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US Report: Religious Freedom in Iran

August 15, 2017
Updated: August 16, 2017
Iran’s government continued to imprison, harass, intimidate, and discriminate against people based on religious beliefs in 2016, according to an annual report by the U.S. State Department. “In Iran, Baha’is, Christians, and other minorities are persecuted for their faith. Iran continues to sentence…

National Security Leaders Warn Against Withdrawing from Nuclear Deal

August 9, 2017
On August 9, 47 national security leaders issued a statement warning against U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, as long as Tehran is complying. They recommended a comprehensive policy to constrain the Islamic Republic and further U.S. interests. The group, organized by The Iran Project,…

Rouhani Proposes Cabinet List

August 9, 2017
On August 8, President Hassan Rouhani submitted to Parliament the names of 17 men for ministerial posts in his new cabinet. Two key figures — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was responsible for negotiating the nuclear deal, and Oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, who has upped oil…

Iran’s Response to US Sanctions

August 3, 2017
Iranian officials have reacted angrily to new U.S. sanctions, signed into law by President Donald Trump on August 2. The bill, which also deals with Russia and North Korea, directs the President to impose sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile or WMD programs, the sale or transfer to Iran of…

Rouhani Begins Second Term

August 3, 2017
Updated: August 7, 2017
On August 3, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei confirmed Hassan Rouhani as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, kicking off his second term. Rouhani won 57 percent of the vote, compared with 38 percent for his closest rival, in the May 19 election. The supreme leader called on him to…

Qatar and Iran: Odd Bedfellows

August 2, 2017
Updated: January 18, 2018
After years of wide-ranging differences, relations between Iran and Qatar deepened almost overnight after a Saudi-led coalition broke ties with Doha and imposed a blockade on the small sheikhdom. On June 5, 2017, five nations – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt and…

Trump Approves New Iran, Russia Sanctions

August 2, 2017
On August 2, President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill imposing sanctions on Iran and Russia. It also increased the President’s ability to sanction individuals connected to North Korea. Congress had voted overwhelmingly to pass the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which…

Iran’s Missile Tests: 2017

August 1, 2017
Updated: November 28, 2017
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with military leaders Since President Donald Trump took office, Iran has conducted two ballistic missile tests to varying degrees of success. It also tested a rocket space-launch vehicle that can deliver satellites into orbit. Iran has the largest and most…

US Sanctions on Iran: 2017

July 31, 2017
Updated: September 15, 2017
Since Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the United States has imposed sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities for connections to Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terror or human rights abuses. The first set of sanctions came just two weeks after President Trump’s…

CIA’s Mike Pompeo on Iran

July 31, 2017
On July 20, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said that Iran’s implementation of the nuclear deal has been “grudging” and “minimalist.” At the Aspen Security Forum (an annual gathering of government officials, industry experts and journalists), he argued that the nuclear deal has not…

Poll: Iranians on Rouhani, Domestic Issues

July 28, 2017
Majorities of Iranians think President Hassan Rouhani has been successful in improving foreign relations and getting sanctions removed. But the president, reelected in May, has a mixed record on domestic issues, according to a new study by the Center for International and Security Studies at…

Poll: Iranians on Nuclear Deal, Foreign Policy

July 28, 2017
Iranian approval of the nuclear deal increased during the May 2017 presidential election. “Two in three Iranians approve of the agreement, while about a third oppose it,” according to a new study by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll. But most…

The Zarif Interviews: On Gulf Tensions

July 20, 2017
This is part three of a series based on interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a one-on-one interview with Robin Wright and another with a group of American journalists (including Wright) on July 18 in New York City. The following are excerpted remarks on tensions in the…

The Zarif Interviews: On Syria, Chemical Weapons

July 20, 2017
This is part two of a series based on interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a one-on-one interview with Robin Wright and another with a group of American journalists (including Wright) on July 18 in New York City. The following are excerpted remarks on the conflict in Syria…

The Zarif Interviews: On the Nuclear Deal, US

July 19, 2017
This is part one of a series based on two interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a one-on-one interview with Robin Wright and another with a group of American journalists (including Wright) on July 18 in New York City. The following are excerpted remarks on the nuclear deal…

US Report: Iran’s Support for Terror

July 19, 2017
Iran has carried out acts of cyberterrorism against foreign governments and the private sector, according to a new State Department report. Tehran maintains funding for terrorist groups in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza as of 2016, and has provided weapons and training to militant groups opposed to the…

Zarif in New York on Nuclear Deal, Regional Issues

July 18, 2017
On July 13, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif arrived in New York City to attend a series of international meetings and U.N. forums. He discussed the nuclear deal and regional tensions in several interviews and appearances. The following are excerpted remarks.   Council on Foreign…

US Recertifies Nuclear Deal, Imposes New Sanctions on Iran

July 18, 2017
Updated: July 19, 2017
On July 17, President Donald Trump agreed to recertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. It was the second time he has done so since taking office. Trump reluctantly agreed only after arguing with his top national security advisors less than a week before the legal deadline, according to The…

Views on Second Anniversary of Nuclear Deal

July 17, 2017
July 14 marked two years since the world’s six major powers reached a deal with Iran over its controversial nuclear program. The agreement between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States significantly limited Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.…

Iranians Charged in Hacking of US Company

July 17, 2017
On July 17, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that two Iranian nationals were charged in the hacking of a Vermont company best known for software for aerodynamics analysis and projectile design. Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39, stole or unlawfully cracked pieces of valuable software and then…

Iran Sentences American to 10 Years

July 17, 2017
An American graduate student has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of spying, according to Iran’s judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi, and Iranian media. A U.S. citizen “was gathering intelligence and was directly guided by the U.S.,” Ejehi announced at a…

Iran Allocates Extra $600 Million to Revolutionary Guards

July 5, 2017
On July 2, Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi announced the allocation of more than $600 million to strengthen the country’s missile defense system and the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Boroujerdi, chairman of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy…

US Report: Human Trafficking in Iran

June 27, 2017
Iran’s government has taken some small steps to address human trafficking but still does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, according to the Trafficking in Persons Report 2017 by the U.S. Department of State. Since at least 2009, Iran has been designated Tier 3, the…

Iranians Mark Quds Day

June 23, 2017
On June 23, Iran marked “Quds Day,” an annual event to express support for Palestinians and condemn Israel. Al Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest city after Mecca and Medina. Iran initiated the event in 1979, which has been held on the last Friday of the holy month of…

Khamenei Comments on US, ISIS

June 22, 2017
In June 2017, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned U.S. policy towards Iran and the region in two speeches and a meeting. He also mocked President Donald Trump and his administration. “The new White House leaders are like nascent hooligans who scare people by brandishing their knives…

US Shoots Down Iran-made Drone in Syria

June 20, 2017
On June 20, a U.S. aircraft shot down an Iranian-made drone in Syria. “The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle at approximately 12:30 a.m. after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces,” according to the U.S.-led forces fighting ISIS. It…

Iran Launches Missiles at ISIS in Syria

June 19, 2017
Updated: June 21, 2017
On June 18, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fired six mid-range missiles from western Iran at ISIS targets in the Deir el-Zour region of eastern Syria. The IRGC said the missiles targeted a key arms depot, a military command center and the group’s Deir el-Zour headquarters. At least…

Zarif, Khamenei Lash Back at Tillerson

June 15, 2017
Updated: June 22, 2017
On June 14, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson implied that the United States supports regime change in Iran, which would be a significant departure from U.S. policy under previous administrations. Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) asked Tillerson, who was testifying on the budget request for the State…

US Senate Advances Iran Sanctions Bill

June 8, 2017
Updated: June 19, 2017
On June 7, the U.S. Senate voted 92-7 to advance a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran. The legislation aims to hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing behavior in the Middle East by sanctioning “Iran’s ballistic missile program, applying terrorism sanctions to the Iranian…

Twin Attacks in Tehran Claimed by ISIS

June 7, 2017
Updated: June 16, 2017
On June 7, gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Iran’s parliament and late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s mausoleum. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, claimed responsibility for both attacks, the first in Tehran in more than a decade. At least 17 were killed…