President Trump’s appointment of John Bolton – seen as hawkish on Iran – to serve as his national security advisor. FDD experts Richard Goldberg and Saeed Ghasseminejad argue that the administration should use Iran’s economic unrest to its advantage in shaping tougher foreign policy towards Iran – including re-imposing sanctions. more...

23rd February 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

The Dire Consequences of Iran’s Water Crisis

Amir Toumaj, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Islamic Republic’s decades-long mismanagement of water resources has led to a shortage of fresh water, a problem compounded by drought and rising temperatures due to climate change. The shortage is acutely felt across Iran and has fueled recent protests against the government. more...

16th February 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Lawmakers Can Defend Iranian Dissidents and Punish the Revolutionary Guards at the Same Time

Toby Dershowitz, Saeed Ghasseminejad

There is bipartisan consensus in Congress on the need to support the nonviolent protesters in Iran who are calling for an end to corruption and dictatorship. One important way to protect the protesters from surveillance and punishment would be to sanction Iran’s largest telecommunications enterprise, the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI). more...

6th February 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

The Case for Designating Iran’s State Media

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Richard Goldberg

During the recent protests in Iran, dissidents both inside and outside the country asked the U.S. government to enforce sanctions against Tehran’s state-run media enterprise, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). more...

23rd January 2018 – The Wall Street Journal

Hit Ayatollah Khamenei in His Pocketbook

Mark Dubowitz, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Trump administration already has offered rhetorical support to Iran’s antigovernment protesters. Now, nearly a month after the demonstrations began, how can the U.S. provide material help? Follow the money. more...

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...