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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…

Nasser Hadian on Why Iran is Ready

September 20, 2013
Nasser Hadian      Iran’s entire socio-political landscape has changed since President Hassan Rouhani’s June election. There are a lot of hopes that things are going to get better, especially given what happened under the previous government. But this is a cautious hope or optimism, not the wild-…

Rouhani Speaks on Washington Post

September 20, 2013
            In a Washington Post op-ed, President Hassan Rouhani urged world leaders to take advantage of his call for constructive dialogue. He pledged a sincere effort to secure “win-win solutions” to disputes with other nations. Rouhani argued that international politics is no longer a “zero-sum…

Iran at the UN: Khamenei to Rouhani

September 19, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             On September 24, Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani will make his debut at the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He is far from the first Iranian president to make this appearance. For a quarter century, Iran’s top elected leaders have all…

Key Quotes from Earlier U.N. Speeches

September 19, 2013
           The following are excerpts from speeches by top Iranian leaders from the U.N. General Assembly opening going back to 1987.   1987: President Ayatollah Ali Khamenei             “Today after some seven years of war it is quite clear to all that the invasion of Iran by the Iraqi army…

Rouhani’s First US Television Interview

September 19, 2013
      In his first American television interview, President Hassan Rouhani signaled an interest in improving relations with the United States. Less than a week earlier, President Barack Obama revealed that he had privately communicated with Iran’s new president. Rouhani described the tone of Obama’…

Iran Frees Top Human Rights Activist, Others

September 18, 2013
Garrett Nada             In the first big move on human rights since President Hassan Rouhani took office, Iran released noted activist Nasrin Sotoudeh on September 18. The government did not make a formal announcement, but Rouhani’s office retweeted reports claiming that seven other female…

Khamenei on Diplomacy : “Heroic Flexibility”

September 17, 2013
      On September 17, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Revolutionary Guards commanders that he is not opposed to more flexible engagement with the outside world. “I am not against proper political moves in diplomacy. I believe in what was named many years ago as ‘heroic flexibility,’”…

Qods Force leader : A political funeral?

September 17, 2013
            Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani hosted what was almost certainly the most high-profile funeral held this year in Tehran. The funeral for Soleimani’s mother was an unusually public acknowledgment of his increasingly powerful role in the Islamic Republic. Iran’s political and…

Obama and Rouhani Exchange Letters

September 16, 2013
             President Barack Obama confirmed in a televised interview that he has exchanged letters with President Hassan Rouhani. This is the most significant direct communication between the United States and Iran in years— and at the highest level since Rouhani’s election in June. The…

Rouhani to Guards: Stay Out of Politics

September 16, 2013
      On September 16, President Hassan Rouhani warned the elite Revolutionary Guards to stay out of politics. The Guards, Iran’s most powerful military organization, should “belong to the entire nation,” he told leaders at the 20th National Assembly of Commanders and Officials.       Rouhani…

Rouhani Meets Russian, Chinese Leaders

September 13, 2013
            President Hassan Rouhani met with his Russian and Chinese counterparts in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on September 12 and 13. Rouhani’s visit to the Kyrgyz capital for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit was his first official trip abroad since taking office in August.      Rouhani…

What to do now? Iran Torn on Syria

September 11, 2013
Alireza Nader             Iran has mixed feelings and conflicting interests in the Syrian crisis. Tehran has a strategic interest in opposing chemical weapons due to its own horrific experience during the 1980-1988 war with Iraq. For years, President Saddam Hussein’s military used chemical…

Zarif TV Interview in English on Nuke Talks

September 11, 2013
            On September 11, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed nuclear talks and the Syrian crisis in an interview with Press TV, Iran’s English-language news channel. The interview was reproduced on YouTube in two parts. Zarif speaks English fluently after receiving two degrees from…

Obama: Shifting Language on Iran?

September 11, 2013
            On September 10, President Barack Obama warned that inaction in the face of Syria’s use of chemical weapons would embolden Iran. Obama presented Tehran with two options during his address to the American public. Iran “must decide whether to ignore international law by building a nuclear…

Rouhani Cabinet: Profiles

September 10, 2013
            Rouhani’s cabinet reflects a dramatic shift in the balance of power. After one month in office, the top officials are now outlining the policies of Rouhani’s administration.            The majority of the ministers -- 15 of 18 who were immediately confirmed -- were ministers or senior…

Profile: New Security Council Chief

September 10, 2013
            On September 10, President Hassan Rouhani appointed former Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani as the new secretary of the Supreme National Security Council -- effectively making him national security advisor. Shamkhani, a centrist, will replace hardliner Saeed Jalili, who was chief…

U.S. Eases Sanctions for Medicine, Sports

September 10, 2013
            On September 10, the U.S. Treasury eased sanctions on humanitarian activity and athletic exchanges with Iran. Nongovernmental organizations can now provide disaster relief and conduct projects on environmental issues, human rights and democracy. And athletic exchanges will be easier to…

Rouhani and Zarif Wish Jews Happy New Year

September 6, 2013
            On September 4, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif used Twitter to wish a happy new year to the world’s Jews. “As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah,” tweeted Rouhani. Iran is home to…

US Expands Sanctions, EU Court Voids Others

September 6, 2013
            On September 6, Iran faced new sanctions imposed by the United States as the top European court mandated the lifting of sanctions on key Iranian banks and business.           The European Court of Justice criticized the European Union for relying on alleged insufficient or inconclusive…

US Renews Sanctions Waivers for 11 Nations

September 6, 2013
            On September 6, the United States extended Iran sanctions waivers to Japan and 10 E.U. countries for significantly reducing their crude oil purchases from Tehran. Japan’s imports of Iranian oil in June 2013 were down 38.1 percent compared to a year earlier. Washington had already…