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The Race: Presidential Candidates

April 12, 2017
Updated: May 16, 2017
On April 20, the Iran’s interior ministry announced the names of the six men allowed to campaign for president. A record number of individuals, 1,636, had registered for the May 19 election. A record number of women, 137, had also signed up. But as in previous years, none were approved. The…

European Union Extends Iran Sanctions

April 11, 2017
The following is the press release from the European Council on renewed sanctions.   On 11 April 2017, the Council extended until 13 April 2018 its restrictive measures responding to serious human rights violations in Iran. These measures consist of:  a travel ban and an asset freeze against 82…

US and Iran on Syria, Chemical Weapons

April 5, 2017
Updated: April 10, 2017
On April 4, more than 80 people died after planes reportedly dropped chemical bombs on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northwestern Syria. At least 100 others were later treated in hospitals in Idlib province while several dozen were transferred to Turkey. The victims included women and children. The…

Baluch Insurgents in Iran

April 5, 2017
Updated: April 27, 2017
The Baluch are among the two most independent and defiant ethnic groups in Iran. Citizens listen to President Rouhani give a speech in Sistan-e Baluchestan  Over the past few decades, several Baluchi groups have fought Iran’s theocratic regime—as well as the neighboring Pakistani government—for…

ISIS Threatens Iran in New Video

March 30, 2017
On March 27, the Islamic State group released a rare Farsi-language video threatening Iran. The nearly 40-minute clip, issued on social media by the group’s Diyala Province in neighboring Iraq, is titled “The Farsi Land: From Yesterday ‘till Today.” The Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or…

Rouhani and Putin Strengthen Iran-Russia Ties

March 29, 2017
On March 27, President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Moscow with a large political and economic delegation for a two-day visit. Iranian and Russian officials signed 14 memoranda of understanding to cooperate on a range of security, economic, scientific and cultural issues. Putin highlighted that…

Iran Sanctions 15 US Companies

March 27, 2017
On March 26, Iran imposed sanctions on 15 U.S. companies for alleged human rights violations and support for Israel. The retaliatory move came two days after the United States sanctioned 11 entities and individuals from China, North Korea or the United Arab Emirates for transferring sensitive items…

New US Sanctions on Iran’s Missile Program

March 24, 2017
On March 21, the United States imposed sanctions on 11 entities and individuals for “transfers of sensitive items to Iran’s ballistic missile program.” Washington considers Tehran’s missile program a threat to regional security. Since Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile in January 2017,…

Trump and Tillerson on Nowruz

March 21, 2017
On March 22, President Donald Trump issued a statement marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year. "On behalf of the American people, I wish you freedom, dignity, and wealth," he said in remarks directed to the Iranian people. On March 20, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had also issued a Nowruz message…

Khamenei, Rouhani Vie Over Economy

March 20, 2017
Updated: March 21, 2017
On the Persian New Year, Nowruz, Iran’s supreme leader and president gave conflicting assessments about Iran’s economy. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the middle and lower classes had suffered during the year from unemployment and high prices. He added that, despite the government’…

US Sanctions Bahrainis Linked to Iran

March 18, 2017
On March 17, the U.S. State Department sanctioned two Bahrainis with ties to Iran for supporting terrorism. One was affiliated with the al Ashtar Brigades, which has received funding and support from the Iranian government and carried out attacks in Bahrain. Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram…

Trump and Saudi Prince on Iran

March 17, 2017
On March 14, President Donald Trump met with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House. The two discussed shared interests in the region, including challenging Iran’s “destabilizing regional activities.” The following are excerpts from statements about the meeting. US…

U.S. General: Iran Biggest Threat to Interests in Region

March 16, 2017
On March 9, General Joseph Votel, discussed the U.S. military posture in the Middle East before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The head of U.S. Central Command said that Iran “poses the most significant threat to the Central Region and to our national interests and the interests of our…

Trump Travel Ban Seeks to Suspend Iran Visas

March 6, 2017
Updated: March 30, 2017
On March 6, President Donald Trump issued a new executive order banning people from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the United States for 90 days. The move comes about a month after a panel of federal judges blocked enforcement of his initial executive order. The…

US Report: Iran’s Human Rights Abuses

March 3, 2017
On March 3, the U.S. State Department released its annual human rights report. The following is the executive summary of the Iran country report, which covers 2016. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic republic with a Shia Islamic political system based on “velayat-e faqih” (“guardianship…

IMF Report on Iran's Economy

March 1, 2017
On February 27, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its annual report on Iran’s economy. The organization “commended the authorities for achieving an impressive recovery in economic growth after the lifting of nuclear sanctions in 2016, maintaining inflation in single digits, and…

Ahmadinejad Writes Open Letter to Trump

February 26, 2017
On February 26, Iran’s ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad published a lengthy open letter to President Donald Trump encouraging him to end U.S. interventions in the Middle East. He rhetorically asked, “What outcome has meddling in other’s affairs and military deployments to other regions and imposing…

Iran Beats US Wrestling Team

February 17, 2017
On February 17, Iran’s national wrestling team beat the U.S. team 5-3 to take the gold in the World Cup freestyle championship. The match was held in Kermanshah, Iran. Just weeks before the competition, the Americans thought they might not be able to attend. The Islamic Republic vowed reciprocation…

Recent Trends in US-Iran Trade

February 16, 2017
The nuclear deal with six world powers, concluded in mid-2015, raised the starter's pistol on Iran’s recovery from years of international sanctions. But the race didn’t begin until January 2016, when the deal was formally implemented and sanctions were lifted. Over the next year, the Islamic…

Trump & Netanyahu on Nuclear Deal

February 15, 2017
Updated: February 17, 2017
On February 15, President Donald Trump condemned the Iran nuclear deal during a joint press conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Trump said it is “one of the worst deals” he’s ever seen and that his administration would do more to prevent Tehran…

US Calls for Release of Opposition Leaders

February 14, 2017
On February 14, the Acting State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner called for the immediate release of 2009 presidential candidates and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi as well as Mousavi’s wife, women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard. They have been under house arrest…

Rouhani Speech on Revolution Anniversary

February 10, 2017
On February 10, President Hassan Rouhani addressed demonstrators celebrating the 38th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. The following are remarks from the speech via his office's website.  “The Islamic revolution is the most important turning point of our country’s history.” “Iran’s 1979…

Iran Celebrates Anniversary of Revolution

February 10, 2017
On February 10, Iranians celebrated the 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The popular uprising, led by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, led to the ouster of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi and ended centuries of monarchical rule. Each year, Iranians hold mass rallies across the country…

Iran’s French Connection

February 9, 2017
President Donald Trump’s statements challenging the nuclear deal with Iran contrast with the views of key European allies in support of the agreement. On January 30, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault touched down in Tehran for a two-day visit that included meetings with President Hassan…

Trump vs. Khamenei

February 7, 2017
Updated: February 8, 2017
On February 7, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced President Donald Trump in an address to air force commanders. He thanked Trump for revealing the “true face” of the United States. “What we have been saying, for over thirty years, about political, economic, moral, and social corruption…

Freedom House: Iran’s Human Rights Abuses

February 7, 2017
In Freedom House’s annual report, Iran received a score of 17 out of 100, with 100 being the most free. It also received poor marks for political rights and civil liberties. “Freedom in the World 2017” is the organization’s flagship report, which assesses the condition of political rights and civil…

Congress on Iran, Missile Test

February 6, 2017
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have condemned Iran’s January 29 ballistic missile test. Many also criticized Tehran for destabilizing the region through its sponsorship for terrorist organizations and militias. The following are recent remarks by members of Congress on Iran.  …

US Imposes New Sanctions on Iran

February 3, 2017
On February 3, the U.S. Treasury announced new sanctions on 13 individuals and 12 entities for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). “Iran’s continued support for terrorism and development of its ballistic missile program poses a threat to…

Missile Showdown #1: US Puts Iran on Notice

February 1, 2017
Updated: February 6, 2017
On January 29, Iran test launched a medium-range ballistic missile. U.S. defense officials said the test seemed to be a failure because the missile crashed or exploded after flying more than 500 miles. The United States called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting, which was held on…

Missile Showdown #2: Iran Reacts

January 31, 2017
Updated: February 6, 2017
On January 29, Iran test launched a medium-range ballistic missile, according to U.S. defense officials. On January 31, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting and recommended the matter of the missile testing be studied at committee level. On February 1, Iran’s defense minister…