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Iran on Gulf Split

June 6, 2017
Updated: June 22, 2017
On June 5, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in a coordinated move. They accused Qatar of destabilizing the region by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al Qaeda, Iranian-backed groups in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and Houthi rebels…

Report: Women Face Bias in Workplace

May 25, 2017
Women in Iran “confront an array of legal and social barriers, restricting not only their lives but also their livelihoods, and contributing to starkly unequal economic outcomes,” according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. “Iranian women’s achievements in higher education demonstrate their…

Defense Intelligence Agency on Iran

May 24, 2017
Iran “remains a significant challenge to the United States within the Middle East and Southwest Asia,” according to the Defense Intelligence Agency’s annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment.” On May 23, DIA Director and Lt. Gen Vincent Stewart briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee on the report’s…

Iranians in US Voted for Rouhani

May 24, 2017
On May 19, Iranians living in the United States overwhelmingly voted for President Hassan Rouhani. Some 96 percent of the 30,039 voters supported him. More than 50 polling stations were set up across the country. Iranians in the Washington D.C. area cast their votes at the Iranian Interests Section…

Iran Reacts to Trump Remarks

May 23, 2017
Updated: May 25, 2017
Iranian leaders have harshly criticized U.S. foreign policy and President Donald Trump for revitalizing the U.S.-Saudi relationship on his trip to the region. In a tweet, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sarcastically referred to the Sunni kingdom as a “bastion of democracy and moderation” and…

Rouhani on US, Saudi Arabia

May 22, 2017
On May 22, President Hassan Rouhani criticized U.S. foreign policy in his first press conference since he was reelected. “Americans have always made mistakes with regard to our region – when they attacked Afghanistan and Iraq, when they imposed sanctions on us, and in Syria and Yemen,” he told…

Trump on Iran in Saudi Arabia, Israel

May 22, 2017
On May 21, President Donald Trump accused Iran of fueling “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror” in his address to leaders of 50 Muslim countries in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Sunni kingdom was his first stop on his first foreign trip. Trump and King Salman inaugurated a new center to monitor…

Iran Celebrates Rouhani Reelection

May 22, 2017
On May 20, Iranians took to the streets to celebrate President Hassan Rouhani’s re-election. He garnered 57 percent of the vote, compared with 38 percent for his closest rival, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi. Rouhani’s first two posts on Instagram after the election indicated his gratitude for support…

Rouhani Victory Speech

May 20, 2017
On May 20, President Hassan Rouhani thanked Iranians for reelecting him in a live television address. “The message of our people was expressed clearly in the election and today, the world knows well that the Iranian nation has chosen the path of interaction with the world, away from violence and…

The Race: Rouhani Wins Reelection

May 20, 2017
Updated: May 22, 2017
On May 20, Iran’s Interior Ministry announced that President Hassan Rouhani won a second term by a wide margin. He garnered 57 percent of the vote, compared with 38 percent for his closest rival, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi. Rouhani’s victory was a significant blow to conservatives, who were seeking a…

The Race: Election Day Scenes

May 19, 2017
Iranians began to form long lines soon after polling stations opened at 8:00 a.m. They cast ballots for president as well for municipal councils nationwide. Some 56.5 million people were eligible to vote, including 1.3 million first timers, according to the Interior Ministry. The turnout in 2013…

Iran Sanctions US Firms

May 18, 2017
On May 18, Iran’s foreign ministry announced new sanctions on nine American individuals and firms in response to the latest U.S. sanctions. On May 17, the U.S. Treasury had blacklisted three individuals and four entities for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program. "Iran condemns America's…

State Department Update on Iran’s Human Rights Abuses

May 17, 2017
On May 17, the U.S. State Department released a semi-annual report to Congress on sanctions imposed on individuals for human rights abuses committed in Iran. The following is the full text of a media note and the report. U.S. State Department Issues Report on Human Rights Sanctions on Iran The…

U.S. Imposes New Sanctions

May 17, 2017
On May 17, the United States imposed new sanctions on Iran even as it waived sanctions as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The United States committed to waive nuclear-related sanctions if Iran remains in compliance with the JCPOA’s…

The Race: Banned Politicians Impact Election

May 16, 2017
Updated: May 17, 2017
Three banned politicians are having an outsized impact on Iran’s presidential election – with their legacies benefiting President Hassan Rouhani. The three – former President Mohammad Khatami, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former Parliamentary Speaker Mehdi Karroubi – are all…

The Race: The Final Stretch

May 16, 2017
Updated: May 17, 2017
The pace and intensity of Iran’s presidential campaign have picked up in the final days before the May 19 vote. The election has basically turned into a two-man race between President Hassan Rouhani and conservative Ebrahim Raisi. For the first time in 20 years, the top two candidates are both…

The Race: Third Presidential Debate

May 15, 2017
Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf The third presidential debate, technically on the economy, often devolved into personal attacks over corruption, personal gains at public expense, nepotism, and association with human rights abuses. The angry sniping and name-calling played out largely between President…

The Race: A Combatant Campaign

May 11, 2017
Updated: May 15, 2017
Iran’s presidential campaign has gone from feisty to combative. President Hassan Rouhani has dared to rebuke his rivals and even scolded hardline clerics and the powerful Revolutionary Guards. At campaign rallies and in television debates, he has presented the election as a stark choice between…

The Race: It’s the Economy, Stupid

May 8, 2017
The economy is the primary issue in the 2017 presidential campaign for at least three reasons. The 1979 revolution was carried out in the name of the “oppressed,” but decades of international isolation and sanctions crippled the theocracy’s ability to deliver. As they go to the polls on May 19,…

The Race: Second Presidential Debate

May 5, 2017
The most interesting aspects of Iran’s second presidential debate, on May 5, were discussions of the nuclear deal and a nuanced but obvious question about the Revolutionary Guards. All six candidates implicitly supported the nuclear deal with the United States and five other major powers, which has…

The Race: Poll Results

May 3, 2017
Updated: May 18, 2017
The following are polls by various organizations on the upcoming May 19 presidential election.  IPPO Group Click here for more information.   The Iranian Labour News Agency   Click here for more information.    The Iranian Students Polling Agency (ISPA) After the second presidential…

The Race: First Presidential Debate

April 28, 2017
On April 28, the six candidates vying for Iran’s presidency engaged in a fiery first debate. Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf challenged President Hassan Rouhani’s economic record. “You are the government of the four percent,” Qalibaf told Rouhani, accusing the president of working to benefit…

Tehran Firefighters Memorialize NYC Counterpart

April 26, 2017
In a gesture of good will, firefighters from Tehran’s Station 55 held a memorial for William N. Tolley, a 14-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department. Tolley died on April 20 after falling five stories while fighting an apartment fire in Queens. The firefighters said they believe…

The Race: Khamenei Wades into Election

April 25, 2017
Updated: May 10, 2017
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei The May 19 election is widely seen not just as a contest for the presidency, but also for the political trend in the post-Khamenei period. In July, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will turn 78. He is likely to retain the top position in the Islamic…

The Race: Election Factoids

April 24, 2017
Updated: April 27, 2017
Iran’s 2017 presidential election is setting records. A total of 1,636 men and women signed up to run, an increase of almost 1,000 over the 686 candidates in the 2013 poll. Among them was a record number of women—137. The Iranian media reported that several minors also signed up, including a five-…

Poll: Economy to Dominate Presidential Race

April 19, 2017
The economy is the most important issue for Iranian voters in the upcoming election, according to a new study by Some 42 percent of respondents said unemployment is the number one challenge that the next president should address, followed by youth unemployment and other economic…

The Race: Khamenei vs Ahmadinejad

April 19, 2017
Updated: April 20, 2017
On April 12, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shocked Iranians when he registered for the presidential election. The Guardian Council, which is responsible for vetting all potential candidates, may or may not let him run, but his decision alone openly defied the supreme leader. In September…

Trump Orders Review of Iran Sanctions

April 19, 2017
Updated: April 20, 2017
On April 18, the Trump administration announced the launch of an interagency review of whether sanctions relief for Iran, as part of the nuclear deal, is vital to U.S. national security interests. Iran committed to significantly curbing its nuclear program and taking greater steps towards…

G7 Countries Support Nuclear Deal

April 13, 2017
On April 10-11, the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union met in Lucca, Italy to discuss pressing issues that impact global peace and security. The so-called Group of Seven (G7) is an…

New US Sanctions for Human Rights Abuses in Iran

April 13, 2017
On April 13, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned the Tehran Prison Organization and Sohrab Soleimani, a senior official within Iran’s State Prison Organization. The announcement cited an April 2014 incident at the infamous Evin Prison, when dozens of security guards and prison officials attacked political…