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Congress Acts: Senate, House Pass Corker Bill

May 14, 2015
On May 14, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass legislation that would require Congress to approve and then vote on a final nuclear deal with Iran. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) welcomed the legislation as “the only way” to “stop a bad deal.” The bill passed with 400 votes…

GCC Summit: Obama Reassures Gulf on Iran

May 14, 2015
On May 13 and 14, representatives from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates – met with President Obama at the White House and Camp David to discuss formalizing security arrangements. The talks focused on crises in…

Nuke Talks: Latest from Iran, P5+1

May 13, 2015
On May 12, a new round of nuclear negotiations began in Vienna, Austria between Iran and the world's six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States. In the days leading up to the talks, Iranian officials were largely optimistic about brokering an agreement by the…

Yemen’s Tenuous Ceasefire

May 13, 2015
On May 11, Saudi Arabia announced the start of a five-day humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen. Saudi-led airstrikes against the Houthis, however, continued until just hours before it went into effect at 11 P.M. The Houthis, a Zaydi Shiite movement, took over the capital Sanaa in September 2014. During…

Report: Iran is Top Low-Cost Tourist Destination

May 12, 2015
Iran is the most attractive tourist destination in the world in terms of price competitiveness, one of the 14 indicators in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index. Price competitiveness measures purchasing power parity, the cost of access to transportation and hotel…

Senate Calls on Iran to Release U.S. Citizens

May 11, 2015
On May 11, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling on Iran to immediately release three Americans held there and to help locate another who is missing. Concurrent Resolution 16 passed 90-0. A similar resolution was also introduced in the House of Representatives on April 30 by…

Iranian Generals Dismiss US Military Option

May 11, 2015
Three top Iranian military commanders have dismissed remarks by U.S. officials who have claimed Washington retains the ability to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. The commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Ali Jafari, said Western powers would attack Iran if they…

“Madam Secretary” and the Real Iran Deal

May 11, 2015
An American flag was flown in Tehran last weekend--and, in a first, wasn't set on fire. My piece in @NewYorker. http://t.co/zfDMZeJHQD— Robin Wright (@wrightr) May 6, 2015  In a new article for The New Yorker, Robin Wright reports that officials involved in nuclear talks say that diplomacy is…

Report: Gulf States Outspend Iran on Military

May 11, 2015
The Arab Gulf states have a “decisive advantage over Iran in both the size of their recent military spending and the size and quality of their arms transfers and imports of military technology,” according to a new report by Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.…

Iran's Economy, By the Numbers

May 11, 2015
Increasingly strict U.S. and E.U. sanctions during the last decade, coupled with corruption and mismanagement under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013), took a toll on Iran’s economy. But President Hassan Rouhani made significant headway in stabilizing the economy after he took office in 2013…

After Sanctions: Iran Oil & Gas Boom?

May 8, 2015
Cameron Glenn As the world’s six major powers negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. and European oil companies are already eyeing the potential benefits of reinvesting in Iran’s petroleum sector. If sanctions are eased, they are well positioned to provide the advanced technology and equipment…

Congress Acts: Senate Passes Corker Bill

May 8, 2015
On May 7, the Senate passed legislation that would require Congress to approve and then vote on a final nuclear deal with Iran. The “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015” passed 98-1 – only Tom Cotton (R-AR), a vocal opponent of the nuclear talks, voted against it.The White House initially…

Democrats to Obama: Stay on Course

May 7, 2015
On May 7, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), and David Price (D-NC) sent a letter to President Obama expressing support for the nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was signed by 150 Democratic members of Congress. The letter urged the president to "stay on course" and move…

Khamenei: Iran Will Not Tolerate US Threats

May 6, 2015
On May 6, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that negotiating with the world's six major powers on the nuclear dispute “under the shadow of threat” is unacceptable for Iran. “How dare U.S. officials threaten Iran militarily? In 2007, I said that hit-and-run attacks are no longer possible…

American CEOs Eye Iran

May 6, 2015
Interview with Christopher Schroeder How often do you travel to Iran?   I have gone on two trips to Iran, in spring of 2014 and 2015. They were coordinated by a small group of members of the Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization — a global network of some 22,000 CEOs…

Report: Impact of Sanctions on Iran

May 5, 2015
Sanctions have constricted Iran’s economy and played a role in bringing Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program, according to Kenneth Katzman in an updated Congressional Research Service report. International sanctions have caused a decline in Iran’s GDP, oil production and exports,…

US Tries to Sell Israel on Iran Deal

May 4, 2015
On April 30, Secretary of State John Kerry told Israel’s Channel 10 News that the United States will not “disappoint Israel” and will only sign a nuclear deal if it closes off all of Iran’s potential pathways to a bomb.  “I say to every Israeli today we have the ability to stop them if they decided…

Khamenei on Labor Day

May 1, 2015
On April 29, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei highlighted the important role laborers play in Iran’s economy. In his address for International Labor Day, Khamenei called for resolving “problems such as delays in paying their salary, dismissals, problems related to providing and the like.” He…

Biden Defends Blueprint for Iran Deal

May 1, 2015
On April 30, Vice President Joe Biden pushed back against critics of the blueprint for a nuclear deal with Iran. He argued that an agreement would have the “toughest transparency and verification requirements, which represent the best possible check against a secret path to the bomb.” The following…

Treasury on Iran Deal and Sanctions

May 1, 2015
On April 29, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew outlined how the United States could ensure Iran’s compliance with the terms of a nuclear deal. He said the United States could keep the “sanctions architecture in place while providing relief through waivers” to preserve the ability to “reimpose sanctions…

Cotton vs Zarif: War of Tweets

April 30, 2015
On April 29, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif quipped that sanctions relief as part of nuclear deal would be codified in a U.N. Security Council resolution, “which will be mandatory for all member states whether Senator  [Tom] Cotton likes it or not.” Cotton has been a vocal critic of…

Report: Iran Seventh Most Censored Country

April 30, 2015
Iran is the world’s seventh most censored country, according to a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists. The ranking is based on Iran’s detention of journalists, censorship laws, and internet restrictions compared to other countries. The following are the report’s main findings on…

Zarif Interview with Charlie Rose

April 29, 2015
In a wide-ranging interview with Charlie Rose, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed nuclear talks, ISIS, U.S.-Iran relations, jailed journalists in Iran and other issues. The following are video clips from the interview, which aired in two parts, followed by key excerpts.   Nuclear…

Zarif in New York: Nuke Deal, ISIS, Syria

April 29, 2015
On April 29, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said negotiators from Iran and the world’s six major powers will be working “nonstop” to meet a June 30 deadline for a final nuclear deal. “It’s not a perfect agreement. It’s not perfect for us, it’s not perfect for the United States, it’s…

Who are Yemen's Houthis?

April 29, 2015
Cameron Glenn Iran is widely accused of backing the Houthis, a Zaydi Shiite movement that has been fighting Yemen’s Sunni-majority government since 2004. The Houthis took over the Yemeni capital city Sanaa (left) in September 2014. Since then, Yemeni officials and Sunni states have ramped up…

North Korea & Iran Nuclear Deals Compared

April 29, 2015
Differences outweigh similarities in comparing the blueprint for a nuclear deal with Iran and the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea, according to George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States…

Nuke Talks: Latest from Iran, P5+1

April 28, 2015
On April 23, Iran and the world’s six major powers began three days of nuclear negotiations in Vienna. Negotiators are working to draft a final agreement by June 30, but disagreements remain about the timing of sanctions relief, Iran’s nuclear research and development, and the scope of…

Kerry on Iran Soil

April 27, 2015
In another first, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iran’s foreign minister at the Upper East Side residence of Iran’s U.N. ambassador. The two were in New York to attend a U.N. conference on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty. It was the first time Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif…

U.S. to Reform Jews on Iran Deal

April 27, 2015
On April 27, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman discussed ongoing nuclear talks with Iran at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Biennial Leadership Policy Conference. “We believe that the parameters, announced two weeks ago in Lausanne, offer the best chance at…

Zarif Addresses UN Arms Conference

April 27, 2015
On April 27, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons in an address to the 2015 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) conference in New York. In his role as chair of the coordinating bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, an…