Amir Handjani in the Press

Amir Handjani

Published Work and Citations


Handjani Quoted in Al Monitor: Covid-19 pandemic intensifies Iran Sanctions Debate – 4/8/20
The global COVID-19 pandemic has added a new sense of urgency to the political debate over whether — and to what extent — the United States should lift sanctions on Iran as it struggles to adequately contain the coronavirus.

Handjani Quoted in Wall Street Journal: Iran’s Coronovirus Strategy favored Economy over Public Health – 3/15/20
When the coronavirus hit Iran in February, it presented its leaders with a choice: Close the country down to contain the outbreak and risk the wrath of a population already fed up with economic hardship, or try to keep the economy ticking over and risk the outbreak spiraling out of control.

Handjani Quoted in France 24: Top Iranian General Killed – 1/4/20
“I don’t think Iran’s calculus and Iran’s forward posture in the region changes” after General Soleimani’s death, says Amir Handjani, Fellow with the Truman National Security Project and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. “The killing of Soleimani is a blow, but … it’s not as if Iran is going to pack up and go away.”


Handjani Quoted in Wall Street Journal: Iran Takes Hardline to Keep Protests Down – 12/2/19
Days after 32-year-old Hamid Rasouli joined demonstrations over Iran’s troubled economy, he was killed by security forces, according to a friend. They handed over his body to his family with two demands: Pay nearly $8,000 and say your son was a member of a state militia who died at the hands of protesters.

Handjani in Lawfare: The Anatomy of Humanitarian Trade with Iran – 5/14/19
The United States has long promised to ensure trade in humanitarian goods for countries under its economic sanctions. For this reason, each U.S. country-based sanctions program has carved out exceptions that secured food and medicine so as to limit potential catastrophic effects on civilian populations.

Handjani in Foreign Policy: Saudi Arabia Has Big Plans in India – 5/10/19
To understand Riyadh’s new strategy in New Delhi, look no further than the state-run oil company Saudi Aramco’s recent bid to purchase up to 25 percent of India’s largest refinery—in fact, the largest refinery in the world—from Reliance Industries. For the better part of a decade, both India and Saudi Arabia have been trying to turn the page on the issues that divide them, including Saudi Arabia’s historic support for Pakistan in Afghanistan and Kashmir, and forge a new tactical partnership to effectively manage growing bilateral trade and investment between the Gulf Cooperation Council heavyweight and what may soon be the world’s third largest economy.

United States Designates Iran’s IRGC a Foreign Terrorist OrganizationAtlantic Council – 4/8/19
“It’s a provocative escalation. The IRGC has been sanctioned by numerous US authorities over the last decade. Multinationals from Europe and Asia have avoided doing business with them for some time now. This latest round of sanctions does little to move the needle. It just escalates the potential for a showdown between US and Iranian forces in the region which are at times in very close proximity to each other.”


Why Iran Won’t Succumb to Trump’s SanctionsAtlantic Council – 11/18/18
From the start of his administration, President Donald Trump has insisted that he can coerce Iran into reaching a “better deal” than the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that would also address Tehran’s military intervention and support of proxies in the Arab world as well as its ballistic missile program. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has gone further, issuing a dozen demands that resemble an ultimatum calling for capitulation rather than preconditions for negotiations. This much is clear: The Trump administration has decided to wage economic war on Iran to try to bring it to heel.

Trump Puts America First at the United NationsAtlantic Council – 9/25/18
“The performance was vintage Trump: dystopian and unbalanced. The United States is clearly isolated on Iran. As President Trump is reimposing primary sanctions on Iran, the EU, Russia, and China are looking for ways to strengthen their ties with Tehran on a commercial and a political level.

“‘America First’ doesn’t really fit with the international and multilateral approach taken by prior administrations in working with allies and partners to isolate Iran with the goal of changing its behavior. President Trump on the one hand wants to talk to Iran and cut a grand bargain (covering everything from missiles to Iran’s foreign policy), while on the other hand he continues to demonize its leadership and blaze them for all the instability in the Middle East. That approach may have tentatively worked to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. It won’t work with the Iranian leadership who have made resistance to US policies and pressure their raison d’être for existing.”

Handjani Quoted in the National on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s Support for US Sanctions on Iran – 8/13/18

Handjani Quoted in Bloomberg on Iran’s Economy After US Sanctions – 8/9/18

Handjani Quoted in Al-Monitor on Renewed Economic Sanctions on Iran – 8/6/18

Trump’s Angry Iran TweetAtlantic Council – 7/23/18

Concern and Uncertainty After Iran Deal ExitAtlantic Council – 5/14/18

Trump Quits Iran Nuclear DealAtlantic Council – 5/8/18

State of Upheaval: Trump Fires TillersonAtlantic Council – 3/13/18

Handjani Quoted in The Washington Post on Iran’s Anti-Government Protests – 2/24/18

Handjani Quoted in New York Times on Climate Change Amplifying Unrest in Iran – 1/23/18

Handjani Quoted in Scientific American on Climate Change Helping Spark Iran Protests – 1/8/18

Handjani Quoted in Bloomberg on Iran Protests – 1/4/18

Handjani in Reuters: The Best Way to Respond to Iran Protests – 1/2/18

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Protests in IranAtlantic Council – 1/2/18


Handjani in Foreign Affairs: India and the Iranian-Saudi Divide – 11/30/17

Handjani in Bloomberg: Saudi Shakeup Gives the U.S. an Opening With Iran – 11/11/17

Trump and the Art of the [Iran Nuclear] DealAtlantic Council – 10/13/17

Handjani Quoted in Bloomberg: on Trump and Iran – 10/13/17

Handjani in Bloomberg: Trump Aims at Iran and Hits the US – 10/13/17

Handjani in Politico: How Trump Can get out of his Iran Jam – 9/25/17

Handjani Quoted in Bloomberg on US Effort to Change Nuclear Deal – 9/20/17

Trump’s Debut at the United NationsAtlantic Council – 9/19/17

Handjani Quoted in The Washington Post on US Action Towards The Iran Deal – 8/3/17

Handjani in Reuters: Trump’s Risky Gamble on Iran – 8/1/17

Handjani Joins Bloomberg to Discuss Qatar Defense Minister Meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan – 7/2/17

Handjani Quoted in Al Jazeera on Turkey Denouncing Demands of Qatar – 6/25/17

Handjani Quoted in Bloomberg on Saudi Demands of Qatar – 6/23/17

Handjani Quoted by Bloomberg on Tensions Between Saudi Arabia and Qatar – 6/23/17

Handjani Quoted in Bloomberg on Iran Missile Attack at Syria


A Regional Solution Needed to Heal Rift Within GCCAtlantic Council – 6/15/17

Handjani Quoted in The Washington Post on Qatar – 6/15/17

Handjani Quoted by the Washington Post on Trump’s Role in Qatar’s Diplomatic Crisis – 6/15/17

Handjani in Reuters: Inside Trump’s Middle East Mess – 6/15/17

The United States and Iran: Future TenseAtlantic Council – 6/14/17

Handjani Joins Bloomberg to Discuss Terror Attacks in Tehran
– 6/11/17

Iran Faces Its Own Populist TestAtlantic Council – 5/18/17

Handjani – Iran’s Presidential ElectionAtlantic Council – 5/17/17

Handjani in Bloomberg: Negotiating with Iran Could Pay Off for Trump – 5/10/17

Handjani in War on the Rocks: Get Real on Iran’s Missile Program – 3/15/17

Handjani on Iran’s Domestic and International RelationsAtlantic Council – 3/8/17

Handjani Quoted by Bloomberg on Trump’s Stance on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – 2/9/17

Handjani Quoted by Bloomberg on Trump’s Threats on Iran’s Missile Test – 2/2/17

Handjani Joins Bloomberg to Discuss President Trump’s Visa Order – 1/29/17

Handjani Joins Bloomberg to Discuss President Trump’s Visa Ban from the Perspective of the Middle East – 1/28/17

Handjani in the National Interest Can Iran and India Turn the Page – 1/14/17


Handjani in Reuters: Column: The Case for Exxon’s Rex Tillerson as Trump’s Secretary of State – 12/14/16

Handjani Quoted by Al-Monitor on Secretary of State Tillerson– 12/13/16

Handjani in Reuters: Commentary: Putin’s Middle East Gamble is Paying Dividends – 10/4/16

Handjani in Bloomberg: Iran’s Plan to Lure Big Oil– 9/14/16

Handjani in Reuters: Commentary: A Year After Nuclear Deal, Sanctions Still Hurt Iran

– /14/16

Handjani in The National Interest: Hillary will undue Kerry’s Progress on Iran – 7/12/16

Handjani in Reuters: Commentary Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Problem– 6/9/16

Handjani in the National Interest: Trump and Cruz are Killing the GOP on National Security – 4/3/16


Handjani Quoted in Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers The Guardian – 2/30/15

Handjani in The Hill: US Should Forge Economic Ties to Iran – 10/8/15

Handjani Quoted in The Guardian Iran earns more from tax than oil for first time in almost 50 years – 9/27/15

Handjani Quoted in Time Magazine U.S. and International Businesses Eye an Iranian ‘Gold Mine’ After Nuclear Deal – 7/15/15

Handjani in Reuters: Big Loser in Any Nuclear Deal with Iran Maybe Russia – 7/10/15

Handjani in Reuters: What does the nuclear deal mean for Iran and the region – 6/16/15

Handjani in Reuters: To save Iraq, the U.S. military must work with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – 6/5/15

Handjani in The National Interest: Obama’s Nightmare in Yemen – 5/4/15

Handjani Quoted in The Guardian Iranians celebrate nuclear deal: ‘This will bring hope to our life’  4/2/15

Handjani in Al Jazeera: Breaking Europe’s Putin Addiction – 3/30/15


Handjani in The National Interest: How Iranian Oil Became Irrelevant – 12/11/14

Amir Handjani in Al Jazeera: Breaking Europe’s Putin Addiction– 6/20/14

Sanctions cause Iranian airplane crashes The Hill – 10/20/14

Handjani Quoted in The Guardian Recession in Russia, revolt in Venezuela? The knock-on effects of tumbling oil prices The Guardian – 10/16/14

Handjani in The National Interest the Saudi Dilemma – 1/2/14