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Europe Reaches Out to Iran

June 29, 2016
European nations eagerly reached out to Iran in the year following the signing of a historic nuclear deal between Iran and the world's six major powers. The European Union – along with the United Kingdom, France, and Germany – played a critical role in the nuclear negotiations. They were also among…

Financial Task Force Keeps Iran on Blacklist

June 24, 2016
On June 24, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that it will keep Iran on its list of high-risk countries. The inter-governmental body, however, welcomed Iran’s commitment to address its record on money laundering and financing terrorism, and, as a result, suspended some restrictions…

Iran Files ICJ Complaint to Reclaim Assets

June 17, 2016
Iran has filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice to reclaim some $2 billion in assets frozen in the United States, President Hassan Rouhani announced on June 15. Tehran’s move is a response to an April 2016 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that held Iran financially responsible…

Khamenei Warns US Presidential Candidates on Nuclear Deal

June 14, 2016
On June 14, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that if the next U.S. president tears up the nuclear deal, Iran will “set fire to it.” He appeared to be referencing remarks by presumptive Republican candidate for president, Donald J. Trump. “My number one priority is to dismantle the…

Rouhani Fails on Human Rights Reforms

June 14, 2016
Updated: August 12, 2016
Since taking office in August 2013, President Hassan Rouhani has failed to deliver on promises to open up Iran politically, ease rigid social restrictions and address human rights abuses. Execution rates have steadily increased over the past decade. Political dissidents and journalists are often…

Khamenei Warns US Presidential Candidates on Nuclear Deal

June 14, 2016
On June 14, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that if the next U.S. president tears up the nuclear deal, Iran will “set fire to it.” He appeared to be referencing remarks by presumptive Republican candidate for president, Donald J. Trump. “My number one priority is to dismantle the…

US Treasury Guidance on Sanctions Relief

June 8, 2016
On June 8, the U.S. Treasury released additional guidance on what transactions U.S. and foreign entities can have with Iranian entities following the lifting of sanctions as part of the nuclear deal. “U.S. financial institutions can transact with, including by opening or maintaining correspondent…

Iran Denies Visas to Republican Lawmakers

June 7, 2016
Iran has denied visas to three Republican lawmakers who wanted to observe Iran’s parliamentary elections, meet Iranian leaders, inspect nuclear sites, and meet with Americans held in Iran. In February 2016, Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) filed…

US Report: Iran’s Support for Terror

June 3, 2016
In 2015, Iran “increased its assistance to Iraqi Shia terrorist groups, including Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), which is a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, as part of an effort to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and bolster the Asad regime in Syria,” according…

Khamenei: Iran Will Not Cooperate with US

June 3, 2016
On June 3, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran will not cooperate on regional issues with its enemies, the United States and Britain. “America has continued its enmity toward Iran since [the 1979] revolution ... It is a huge mistake to trust evil Britain and the Great Satan [the…

IAEA Report on Iran’s Compliance

June 2, 2016
On May 27, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran has been living up to its commitments as part of the nuclear deal, specifically as codified in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. In its second report on Tehran’s compliance, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said that Iran…

Khamenei Comments on US, New Parliament

June 2, 2016
The tweets from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei covered a wide range of subjects in May 2016, from opposition to U.S. policies to the new Parliament’s priorities. He urged lawmakers to build up Iran’s “resistance economy” (self-sufficiency) and “strengthen Islamic culture.” Khamenei’s tweets…

Report: Iran Deal’s Impact on Proliferation

June 2, 2016
The nuclear deal with Iran is unlikely to trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, according to new analysis by Robert Einhorn, who served as the secretary of state’s special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, and Richard Nephew, who served as the principal deputy coordinator for…

Larijani Re-elected Speaker of Parliament

May 31, 2016
On May 31, lawmakers re-elected conservative Ali Larijani as Speaker of Parliament. He has held the position since 2008. Larijani received 237 votes out of 273. A reformist lawmaker, Mostafa Kavakebian came in at a distant second with 11 votes. Larijani’s main competitor for the speakership,…

Economic Trends: April and May

May 31, 2016
In April and May, the Iranian economy showed signs of improvement. Oil exports reached 2.3 million barrels per day, nearly double the amount prior to implementation of the nuclear deal in January. Inflation dropped to historic lows. Iranian officials and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)…

Iran by the Numbers: Women

May 25, 2016
Iran has closed some gender gaps, although Iranian women still do not have equal rights and protections under the law and in practice. Female literacy has almost quadrupled since 1980 and was within ten percentage points of male literacy in 2015. Since 2000, women have made up about half of all…

Iran by the Numbers: Parliament

May 25, 2016
The make-up of Iran’s parliament has gradually shifted since 1980. Political participation is up. More than 12,000 Iranians registered to run in the 2016 election. Women, in particular, signed up in large numbers—a total of 1,434. Both set a new record. Meanwhile, the proportion of clerics in…

Iran by the Numbers: Oil and Natural Gas

May 25, 2016
Oil and natural gas have been integral to the Iranian economy for decades, although the oil industry’s share of the overall economy has been declining since the mid-1990s. Oil production and exports have suffered from international sanctions. Meanwhile, domestic oil consumption has consistently…

Iran by the Numbers: Society

May 25, 2016
Iranian society has undergone dramatic changes since the 1979 revolution. Population has doubled. People are living longer. Cities have swelled due to an influx of people from rural areas. Iran has lowered its population growth rate to a manageable level, winning the United Nations Population Award…

Iran by the Numbers: Economy

May 25, 2016
Iran’s economy has faced a series of existential crises since the 1979 revolution. Tehran suffered the biggest shocks from the sapping costs of an eight-year war with Iraq, between 1980 and 1988, and the final wave of international sanctions imposed in 2010. During less volatile years, Iran’s…

Political Spectrum in Iran’s New Parliament

May 24, 2016
Iran’s new Majles, which holds its first session on May 28, has wider political diversity than any parliament in a dozen years. Some 60 percent of lawmakers are newcomers. Allies and supporters of President Hassan Rouhani form the largest faction, but not a majority. Hardliners held on to more than…

Jannati Elected Assembly of Experts Chief

May 24, 2016
On May 24, hardliner cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati was elected chairman of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, a body of 88 clerics and scholars tasked with overseeing and appointing the supreme leader. He has been a strong critic of President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to improve relations with the West…

Iran Deepens Ties with India, Afghanistan

May 23, 2016
On May 23, Iran signed a trilateral agreement with India and Afghanistan to develop the strategic Chabahar port in southeastern Iran. India pledged to invest up to $500 million in the port, which will expand India’s trade with Iran and other Central Asian countries while bypassing land routes in…

US, EU Encourage Investment in Iran

May 20, 2016
On May 19, Britain, France, Germany, the European Union and the United States released a joint statement encouraging European banks and businesses to invest in Iran. “We will not stand in the way of permitted business activity with Iran,” they said. As part of the nuclear deal that was implemented…

Parliament Seeks Damages from US

May 18, 2016
On May 17, Iran’s Parliament approved a bill obligating the government to seek compensation from the United States for 63 years of “spiritual and material damage.” The bill passed with 174 votes in favor, seven votes against and four abstentions. The outgoing Parliament (Majles), which is dominated…

IMF: More Economic Reforms Needed

May 17, 2016
On May 15, International Monetary Fund (IMF) First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton arrived in Tehran to discuss economic developments and policy initiatives following the lifting of sanctions. He told Iranians that “your ultimate success depends on what you do at home” in a speech at the…

Iran Boycotts Hajj in Saudi Arabia

May 12, 2016
On May 12, Iran announced that it will not send pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year for the annual hajj ritual. The culture minister said he blamed Saudi Arabia for stonewalling talks on logistics for Iranian pilgrims. The boycott follows a stampede in Mina during the 2015 hajj that killed almost 2,…

Kerry: Euro Banks Free to Deal with Iran

May 11, 2016
On May 10, Secretary of State John Kerry said that European businesses “should not use the United States as an excuse” for not dealing with Iran. He arrived in London to meet representatives of European banks and discuss implementation of the nuclear deal and implications for financial transactions…

Lawmakers Petition Rouhani on Nuclear Deal

May 11, 2016
On May 9, more than a third of the Members in Iran’s outgoing Parliament submitted a petition to President Hassan Rouhani demanding that the government end compliance with the nuclear deal. The petition called for resumption of research and development of Tehran’s nuclear program if the United…

Report: Iranian Economy at Crossroads

May 11, 2016
Iran’s political elite is divided on what direction to take Iran’s economy. One camp, consisting of President Hassan Rouhani and his centrist and reformist supporters, prioritize economic growth through greater cooperation with the outside world. “The second force, as represented the hardliners,…