New Articles

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…

Anti-Iran Moves in Congress

April 26, 2016
Since late 2015, U.S. lawmakers have introduced more than a dozen legislative measures against Iran. Most have yet to pass the House or Senate, and the bills largely target areas outside the scope of the nuclear deal, such as ballistic missiles, terrorism, and human rights. But President Obama has…

Zarif on Nuclear Deal, US Relations

April 26, 2016
Robin Wright (for The New Yorker)Three months after Iran dismantled large parts of its nuclear program, in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the international nuclear deal—the country’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, declared last week in New York that the United…

Part I: Are Iran’s Missiles a Threat?

April 25, 2016
Michael Elleman Iran test-fired several ballistic missiles in March 2016 and one in October 2015. Why? What is Iran’s goal? Is there any significance to the timing?  Ballistic missiles have been a key pillar of Iran’s overall defense and deterrence strategy since its 1980-1988 war with Iraq. For…

Part II: US, Iran Disagree on Missiles

April 25, 2016
Top U.S. officials have argued that Iran’s recent missiles launches are inconsistent with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which bans Iran from testing ballistic missiles designed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads. On March 24, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned two Iranian…

Kerry and Zarif on Nuclear Deal Disputes

April 25, 2016
On April 22, Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held a closed-door meeting in New York to discuss disagreements that have emerged during the implementation of the nuclear deal. Iranian officials have alleged that the United States is not fulfilling its…

Obama on Iran at GCC Summit

April 21, 2016
On April 21, President Barack Obama assured leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that the United States will “deter and confront external aggression” against them. “Our nations committed to continuing to interdict illegal Iranian arms shipments in the region, impose costs on Iran…

Supreme Court Orders Iran to Compensate Terror Victims

April 20, 2016
On April 20, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a judgement that held Iran financially responsible for terrorist attacks dating back to the 1983 Marine Corps barracks bombing in Beirut. The lead plaintiff, Deborah Peterson, is the sister of Lance Cpl. James C. Knipple, who was killed in Beirut. The…

Zarif Op-Ed in Washington Post

April 20, 2016
On April 20, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif published an op-ed in The Washington Post criticizing its Sunni Gulf neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia, for spending huge sums of money on arms and allegedly supporting militant extremism. He criticized the West for raising alarms about…

Iran Pushes the United States

April 19, 2016
Iranian officials are pushing Washington to do more to fulfill its obligations under the nuclear deal. U.S. officials must be “much more proactive” in assuring other countries that they can do business with Iran without risking penalties from the United States, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad…

Iran Targets Political Elites

April 19, 2016
Garrett Nada  Over the past four decades, Iran’s revolutionaries have often been targets of their own revolution. Dozens have been pushed aside, discredited, banned from running for office, or isolated. Many have ended up in jail or faced prolonged house arrest. A few have been executed. The…

Europe and Iran to Boost Ties, Cooperation

April 18, 2016
On April 16, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and seven other high-ranking E.U. officials visited Iran to discuss implementation of the nuclear deal, boost economic ties, and increase cooperation on humanitarian, environmental and social issues. It was the first visit of E.U.…

Europe Reaches Out to Iran

April 18, 2016
Since the final nuclear deal was announced on July 14, 2015, at least a dozen European nations have reached out to Iran with high-profile phone calls and visits. "Expansion of relations with E.U. members is among Tehran's main policies," Rouhani said before his visit to Europe in January 2016. …

Iran and Islamic Conference: Tensions at the Summit

April 15, 2016
Tensions between Iran and other Islamic countries, especially Saudi Arabia, erupted at the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) of 57 countries. The final communique, issued April 15, “deplored Iran’s interference” in the affairs of other countries and its “continued support…

Iran on Nuclear Deal: “Nothing Has Happened”

April 15, 2016
On April 15, Valiollah Seif, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, said that “almost nothing” has happened since the nuclear deal was implemented in January. “Unless serious efforts are made by our partners to make the JCPOA work, in my view they have not honored their obligations,” he said during…

Treasury on Outstanding Iran Issues

April 14, 2016
On April 14, the United States and Iran held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the annual spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew met with Iranian Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif. The United States needs to deliver on its obligations…

US Report: Iran's Human Rights Abuses

April 13, 2016
Iran's most significant human rights issue is the restriction of civil liberties, according to the State Department's 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices. The report also criticized Iran's government for a wide range abuses, including cruel punishments, arbitrary violations of privacy,…

Arab Youth Survey: Iranian Influence Rising

April 12, 2016
For the third year in a row, a greater percentage of Arab youth have named Iran as their country’s biggest ally, according to the eighth annual ASDA’A Burson Marsteller Arab Youth Survey. In 2012 and 2013, only one percent of youth in 16 countries said Iran was their country’s biggest ally,…

Karroubi's Letter to Rouhani

April 11, 2016
On April 9, former presidential candidate and opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi published an open letter to President Hassan Rouhani asking for a court hearing. Karroubi, along with former candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, has been under house arrest since 2011 for leading Green Movement protests after…

Amnesty Report: Executions Rise in Iran

April 7, 2016
In 2015, Iran carried out at least 977 executions, according to a new report by Amnesty International. The organization estimates that at least 577 executions took place in addition to the 400 acknowledged by Iranian authorities – a 31 percent increase compared to 2014. China carried out the most…

US & Iran Clash on Nuclear Deal Compliance

April 6, 2016
Since late March, U.S. and Iranian officials have accused each other of taking actions that undermine the nuclear deal. On April 1, President Barack Obama accused Iran of not following the “spirit” of the agreement by engaging in test launches of ballistic missiles on March 8 and 9. Chief of Staff…

Economic Trends: February and March

April 5, 2016
Cameron Glenn In February and March, Iran began reaping the economic benefits of the nuclear deal that was implemented in January. Following the lifting or suspension of E.U., U.S. and U.N. sanctions, the Islamic Republic hosted trade delegations, inked lucrative deals, and boosted oil exports to 2…