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Iran’s Breakout Time Shortening

October 22, 2013
            Iran may need as little as one month to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb, according to new report by the Institute for Science and International Security. But Tehran would need to go to extremes to enrich uranium that fast. The report presents several different…

U.N. Nuclear Watchdog Chief on Iran

October 22, 2013
            On November 1, the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s chief, Yukiya Amano, said that talks with Iran on its controversial nuclear program have progressed significantly since the election of President Hassan Rouhani. “There was some real change” in Iran’s tone during the last two meetings with the…

UN Report: Deepening Human Rights Crisis

October 22, 2013
            On October 22, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran released a new report on violations in the Islamic Republic. It stated that:             “At the heart of the deepening human rights crisis in the Islamic Republic of Iran is its disregard for the pre-eminence of…

Iranians Divided on Nuclear Program

October 21, 2013
            About 56 percent of Iranians approved of their government developing nuclear power capabilities for non-military use, according to a new Gallup World poll. And a plurality of some 41 percent of respondents disapproved of developing such capabilities for military use. But 34 percent…

US Views of Iran Improve After UN Assembly

October 21, 2013
            Diplomatic overtures from Iran during the U.N. General Assembly seem to have softened American views of Iran, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll. On September 13, some 52 percent of respondents considered Iran an enemy. But on September 30, only 36 percent did. The following are…

Report: Principles for Unwinding Sanctions

October 21, 2013
            Iran may be ready to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, but removing punitive measures would require “a sustained period of concrete and verified Iranian actions,” according to a new Center for a New American Security brief. Lifting years’ worth of unilateral…

Iran's Man on Wire: Javad Zarif

October 18, 2013
Robin Wright             When Mohammed Javad Zarif left the United Nations in 2007, I asked what he had achieved in five years as Tehran's ambassador. "Not much," he said with a sigh. "A stupid idealist who has not achieved anything in his diplomatic life after giving one-sided concessions--this is…

New Progress in Iran Nuke Talks?

October 17, 2013
            After talks on October 15 and 16, Iran and the world’s six powers reported that the nuclear talks were “substantive and forward looking.” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters, “We hope that this is a beginning of a new phase in our relations.” It was the sixth…

Zarif Diary on Historic US-Iran Talks

September 30, 2013
      In an all-time first for Iranian diplomacy, new Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has been chronicling his visit to New York on his Facebook page for Iranians back home. On September 26, Secretary of State John Kerry and Zarif held their first meeting on the sideline of talks between Iran…

On the Record: Zarif, Kerry, Rice on US-Iran Talks

September 30, 2013
            On September 29, top officials from Iran and the United States explained their goals and reasoning in the first-ever talks between their foreign ministers two days earlier. The following are transcripts of an interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on ABC’s “This…

US-Iran: Other Signs of New Times

September 30, 2013
Robin Wright             A week of remarkable U.S.-Iran diplomacy has been followed by other indications of shifting tones in both the Islamic Republic and the United States. Among the most startling was the headline “On the Wave of Telephone Diplomacy” in Iran’s Bahar newspaper…

Rouhani Briefs Iranians on US Visit

September 30, 2013
            On September 29, President Hassan Rouhani briefed Iranians on his visit to the United Nations and his phone conversation with President Barack Obama. Rouhani told Obama that the “Iranian people have opened a window of opportunity, but that there is not much time for” resolving the…

US and Israel Discuss New Iran Diplomacy

September 30, 2013
            President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Iran and the new U.S.-Iran diplomacy at the White House on September 30. The following are the relevant excerpts of their remarks on Iran. President Barack Obama              We had an opportunity, obviously,…

Obama’s Historic Call with Rouhani

September 27, 2013
            On September 27, President Barack Obama revealed that he had a phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program,” Obama said at a White House briefing. The exchange was the first…

Zarif Diary on US-Iran Breakthrough

September 27, 2013
      In an all-time first for Iranian diplomacy, new Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has been chronicling his visit to New York on his Facebook page for Iranians back home. On September 26, Secretary of State John Kerry and Zarif held their first meeting on the sideline of talks between…

First US-Iran Step On Nuclear Talks

September 27, 2013
            In the hint of a possible breakthrough, Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held their first meeting on the sideline of talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers. They even shook hands—two days after their heads of state did not have…

Rouhani Calls for Nuke-Free World

September 26, 2013
      On September 26, President Hassan Rouhani called for ridding the world of nuclear weapons in his address to a U.N. disarmament conference. “Instead of nuclear weapons, let us invest in development and in eradicating poverty, ignorance, and diseases,” he suggested. Rouhani specifically called…

Rouhani’s Interviews

September 26, 2013
      New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran wants to cut a deal on its controversial program in the next three to six months. “The only way forward is for a timeline to be inserted into the negotiations that’s short–and wrap it up,” Rouhani told The Washington Post on September 25…

Breakfast with President Rouhani

September 25, 2013
Robin Wright             I had breakfast with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani this morning. He is personable and a striking departure from President Ahmadinejad. He entered the room with presidential flair; he wore a white turban and robes. (I had been early so I had to go through both…

World Reaction to Rouhani at UN

September 25, 2013
            Several world leaders have issued cautiously optimistic reactions to President Hassan Rouhani’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly and meetings with Iranian officials. British, French and German leaders saw Iran’s change in tone as a hopeful sign but emphasized that Tehran must follow…

Rouhani Condemns Holocaust as Crime

September 25, 2013
           President Hassan Rouhani called the Holocaust a “reprehensible” crime against the Jewish people in a September 24 interview with CNN. “The taking of human life is contemptible. It makes no difference if that life is Jewish life, Christian or Muslim,” said Rouhani. His remarks contrasted…

US Reaction to Rouhani at UN: Part 1

September 25, 2013
             Senior U.S. officials have welcomed signals indicating a conciliatory shift in Iran’s foreign policy. “What’s different about President [Hassan] Rouhani is not simply some matter of personality,” a senior administration official said in response to a question about Rouhani’s address to…

US Reaction to Rouhani at UN: Part 2

September 25, 2013
      More than a dozen members of Congress have issued statements indicating skepticism towards new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s diplomatic overtures. In a joint statement, Republican senators John McCain (left), Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte supported the Obama administration’s…

Rouhani’s Debut Address to UN

September 24, 2013
            On September 24, President Hassan Rouhani delivered his debut address to the U.N. General Assembly. The following is the official translation of his speech.       In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. Blessing and peace be…

Rouhani’s UN Speech in Tweets

September 24, 2013
           President Hassan Rouhani’s office released a flurry of more than 40 tweets during and immediately after his September 24 address to the U.N. General Assembly. The following tweets from @HassanRouhani appear in chronological order below.                                             

Obama Speaks on Iran at UN

September 24, 2013
      President Barack Obama told the U.N. General Assembly that the diplomatic path to resolving the Iranian nuclear dispute must be tested. Obama acknowledged past statements opposing nuclear weapons by top Iranian leaders. And he suggested that a nuclear deal could “serve as a major step down a…

Khatami: Diplomacy now unrivaled chance

September 24, 2013
            Former President Mohammad Khatami has called on the international community to engage in dialogue with his successor to solve longstanding tensions and avoid even greater tension in the volatile Middle East that threatens “global catastrophe.” In an op-ed in The Guardian newspaper, the…

Zarif Pens Diary About U.S. Visit

September 23, 2013
            In an all-time first for Iranian diplomacy, new Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has been chronicling his visit to New York on his Facebook page for Iranians back home. The following translations by USIP's Maral Noori are Zarif's accounts of meetings at the United Nations. Excerpts…

New Team to Head Nuclear Talks

September 23, 2013
            President Hassan Rouhani has appointed Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to lead nuclear talks with two other senior diplomats, according to Iranian news agencies. As Iran’s U.N. ambassador between 2002 and 2007, Zarif gained a reputation among his European and U.S. counterparts for…

President Rouhani on War and Peace

September 23, 2013
      In several key speeches and interviews, new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has outlined his views on war and peace. “Any government that decides on war, we consider that a weakness. And any government that decides on peace, we look on it with respect,” Rouhani said in his first interview…