Iran Primer's Blog

Nuke Talks: Latest from Iran, P5+1

March 25, 2015
On March 26, a new round of nuclear negotiations began in Lausanne, Switzerland between Iran and the world's six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Officials noted that the negotiations were intensifying, with only a few days remaining before the deadline…

U.S. Officials: Iran's Role in Iraq

March 25, 2015
In March, U.S. officials acknowledged that Iran’s involvement in Iraq could help defeat ISIS, but cautioned that it could also fuel sectarian conflict. Iraqi security forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias launched an offensive to drive ISIS out of Tikrit in February. Both the United States and…

Khamenei on Nowruz: Nuke Deal Must Lift Sanctions

March 23, 2015
On March 20, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released a statement on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, encouraging “close cooperation between the people and the administration.”  The next day he delivered a speech in Mashhad, criticizing President Obama’s Nowruz message for…

US on Rouhani Mother’s Death

March 20, 2015
On March 20, Secretary of State John Kerry issued the following statement on the passing of President Hassan Rouhani’s mother. We extend our deepest condolences to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Hassan Rouhani and his family on the passing of his mother, Mrs. Sakineh…

Obama, Kerry: Nowruz Greetings to Iranians

March 20, 2015
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have issued the following greetings to the Iranian people for Nowruz, Persian Year.   Hello!  To everyone celebrating Nowruz—across the United States and in countries around the world—Nowruz Mubarak.   For thousands of years, this has…

Obama on Americans Missing or Detained in Iran

March 20, 2015
On March 20, President Barack Obama issued the following statement on U.S. citizens detained or missing in Iran for the occasion of Nowruz, Persian New Year.   The spirit of family is deeply woven into all of the rich cultural traditions of the Nowruz holiday.  It is a time for reuniting and…

New Congressional Letter to Obama

March 19, 2015
A new letter to President Obama on a potential Iran nuclear deal signed by some 367 members of Congress was released on March 23. The letter emphasizes, “Should an agreement with Iran be reached, permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation.” It…

House Foreign Affairs Committee Debates Nuke Talks

March 19, 2015
On March 19, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. Chairmen Ed Royce defended Congress’ role in curtailing Iran’s nuclear program. “Congress built the sanctions structure that brought Iran to the table,” he said. “And if the President…

Iran's Influence in Latin America

March 18, 2015
On March 18, the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere held a joint hearing about Iran and Hezbollah’s involvement in Central and South America. The committees discussed Iran's attempts to expand its influence in Latin America during…

Nowruz: Traditions for Persian New Year

March 16, 2015
Ironically, the most widely celebrated holiday in the Islamic Republic of Iran long predates the official religion. Nowruz, literally “New Day” in Farsi, marks the first day of spring and the Persian New Year. The holiday, which falls on March 20 this year, is widely celebrated across the Middle…