New Articles

Iran to Attend Syria Peace Talks

January 19, 2014
            On January 19, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced that Iran had been invited to join the peace talks on Syria. The following is his statement, followed by a comment from the State Department. U.N. Secretary General's Press Stakeout        Ladies and Gentlemen, Good…

Feinstein on Iran in Senate Speech

January 17, 2014
             On January 14, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) made the following speech on the Senate Floor. The statement was partly to block the proposed Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act (see link at bottom). But it also more broadly tackled the bigger issue of Iran’s future direction, and even…

White House: Details of Implementing Iran Nuclear Deal

January 16, 2014
            On January 16, the White House released the details of implementing the nuclear deal signed by Iran and the world’s six major powers. The following is the White House statement with a link to the European Union's factsheet.    Summary of Technical Understandings Related to the…

Nuclear Deal to Start January 20

January 13, 2014
            Iran and the world’s six major powers agreed to begin implementing the Geneva nuclear agreement on January 20. Iran and the so-called P5+1 —Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States— had reached a historic interim agreement in November 2013. Tehran had committed to…

White House: New Sanctions Amount to War Resolution

January 10, 2014
            On January 9, the White House warned that a new Iran sanctions bill proposed in the Senate could push the United States toward war with Iran. The “Iran Nuclear Weapon Free Act” is co-sponsored by more than one-half of the 100 Senators, largely Republican but including several key…

Photos: People, Places and Political Sites

January 9, 2014
      Robin Wright captured a cross section of images from Iran on the eve of the revolution’s 35th anniversary. The pictures include exclusive images from inside the U.S. Embassy in Tehran as well as leading ayatollahs and some of the many visual contradictions in the Islamic Republic. Click on…

Inside Iran with Robin Wright and David Ignatius

January 9, 2014
            Two long-time Middle East experts have recently returned from Iran. Their discussions with cabinet members, ayatollahs, hardliners, members of parliament, economists, opposition figures and ordinary Iranians offer rare insights into Iran’s increasingly vibrant political scene since…

Iran’s Leaders Alarmed by Sunni-Shiite Tension

January 9, 2014
            Iran’s top religious and political leaders are alarmed by growing Sunni-Shiite tension in the Middle East. Tehran is especially worried about the influx of Sunni militants into Syria, al Qaeda’s resurgence in Iraq, and Sunni-Shiite clashes in Lebanon. Sectarian violence is “the most…

Facts and Figures on Sunni-Shiite Balance

January 9, 2014
            The rivalry between Shiite Iran and Sunni Arab states reflects the deepest schism in the Islamic world. The split dates back to the seventh century, when the sects disagreed over the issue of leadership after the Prophet Mohammed’s death. Shiites believed that the Prophet should have…

Rouhani Tweets on Freedom of Arts

January 8, 2014
            On January 8, President Hassan Rouhani appealed for loosened censorship of the arts in an address to six art and cultural guilds. “Art without freedom is meaningless,” he told the gathering of prominent Iranian artists. “Every system has its red lines, but it's absolutely essential for…

Rouhani Op-ed on “Moderation and Common Sense”

January 2, 2014
            The Daily Star, a Lebanese English-language daily published the following op-ed by President Hassan Rouhani on December 31, 2013.      When I campaigned to become president of Iran, I promised to balance realism and the pursuit of the Islamic Republic’s ideals – and won Iranian voters’…

Mohammed Chatah’s Open Letter to President Rouhani

January 2, 2014
            Mohammed Chatah, a former Lebanese finance minister, wrote the following open letter to President Hassan Rouhani in late December 2013. But Chatah was killed by a car bomb on December 27 before he could gather signatures from Lebanese lawmakers. The letter originally appeared in The…

Iran's Christmas Greetings

December 24, 2013
May Jesus Christ, Prophet of love & peace, bless us all on this day. Wishing Merry #Christmas to those celebrating, esp Iranian Christians.— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) December 24, 2013 No doubt that Jesus #Christ has no less value among Muslims than [he has] among the pious Christians. 27…

Obama Warns Congress Against New Sanctions

December 20, 2013
      On December 20, President Barack Obama urged Congress to hold off on new Iran sanctions while the Geneva nuclear agreement is being implemented. In response to a newly proposed sanctions bill in the Senate, Obama said that if the United States is “serious about negotiations, we’ve got to…

Zarif: Talks Not Dead, Iran Committed to Nuclear Deal

December 16, 2013
            On December 15, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that talks on implementing the Geneva nuclear deal were “derailed” but not dead. Iranian officials had slammed Washington for blacklisting 17 companies and individuals for sanctions invasion three days earlier. “We are committed…

Iran & South Asia #3: After US Withdrawal from Afghanistan

December 16, 2013
Ellen LaipsonRelations between Iran and Afghanistan have gyrated since the 1979 revolution. How might the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2014 affect opportunities or challenges facing the neighboring countries?             All of Afghanistan’s neighbors will be affected when international troops…

Iran & South Asia #4: Issues, Facts & Figures

December 16, 2013
Garrett Nada            The following is a rundown of key facts and figures on Iran’s relations with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Afghanistan and Iran     Pakistan and Iran    India and Iran    Garrett Nada is the assistant editor of The Iran Primer at USIP. Click here for Iran & South…

Iran Slams US Sanctions Enforcement

December 13, 2013
            On December 13, Iran’s foreign ministry slammed Washington for blacklisting more than a dozen companies and individuals for sanctions evasion. “The U.S. administration is fully responsible for the consequences of these indiscrete measures,” said Foreign Spokesperson Marziyeh Afkham. She…

US Sanctions Networks Linked to Nuclear Program

December 12, 2013
      On December 12, the U.S. Treasury and State Department targeted 17 companies and individuals for evading international sanctions on Iran or supporting its nuclear program. Four companies and one person allegedly violated oil sanctions. The other twelve companies and individuals operated front…

Treasury: Sanctions Relief Limited, Temporary and Reversible

December 12, 2013
            On December 12, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen outlined Iran’s relief package from the Geneva nuclear deal. Tehran committed to roll back its nuclear program and allow increased monitoring “in exchange for limited, temporary, and reversible…

GCC Annual Summit: Communique on Iran

December 11, 2013
            On December 11, the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a communique welcoming Tehran’s new efforts to engage with member states. The group -- which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- discussed regional developments at a two-day summit in…

Iran & South Asia #2: India Readjusts Ties

December 11, 2013
Sunil Dasgupta What is the status of relations between India and Iran?             New Delhi has had relatively close ties to Tehran since the mid-1980s, but India has recalibrated relations over the last few years as Iran became the litmus test for its ties with Washington. India has also…

Zarif: Sanctions Would Kill Nuclear Deal

December 11, 2013
            The following article first appeared in Time magazine.  Robin Wright       In a wide-ranging interview with TIME in Tehran on Dec. 7, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif spoke to writer and Iran expert Robin Wright about how the Geneva nuclear deal came together, how the…

Kerry Warns Congress Against New Sanctions

December 10, 2013
           On December 10, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress to hold off on imposing new sanctions while world powers seek a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear program. “We’re asking you to give our negotiators and our experts the time and the space to do their jobs,” he said at a…

Poll: Americans Support Deal but are Skeptical

December 10, 2013
            Six in ten Americans support the interim deal on Iran's controversial nuclear program, according to a new AP-GfK poll. But 44 percent of respondents are not confident that it will lead to a more comprehensive plan to ensure Iran does not build a nuclear weapon. And a slight majority of…

Iran & South Asia #1: Pakistan’s Delicate Balancing Act

December 9, 2013
Interview with Moeed Yusuf What is the status of relations between the Pakistan’s Sunni-dominated government and Iran’s Shiite theocracy under the new leaders, who both were elected in mid-2013? How do Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif get along? On…

Rouhani Calls for National Consensus

December 9, 2013
      On December 7, President Hassan Rouhani called for national consensus on his goals to improve relations with the outside world and reinvigorate the economy. He also pledged to defend Iran’s nuclear program in a speech at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University.  “Nuclear energy is our absolute…

Poll: Americans Divided on Nuclear Agreement

December 9, 2013
            Some 43 percent of Americans disapprove of the interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program while 32 percent approve, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center and USA Today. The remaining quarter of respondents did not offer an opinion. Half of the Democrats polled approve of the…

Report: Iran’s Missiles Raise Tensions in Gulf

December 9, 2013
            Iran has raised tensions in the Middle East by increasing the number, range and capability of its rockets and missiles, according to an updated report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Tehran’s “missile and rocket forces help compensate for its lack of effective air…

Zarif Tries to Calm Nervous Gulf States

December 9, 2013
            Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tried to calm Gulf states nervous about the Geneva nuclear agreement and Iran’s regional aspirations. Zarif kicked off his first official tour of the Sunni sheikhdoms with a visit to Kuwait on December 1. “Be assured that the nuclear deal is in…