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Nuke Talks: Latest from Iran, P5+1

June 4, 2015
On May 30, Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, for six hours of talks on the nuclear issue. It was the first time that such high level discussions have taken place since the blueprint for a final deal was announced on April 2. On June 4,…

Obama to Israelis: Military Strike Won’t Stop Iran Nuclear Program

June 2, 2015
On May 29, President Barack Obama told Israel’s Channel 2 that a military strike, even with U.S. participation, would only “temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program.” He pushed back on criticism of the potential deal being negotiated between Iran and the world’s six major powers. The “best…

Report: Iran’s Role in Iraq

June 1, 2015
The rise of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is both a threat and an opportunity for Iran, according to a new study by Alireza Nader at the Rand Corporation. On one hand, the conquest of nearly one-third of Iraqi territory and potential to take more of the country threatens…

UN Report: Iran Shares Limited Information

June 1, 2015
On May 29, the U.N. nuclear watchdog released a new report on Iran’s implementation of Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards and compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolutions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Iran “shared some information in relation to” possible military…

Economic Trends: Month of May

May 28, 2015
Cameron GlennIn May 2015, Iran continued to explore expanding trade ties with the international community, in anticipation of a nuclear deal that could lift international sanctions. On May 25, Tehran Stock Exchange CEO Hassan Qalibaf-Asl met with a group of international investment managers and…

Nuke Talks: Latest from Iran, P5+1

May 28, 2015
On May 27, 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. The negotiators are aiming to turn the blueprint for a deal announced on April 2 into a final agreement by June 30…

Tensions in Iran over Nuclear Talks

May 27, 2015
Garrett NadaAfter a closed-door briefing at parliament, on May 24, conservative lawmaker Mehdi Koochakzadeh accused Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of treason and ignoring Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s limits in the nuclear negotiations. Zarif said Koochakzadeh had no right to speak…

Jason Rezaian Trial Begins in Tehran

May 27, 2015
On May 26, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian went on trial in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, which handles national security cases.  The charges against him included espionage, collaborating with “hostile governments,” and “propaganda against the establishment.” During the hearing, the judge…

Supreme Leader’s Advisor Visits Lebanon, Syria

May 20, 2015
Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, affirmed Tehran’s support for Damascus and Hezbollah during visits to Syria and Lebanon. On May 18, Velayati met with Lebanese officials, including Prime Minister Tammam Salam, and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan…

Iran Reacts to GCC Summit

May 18, 2015
Iranian officials have criticized the policies of the United States and its allies in reaction to the recent Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit held by the White House. The joint statement and annex, released on May 14 by President Obama and GCC member state representatives, referred to Iran’s “…

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…