New Articles

Youth in Iran Part 1: "The Determinators"

August 9, 2013
Robin Wright              They’re the determinators—the politically savvy, socially sassy, and media astute young of Iran. And they count, quite literally, as never before as a new president takes over.        President Hassan Rouhani owes his election to the young, who are Iran’s largest voting…

Political Prisoners Letter to Obama

August 9, 2013
            In a letter dated August 8, more than 50 current and former political prisoners appealed to President Obama to seize the “last chance” to “turn a page and start a new era of mutual understanding” between the United States and Iran. It described the election of new President Hassan…

President Rouhani’s First Press Conference

August 6, 2013
      President Hassan Rouhani met with local and international correspondents at his first press conference on August 6. He addressed the full range of challenges Iran faces on both domestic and foreign policy. Rouhani said Iran is prepared to enter “serious and substantive” negotiations on its…

Iran Sanctions: Which way out?

August 5, 2013
Ali Vaez       The United States has imposed several layers of sanctions against Iran—for widely diverse reasons—dating back to the 1979 revolution. Tehran now wants relief from sanctions as part of any diplomatic deal on its controversial nuclear program. But lifting sanctions is often harder…

Inauguration of Hassan Rouhani

August 4, 2013
      On August 3, Hassan Rouhani took office as Iran’s new president at a ceremony in Tehran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorsed Rouhani’s victory in front of political, military and religious leaders. The new president took the oath of office before parliament and foreign dignitaries…

Obama on New Iranian President

August 4, 2013
            On August 4, the Obama administration welcomed Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration as Iran’s new president. The following is the full text of the press secretary's statement.             "On the occasion of Dr. Hojjatoleslam Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration today as the Islamic Republic of…

Profile: New Foreign Minister

August 4, 2013
            The following article by Robin Wright was originally published by The Washington Post as Iran’s next foreign minister, Javad Zarif, left the United Nations in 2007. Zarif served as Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations from 2002 to 2007. Diplomatic ExitFor Iran's Javad Zarif, a…

Rouhani's Cabinet

August 4, 2013
            On August 4, Hassan Rouhani was formally inaugurated as Iran's seventh president. He presented the following list of cabinet nominations to parliament.   AppointmentsFirst Vice President: Eshaq Jahangiri  Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs: Teimour Ali Asgari  Vice President for…

76 Senators Call for Tougher Sanctions

August 3, 2013
             On August 2, 76 Democratic and Republican senators called for tougher sanctions and credible military threat to accompany dialog with Iran. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Casey (D-PA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) circulated the…

Firestorm: Rouhani on Jerusalem

August 2, 2013
            An international firestorm erupted on August 2 over misreported comments by President-elect Hassan Rouhani on Jerusalem. On International Quds Day—the Arabic name for Jerusalem—Iranian and Western media initially reported that Rouhani called Israel an “old wound” that “needs to be…

A Setback for US-Iran?

July 31, 2013
            On July 31, the U.S. House passed a new sanctions bill that calls for broader economic sanctions and stiffer penalties for human rights violators. The Nuclear Iran Prevention Act’s main goal is to reduce Tehran’s daily oil exports by an additional one million barrels by imposing stiffer…

The Fires Facing Hassan Rouhani

July 30, 2013
Robin Wright      One of the most important questions in the Middle East this year is whether Hassan Rouhani's election will mark a new era -- both for Iranians and the outside world. The answer could mean the difference between peace and yet another war. Rouhani's campaign certainly made…

New President Already Faces Opposition

July 29, 2013
            Hassan Rouhani is facing opposition to his cabinet appointments even before he announces the line-up—and even before his August 4 inauguration. On July 24, 80 hardline members of parliament warned the president against appointing “seditionists,” the code-word for reformists. In a joint…

Report: Is Iran a Cyber Power?

July 29, 2013
            Iran could pose a challenge to the United States despite its limited cyber warfare capabilities, according to a new report by the Atlantic Council. Given Tehran’s weak conventional forces, cyber attacks could be an attractive alternative. “Iran does not need the equivalent of a Ferrari…

Iran Angry Over New US Bill

July 28, 2013
             On August 1, Tehran warned that new U.S. legislation calling for tighter sanctions would “further complicate” negotiations on its controversial nuclear program. “Imposing sanctions against Iran is a failed policy,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi. On July 31, the U.S.…

Ahmadinejad’s Legacy: Top 10 (Mis)Hits

July 25, 2013
Robin Wright            President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leaves office with little to show for his eight years in power. Iran’s toxic economy is often blamed on his mismanagement as much as on international sanctions. Politically, his reelection in 2009 ignited the largest protests since the 1979…

Can Rouhani Resolve Iran's Economic Crisis?

July 25, 2013
Bijan Khajehpour            After taking over the presidential office in early August, President-elect Hassan Rouhani will face a long host of economic challenges. He has made the economy—especially tackling unemployment—his highest priority, but it is clear that the process of reversing the…

US Eases Rules on Export of Humanitarian Aid

July 25, 2013
            On July 25, the United States introduced new measures to ease the export of humanitarian goods, especially medical supplies, to Iran. Humanitarian supplies are technically not restricted by sanctions, but U.S. sanctions on key Iranian banks has affected the ability to pay for medical…

Rouhani Tweets! Change in 140-characters?

July 24, 2013
Garrett Nada             Hassan Rouhani is big into Twitter. (Or at least someone in his office is.) Since his election, Iran’s new president has tweeted prolifically —in both English and Farsi – on everything from World Cup soccer to women’s rights, from nuclear negotiations to Internet…

Iran: The Week in Review

July 23, 2013
Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani            The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers the latest news on Iran, based on a selection of Iranian news sources. It is a weekly summary of up-to-date information with links to news in both English and Farsi.…

Rouhani and the Revolutionary Guards

July 23, 2013
Will Fulton            Fulton is the author of “The IRGC Command Network: Formal Structures and Informal Influence,” which details the evolution of a powerful faction within the Revolutionary Guard’s core leadership and its influence on regime decision-making. How have the Revolutionary Guards…

New Challenges to Iran-Syria Alliance

July 22, 2013
Jubin Goodarzi              There is no doubt that one of the most intriguing developments in modern Middle East politics has been the emergence and continuity of the Iranian-Syrian alliance since its formation in 1979. Generally speaking, there are three important reasons to study and…

Report: US and EU Sanctions Bite

July 21, 2013
            New rounds of tightened sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors hit hard in 2013. The economy is now suffering from “high inflation, a devalued currency, unemployment and high food costs,” according to an updated report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.…

131 Lawmakers to Obama: Deal with Rouhani

July 19, 2013
            A bipartisan group of 131 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have joined Representatives Charlie Dent (R-PA) and David Price (D-NC) in urging President Barack Obama to reinvigorate U.S.-Iran diplomacy. They argued that the United States should test whether Hassan Rouhani's…

What Iran’s Election Means for the Future

July 18, 2013
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo      Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo was a member of Iran’s parliament between 2000 and 2004. Elected at the age of 30, she was the youngest woman member ever elected to the Majles and one of only 13 women — among 290 — in the sixth parliament. Haghighatjoo charged the Revolutionary…

Iran: The Week in Review

July 18, 2013
Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani            The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers the latest news on Iran, based on a selection of Iranian news sources. It is a weekly summary of up-to-date information with links to news in both English and Farsi.July…

Ex-officials say Reinvigorate Iran Diplomacy

July 15, 2013
July 15, 2013The Honorable Barack H. ObamaPresident of the United States of AmericaThe White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500  Dear President Obama,            The election of Hassan Rouhani to be Iran’s next president presents a major potential opportunity to…

Report: New Progress on Arak Reactor

July 15, 2013
            Iran’s heavy water reactor near the central city of Arak will likely begin operating in 2014, according to a new report by the Institute for Science and International Security. U.N. Security Council resolutions dating back to 2006 have urged Iran to stop construction on the Arak reactor…

US Report: Limited Sanctions Impact

July 14, 2013
            The following are excerpts from a new Congressional Research Service report on Iran sanctions with a link to the full text at the end.   Summary             Increasingly strict sanctions on Iran—which target primarily Iran’s key energy sector as well as its ability to access the…

Secret Nuclear Facility: Claim and Denial

July 14, 2013
            An exiled opposition group claimed that Iran has been hiding an underground nuclear site since 2006. “The People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) has discovered credible evidence of a secret new nuclear site, gathered over a year by 50 sources in various parts of the regime," according to a…