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Timeline: US-Iran Naval Encounters

August 29, 2016
In the past week, Iranian and U.S. ships have had four close encounters in the Persian Gulf. One U.S. vessel had to fire warning shots to stop an Iranian ship from coming any closer to it. In another incident, Iranian boats created a possible collision hazard. Iranian and U.S. naval forces have…

US Issues New Travel Warning for Iran

August 26, 2016
On August 22, the U.S. State Department issued new guidance warning Americans to “carefully consider nonessential travel” to Iran. The warning reiterated the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans. Iran does not recognize dual citizenship. The…

Russia & Iran Allied on Syria

August 18, 2016
Updated: August 22, 2016
Russia and Iran escalated their military cooperation on the war in Syria. On August 16, Russian warplanes, taking off from Hamedan airbase in western Iran, bombed targets in Syria belonging to ISIS and Jabhat Fateh al Sham (formerly known as Jabhat al Nusra). Since 2011, Moscow and Tehran have…

US Report: Religious Freedom in Iran

August 10, 2016
Iran’s government reportedly continued to imprison, harass, intimidate and discriminate against people based on religious beliefs in 2015, according to an annual report by the U.S. State Department. The following are excerpts. Executive Summary The constitution declares the country to be an…

Economic Trends: June and July

August 9, 2016
In June and July, Iran expanded its economic outreach to the world, signing deals with foreign oil and automotive companies. In June, IranAir even reached a tentative $17.6 billion deal with Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, to purchase passenger planes. Iranian officials predicted…

Ahmadinejad Writes Obama

August 9, 2016
Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on President Obama to unfreeze some $2 billion in Iranian foreign currency reserves that were seized from bank accounts in New York earlier in 2016. On April 20, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a judgement that held Iran financially responsible for…

Report: Iran’s Cyber Capabilities

August 5, 2016
“Cyber is emerging as Tehran’s weapon of choice for dealing with domestic opponents and foreign adversaries,” according to Michael Eisenstadt of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. In a new paper, he outlined Iran’s growing interest in cyber, its abilities, and strategic logic. The…

Rouhani on Economy, Nuclear Deal, Environment

August 4, 2016
On August 2, President Hassan Rouhani gave a wide-ranging interview on state television that covered the economy, nuclear deal, environment and more. The following are excerpted remarks arranged by topic.   Economy, Oil & Business “1394 was a hard economic year because of plunge in oil…

Report: Assessing Implementation of the Nuclear Deal

August 1, 2016
Sanctions relief remains a contentious issue more than six months after the implementation of the nuclear deal. Both the United States and Iran, however, can take additional steps to ensure that Iran gets the intended benefits of sanctions relief, according to a new report by Richard Nephew,…

Report: GCC Cooperation and Iran

July 28, 2016
Potential rapprochement between the United States and Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal could cause rifts between the Gulf Cooperation Council states, depending on how Iran is integrated into the regional security order. Engagement with Iran operates as a “wedge” between GCC members, with Oman…

Republican and Democratic Platforms on Iran

July 25, 2016
Both the 2016 Republican and Democratic platforms condemned Iran’s policies in the region and its human rights record. But they differed on the nuclear deal between Iran and the world’s major powers that was subsequently endorsed by the U.N. Security Council. The Republican platform included strong…

Dual Nationals and Foreigners Held in Iran

July 25, 2016
At least eight Iranians who also hold American, British, or Canadian citizenship or residency are now imprisoned in Iran. Half have been picked up since the U.S.-Iran prisoner swap for five Americans or dual nationals in January 2016. Two more – one British and one French – have been released on…

US Blacklists al Qaeda Members in Iran

July 21, 2016
On July 20, the U.S. Treasury blacklisted three senior members of al Qaeda living in Iran for providing financial and logistics support to the terrorist group. “Today’s action sanctions senior al-Qaida operatives responsible for moving money and weapons across the Middle East,” said Adam J.…

US, Iran & Russia Criticize UN Report

July 20, 2016
Iran, the United States and Russia criticized a new U.N. report on implementation of the nuclear deal codified in Security Council Resolution 2231. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in his first bi-annual report on the deal, commended Iran and the world’s major powers for implementing their…

Iranian Leaders React to Turkey Coup

July 18, 2016
Iranian leaders expressed strong support for Turkey’s elected government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following a failed coup by military officers. “These people should understand that the way of resolving the problems is democracy and respecting the nation’s vote,” said President Hassan…

US Officials on Nuclear Deal Anniversary

July 14, 2016
On the one year anniversary of the nuclear deal, U.S. officials praised the agreement but acknowledged that the United States and Iran still strongly disagree on regional issues, ballistic missiles, and human rights. “We still have serious differences with Iran, but the United States, our partners…

Will the Iran Nuclear Deal Survive?

July 14, 2016
Last month, Boeing signed a landmark agreement with Iran to sell or lease a hundred and nine passenger jets. The mega-deal, worth at least twenty billion dollars, would be the largest sale of American goods to the Islamic Republic since the seizure of the U.S. Embassy, shortly after the 1979…

Congress Takes Action on Iran

July 13, 2016
In the week marking the one-year anniversary of the nuclear deal, Congress prepared to discuss three bills that would impose new sanctions on Iran – all of which President Obama has promised to veto if they are passed. The bills include: HR 5119 - No 2H2O from Iran Act: Prohibits the use of…

Poll 4: Domestic Politics and Issues

July 13, 2016
President Hassan Rouhani is still the favored candidate for the 2017 presidential election, but his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made significant gains in public opinion, according to a new University of Maryland survey. While large majorities said they had a favorable view of Rouhani’s…

Poll 3: Views on Foreign Policy, Regional Conflicts

July 13, 2016
A new University of Maryland poll found that a majority of Iranians continued to support sending their own military personnel to Syria. Half of Iranians said their country should increase support for Bashar al Assad’s government. About two thirds of respondents said Iran should seek to increase the…

Poll 2: Iranian Views of the US

July 13, 2016
One year after the nuclear deal was reached, Iranians’ views of the United States have not improved, according to a new poll by the University of Maryland. As of June 2016, 73 percent of Iranians had a negative view of the United States. About the same percentage thought Washington was actively…

Poll 1: Iranian Views on Nuclear Deal

July 13, 2016
One year after the nuclear deal was reached, three quarters of Iranians said their living conditions had not improved at all, according to a new poll by the University of Maryland. When the agreement was signed in July 2015, nearly two thirds of those surveyed said they expected tangible…

Iranian Leaders on Nuclear Deal Anniversary

July 13, 2016
On the eve of the one year anniversary of the nuclear deal, President Hassan Rouhani warned that Iran could quickly restore its nuclear program if the world’s major powers violate the agreement. “If the P5+1 wriggles out of its commitments, we are completely ready and capable to reach our desired…

Nuclear Deal One Year Later: Oil & Economy

July 12, 2016
Iran’s economy has slowly but measurably rebounded in the year since Tehran signed a historic nuclear deal with the world’s six major powers. The two most tangible changes have been the increase in oil exports – which have nearly doubled since sanctions were lifted on January 16 – and the dozens of…

Nuclear Deal One Year Later: A Player Again

July 12, 2016
The nuclear deal, signed in July 2015, has been a game changer for Iran. A year later, the Islamic Republic is again a player on the international circuit. Top Iranian leaders have visited Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Tehran has hosted a steady stream of heads of state or foreign…

Senators Urge Rigorous Sanctions Enforcement

July 11, 2016
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) organized 33 of their colleagues to sign a bipartisan letter urging the Obama administration to rigorously enforce sanctions on Iran’s illicit, non-nuclear activities — namely its support for terrorism, development of ballistic missiles, and…

75 National Security Leaders Support Nuclear Deal

July 11, 2016
On the eve of the one year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal, 75 national security experts and scientists published an open letter to President Obama applauding his administration’s “commitment to the rigorous verification of Iran’s compliance and remaining in close contact with the U.S.…

US Navy Report on Sailor Flap with Iran

July 1, 2016
The U.S. Navy has decided to discipline nine personnel who were responsible for the detention of U.S. sailors by Iranian forces in January 2016. Iran seized two U.S. Navy vessels that had deviated from their chartered course between Kuwait and Bahrain and held them on Farsi Island in the Persian…

US Report: Human Trafficking in Iran

June 30, 2016
The U.S. State Department cited Iran as “a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor” in its 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report. Since 2009, Iran has been designated Tier 3, the lowest ranking, for not meeting Trafficking…

Kerry: Iran Helpful in Fight Against ISIS

June 30, 2016
On June 28, Secretary of State John Kerry said that Washington and Tehran have a common interest in Iraq and the fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL, Daesh or the Islamic State. Iran “has been in certain ways helpful, and they clearly are focused on ISIL/Daesh,” he said at the Aspen Ideas…