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US Navy Seizes Iranian Arms Shipment

April 5, 2016
On April 4, the U.S. Navy announced that the USS Sirocco had seized an Iranian arms shipment in the Arabian Sea on March 28, likely bound for Houthi rebels in Yemen. Iran is widely accused of backing the Houthis, a Zaydi Shiite movement that has been fighting Yemen’s Sunni-majority government since…

Iran Reacts to Ballistic Missile Sanctions

April 4, 2016
Iranian leaders declared that the Islamic Republic will continue its ballistic missile program in spite of new U.S. sanctions. The sanctions, enacted on March 24, targeted two Iranian companies for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed that…

Obama on Iran at Nuclear Security Summit

April 1, 2016
On April 1, President Barack Obama said that the nuclear deal has “achieved a substantial success” during a meeting with leaders from the world’s six major powers on the sidelines of the 4th Nuclear Security Summit. But Obama also claimed in remarks to the press that Iran has undermined the "spirit…

Poll: Iranian Opinions on Rouhani, Elections

March 31, 2016
The majority of Iranians hold favorable views of President Hassan Rouhani and voted for his supporters in the February elections for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts, according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM), working in conjunction with…

US Indicts Iranians Suspected of Cyberattacks

March 26, 2016
On March 24, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed an indictment against seven Iranian computer experts suspected of cyberattacks on American entities between 2011 and 2013. The alleged hackers targeted 46 American financial institutions, disrupting services and disabling bank websites. One of them…

US Imposes Sanctions Over Missile Program

March 24, 2016
On March 24, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned two Iranian companies for supporting Tehran’s ballistic missile program. It also blacklisted two British businessmen, two entities based in the United Kingdom and two entities based in the United Arab Emirates for helping an Iranian airline…

U.S. Presidential Candidates on Iran

March 22, 2016
Every U.S. presidential candidate has highlighted U.S. policy towards Iran, which were a frequent topic in the Democratic and Republican debates in late 2015 and early 2016. The following are excerpted remarks from the remaining candidates on Iran.    Democrats Republicans…

Part II: Khamenei, Rouhani on Nowruz

March 21, 2016
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani issued the televised statements to the Iranian people on the occasion of Nowruz, Persian New Year. Both focused on the importance of economic improvements for the coming year. Khamenei accused the United States of not fulfilling its…

Part I: Obama, Kerry on Nowruz

March 21, 2016
On March 19, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry issued the following greetings to the Iranian people for Nowruz, Persian New Year.  President Barack Obama  Secretary of State John Kerry  I am delighted to join President Obama in wishing a happy, healthy, and prosperous Nowruz…

GCC Declares Hezbollah a Terrorist Group

March 16, 2016
In March, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab League classified Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite political and military organization, as a terrorist group. Iran has provided billions of dollars of financial and operational support to Hezbollah since its creation in 1982, and Hezbollah has…

Photos: Iranians Prepare for Nowruz

March 16, 2016
On March 20, Iranians will welcome the first day of spring and the Persian New Year. Nowruz, literally “New Day,” is Iran’s most widely celebrated holiday and has its roots in ancient Persia. The holiday is celebrated for two weeks, during which government offices, banks, and schools are closed for…

US Issues New Travel Warning for Iran

March 16, 2016
On March 14, the U.S. State Department issued new guidance warning Americans to “carefully consider nonessential travel” to Iran. The warning reiterated the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans. The updated travel warning comes as businessman…

UN: Iran Executions Hit Two-Decade High

March 11, 2016
Iran executed nearly 1,000 prisoners in 2015, according to a new report by the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed. Some 65 percent of the executions were for drug-related offenses. The New York Times reported that Iran has reportedly not executed so many people in one…

Khamenei: Iran Yet to See Benefits from Foreign Delegations

March 10, 2016
On March 10, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the recently elected Assembly of Experts that Iran has not yet benefited from receiving Western delegations. Dozens of trade delegations from European countries have visited Tehran since the nuclear deal was announced in July 2015. “Unless…

US Renews State of Emergency with Iran

March 9, 2016
The following is the full text of the White House press release and President Obama’s letter to Congress on the renewal of the national emergency with respect to Iran.   CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO IRAN   On March 15, 1995, by Executive Order 12957, the President…

Iran Launches Ballistic Missiles, US Reacts

March 9, 2016
On March 8 and 9, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched several ballistic missiles as part of a military exercise. The variations of Ghadr, Qiam and Shahab missiles reportedly had ranges between 185 miles and 1250 miles. The launches, publicized widely by Iranian media outlets, were intended to…

US on Anniversary of Robert Levinson's Disappearance

March 9, 2016
March 9 marked nine years since Robert Levinson went missing in Iran. Levinson, a former FBI agent, disappeared on March 9, 2007, during a visit to Kish Island. Initial reports indicated that he was researching a cigarette smuggling case as a private investigator. In late 2013, his family…

Experts on What’s Next for Iranian Women

March 8, 2016
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2016, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars published views of women from across the Middle East and the United States on the status of women and prospects for this year. The recent parliamentary elections could be a game changer for…

US General on Iran in the Region

March 8, 2016
On March 8, General Lloyd J. Austin III, warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that “Iran maintains hegemonic ambitions and will continue to pose a threat to the region” through its use of proxies. The commander of U.S. Central Command also highlighted expanding Russia-Iran cooperation and…

UN: Iran Improves in Human Development

March 4, 2016
Iran has seen major improvements in human development during the past three decades, according to the U.N. Development Program’s 2015 Human Development Report. The Islamic Republic rose six places on the U.N. index in a single year, placing it in the “high human development category.” Gary Lewis, a…

Rouhani on Elections, Turnout

March 2, 2016
President Hassan Rouhani welcomed the results of February 26 elections for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts. “The time for cooperation has started,” he said at a conference. In a letter, during a cabinet meeting and in a speech, he also highlighted the high turnout and briefly commented on…

Election Results 3: In Tweets

March 1, 2016
The following tweets are snapshots illustrating results of and reaction to the February 26 elections for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts.  Top LeadersI feel responsible to appreciate this public response to the Islamic System’s call. #IranElections2016 pic.twitter.com/lYhlRnU3iq— Khamenei.ir…

Election Results 4: Newspaper Headlines

February 29, 2016
Iran’s diverse newspapers portrayed the results of Iran’s elections differently depending on their political affiliations. Reformist paper Shargh Daily called the elections a "decisive victory" for centrist and reformist allies of President Hassan Rouhani and former President Akbar Hashemi…

Election Results 1: Parliament

February 29, 2016
Garrett Nada and Katayoun Kishi The resounding message from voters on February 26 was a rejection of hardliners and an endorsement of President Hassan Rouhani. The largest faction in Iran’s new Parliament will be an array of moderates, conservatives and independents, who won more than half of the…

Election Results 2: Assembly of Experts

February 29, 2016
Cameron GlennHardliners suffered a serious setback in Iran’s election for a new Assembly of Experts, a body of 88 clerics and scholars tasked with overseeing and appointing the supreme leader. Candidates aligned with former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and current President Hassan Rouhani, who have…

Election Day in Iran! Color and Tweets

February 26, 2016
Iranians went to the polls on February 26 to elect a new Parliament and Assembly of Experts at a pivotal time in the Islamic Republic’s history. The following are snapshots of different aspects of the day — leaders voting, reformist and centrist turnout, hardliners at the polls, youth and women…

UN Report on Nuclear Deal Compliance

February 25, 2016
The U.N. nuclear watchdog has released its first quarterly report on Iran’s nuclear program after the deal went into the implementation phase on January 16. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted that Iran briefly exceeded the 130 metric ton limit on its heavy-water stockpile as…

Amnesty International on Human Rights

February 25, 2016
In 2015, Iranian authorities “severely curtailed the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, arresting and imprisoning journalists, human rights defenders, trade unionists and others who voiced dissent, on vague and overly broad charges,” according to Amnesty International’s…

Poll on Upcoming Elections

February 25, 2016
A new poll by iPOS (Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC), suggests that Iran could set a new record for voter turnout on February 26. More than 70 percent of voters indicated that they will vote in the parliamentary and Assembly of experts elections. Iran has not seen such a turnout since…

Iran's Election Coalitions

February 24, 2016
Katayoun Kishi Iranian candidates often run in loose coalitions rather than formal parties, mainly because of the difficulty in building name recognition and momentum in a short time. But candidates are technically considered independent regardless of which list—or lists—they ally with. Some…