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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,…

U.S. Repatriates 73 Artifacts to Iran

May 11, 2016
In another sign of a gradual diplomatic thaw, the United States has returned 73 ancient artifacts to Iran. The artifacts are all terracotta sealings dating from 224 to 641 A.D., during the Sasanian Empire, the last great Persian Empire before the advent of Islam. Bullae are small clay or bitumen…

US Report: Iran's Religious Freedom Abuses

May 3, 2016
Religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate in Iran in 2015 and 2016, according to a new report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. President Hassan Rouhani has fallen short on his campaign promises to improve the status religious minorities. The commission found…

South Korea, Iran Boost Ties

May 3, 2016
On May 2, Park Geun-hye became South Korea’s first president to visit Iran. Ministers, economic officials and businessmen joined her for the three-day trip to Tehran. One of South Korea’s key interests in Iran is oil. South Korea, the world’s fifth largest oil importer, is one of the largest buyers…

Iran’s Runoff Election for Parliament

May 2, 2016
Garrett Nada  Allies and supporters of President Hassan Rouhani made gains in the Parliamentary runoff election on April 29. They will form the largest faction in Parliament, but not a majority.  In 55 constituencies, 136 candidates competed for 68  seats that were undecided in the first round, on…

World Bank: Iran’s Economic Outlook

May 2, 2016
The World Bank expects Iran’s economy to grow by 4.2 percent in 2016 and 4.6 percent in 2017, “as a result of the lifting of the sanctions and a more business-oriented environment.” The following is the Iran portion of the Spring 2016 Middle East and North Africa Economic Monitor Report.   The…

Heavy Water Controversy

April 29, 2016
The Iran nuclear deal was officially implemented in January, but the controversy hasn’t ended. The White House and Congress are again at odds over a by-product of the deal—the fate of Iran’s heavy water, which can be used as a moderator and coolant in a nuclear reactor. Tehran had shipped 32 metric…

Zarif Calls on UN to Intervene with US

April 29, 2016
Iran has called on the United Nations to intervene with the U.S. government over two court rulings that held Iran financially responsible for terrorist attacks. On April 28, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling on him to convince…

UN Experts: Iran Denying Medical Treatment to Political Prisoners

April 27, 2016
On April 27, a group of U.N. human rights experts released a statement criticizing Iran’s denial of adequate medical treatment to political prisoners. They cited the case of physicist Omid Kokabee, who is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for alleged “connections with a hostile government…

Khamenei Comments on US, Gulf States, Shakespeare

April 26, 2016
The tweets from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei covered a full range of subjects in April 2016, from a celebration on the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death to angry accusations about the United States undermining the Iran nuclear deal. He also used his Twitter account to…