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Mike Pompeo on Iran

January 12, 2017
On January 12, the Senate Intelligence Committee held a confirmation hearing for Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Donald Trump’s nominee for Central Intelligence Agency Director. He said that as a member of Congress, he opposed the nuclear deal, but acknowledged that his role would…

Rex Tillerson on Iran

January 12, 2017
On January 11, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination to be secretary of state in the Donald Trump administration. He said Iran poses a great threat to the world because of its “refusal to conform to international norms.” If…

Ex-President Rafsanjani Dies - Reactions, Profile

January 9, 2017
Updated: January 10, 2017
On January 8, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died of heart attack at age 82. He held top positions in the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. He was president for two terms from 1989 to 1997. He was chairman of the Assembly of Experts, a panel of more than 80 clerics and scholars…

Kerry Exit Memo on Iran Policy

January 9, 2017
On January 5, Secretary of State John Kerry released an exit memo with an overview of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy over the last eight years. The following is an excerpt on Iran from the memo with other remarks from January 2017.   Verifiably Preventing Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear…

Poll: Most Americans Oppose Withdrawing from Nuclear Deal

January 6, 2017
Nearly two thirds of Americans oppose withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal to negotiate a better one, according to a new survey from the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC). “Though President-elect [Donald] Trump campaigned on ripping up the deal and seeking to…

Scientists Urge Trump to Preserve Iran Deal

January 4, 2017
On January 2, 37 top scientists from the United States wrote to President-elect Donald Trump urging him not to scrap the Iran nuclear deal. The agreement “provides a strong bulwark against an Iranian nuclear-weapons program,” they wrote. “We urge you to preserve this critical U.S. strategic asset…

Zarif Essay on Extremism and Terror

January 4, 2017
In December 2016, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif published a lengthy article titled “How to Handle the Enabling Conditions for Extremism and Terror” in the Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs. The following are excerpts. Global, Internal and Regional Enabling Conditions The situation…

Part II: White House on Iran Sanctions Act

December 15, 2016
On December 15, the White House announced that a bill extending the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 years would become law without President Obama’s signature. The administration had previously said that Obama would likely sign it. The White House said that the extension, “while unnecessary, is entirely…

Iran on Trump and Nuclear Deal

December 6, 2016
Updated: January 23, 2017
On December 6, President Rouhani warned the incoming Trump administration against trying to renegotiate or tear up the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). His speech at Tehran University, was broadcast nationally on state television. Other officials have yet…

Part I: Congress on Iran Sanctions Act

December 5, 2016
On December 1, the U.S. Senate voted 99-0 to extend the Iran Sanctions Act, which targets the Islamic Republic’s banking, defense, and energy sectors. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation. The law allows the president to waive those sanctions, as Obama has done with some sanctions…

CIA Chief Warns Trump Against Ending Iran Deal

November 30, 2016
CIA Director John Brennan warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that tearing up the nuclear deal would be “the height of folly.” In an interview with the BBC, Brennan said that backing out of an agreement made by a previous administration would be unprecedented. During the U.S. presidential…

Obama on Iran deal in Trump Presidency

November 15, 2016
At a press conference on November 14, President Obama discussed how the 2016 election might affect the historic Iran nuclear deal. The following is an excerpt of a question about the deal’s future after Donald Trump assumes the presidency and Obama’s reply. Q: President-elect Trump threatened to…

Economic Trends: August - October

November 6, 2016
From August through October, Iran took additional steps toward reintegration with the world economy. It courted foreign investors in various sectors of its economy, such as energy, mining, and automobile production. The modest influx of cash back into the Iranian market and anticipation of more…

Kerry on Zarif, Khamenei and Nuclear Deal

November 1, 2016
On October 24, Chatham House, a prominent London-based think tank, named Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as co-recipients of an annual prize. Members of the institution vote for person, persons or organizations who have made “the most significant…

CRS Report VI: Iran and Latin America and Africa

November 1, 2016
The following are excerpts from a recently published report by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, on Iran’s foreign and defense policies.   Latin America Some U.S. officials and some in Congress have expressed concerns about Iran’s…

CRS Report V: Iran and Europe and Asia

November 1, 2016
The following are excerpts from a recently published report by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, on Iran’s foreign and defense policies.   Russia Iran appears to attach increasing weight to its relations with Russia, which is a permanent…

CRS Report IV: Iran and South and Central Asia

November 1, 2016
The following are excerpts from a recently published report by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, on Iran’s foreign and defense policies. Iran’s relations with countries in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and South Asia vary significantly, but…

CRS Report III: Iran and the Middle East

November 1, 2016
The following are excerpts from a recently published report by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, on Iran’s foreign and defense policies.   The Gulf States Iran has a 1,100-mile coastline on the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The Persian…

CRS Report II: Iran’s Nuclear and Defense Programs

November 1, 2016
The following are excerpts from a recently published report by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, on Iran’s foreign and defense policies. Iran has pursued a wide range of defense programs, as well as a nuclear program that the international…

CRS Report I: Iran’s Policy Motivators

November 1, 2016
The following are excerpts from a recently published report by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, on Iran’s foreign and defense policies.   Iran’s Policy Motivators Iran’s foreign and defense policies are products of overlapping, and…

Iran Media, Leaders Scoff at US Election

October 25, 2016
Updated: November 6, 2016
Iranian media and leaders have been closely following the U.S. presidential election. Not only have they criticized the candidates’ policies, but they have also derided the political atmosphere and American democracy. “Did you see the debate and the way of their speaking, accusing and mocking each…

Treasury Updates Sanctions Guidance

October 12, 2016
On October 7, the U.S. Treasury Department updated its frequently asked questions document on the lifting of U.S. sanctions as part of the nuclear deal. Regulations on dollar-denominated transactions between foreigners and Iran were relaxed. The “update was intended to clarify the scope of…

UN Report on Human Rights in Iran

October 7, 2016
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon issued a new report critical of Iran’s human rights record. Executions were down in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. But Tehran “has not taken any measures to halt executions or instituted a moratorium on the death penalty,” the…

IMF: Economy Rebounding

October 5, 2016
International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff visited Iran and found that the economy has “rebounded strongly” since the nuclear deal was implemented and sanctions were lifted in January 2016. But Iran still needs to take several steps to ensure continued economic growth and reintegration into the global…

Canadian-Iranian Professor Released from Prison

September 26, 2016
On September 26, Iran released retired university professor Homa Hoodfar from Evin prison. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Iranian authorities confirmed the release of the dual-national who had been held since June. She is believed to be in poor physical condition, due to a rare…

Zarif in New York on Nuclear Deal, Syria

September 26, 2016
On September 23, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized the United States for not sending a clear message to European banks that they are free to do business with Iran. In a wide ranging conversation with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, he also discussed the war in Syria, tensions with…

Rouhani 3: Press Conference in New York

September 23, 2016
On September 22, President Hassan Rouhani gave wide ranging comments on the nuclear deal’s implementation, U.S.-Iran relations, the Syrian war, Saudi Arabia, extremism, and. He spoke to journalists after delivering an address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. The following are excerpted…

Rouhani 1: Speech at the UN 

September 22, 2016
On September 22, President Hassan Rouhani called on "certain countries in the region" to stop "bombarding their neighbors and put an end to their support for Takfiri terrorist groups" in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly. In particular, he urged Saudi Arabia to "cease and desist from…

Rouhani 2: Interview on Syria, Nuclear Deal

September 22, 2016
On September 21, President Hassan Rouhani called for a political solution to the Syrian civil war in an interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd. “The rule of the ballot box and the rule of the Syrian people and the will of the Syrian people should be the sole determinant of the future of the country…

Energy Secretary Moniz on Nuclear Deal

September 21, 2016
On September 19, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz discussed the status of the Iranian nuclear deal and progress on implementation at the Council on Foreign Relations. The following are excerpts from the transcript of the conversation moderated by Graham T. Allison, Director of the Belfer …