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Kerry’s Iran Connection on Nowruz

March 24, 2013
            On March 20, Secretary of State John Kerry sent “warm wishes for health and prosperity” to Iranians for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. He noted the contributions of Iranian-Americans and Iranian students in the United States. “I am proud of the Iranian-Americans in my own family,” he…

U.S. General: Iran’s Influence Waning in Latin America

March 24, 2013
            Iran is “struggling to main influence” in Latin America, General John Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 19. The region as a whole has not been receptive to Iran’s diplomatic and economic outreach. But the head of U.S. Southern Command warned that “limited…

Poll: U.S. Majority Would Consider Strike to Prevent Iran Nuke

March 24, 2013
            About 64 percent of surveyed Americans said it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons ― even if it means taking military action ― according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. About 80 percent of Republicans expressed that…

Cyrus Connects Ancient Iran and U.S. Democracy

March 18, 2013
Garrett Nada             The 2,600-year-old Cyrus Cylinder, widely considered the world’s first human rights charter, is now on display in Washington, D.C. ― the first stop on its tour of five U.S. museums. The U.S. founding fathers were inspired by the Persian monarch Cyrus’ tolerant rule of…

Obama on Nowruz: New U.S.-Iran Relationship Possible

March 18, 2013
            On March 18, President Obama said there could be a “new relationship” with Iran if it meets international obligations on its controversial nuclear program. But he noted that “overcoming decades of mistrust” would be difficult in a videotaped statement for Nowruz. The Persian New Year…

Infographic: Internet Censorship

March 15, 2013
            The following infographic by the University of Pennsylvania’s Iran Media Program maps the diverse bodies involved in censoring the Internet. About 20 to 30 percent of Iranian users rely on illegal tools to bypass the national filter, according to government estimates. Click here to read…

Obama: Iran Over A Year Away From Nuke

March 14, 2013
            On March 13, President Obama said “it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon,” in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television. “But obviously we don’t want to cut it too close.” Obama noted that the United States “obviously has significant…

Larijani: West Should Sell Uranium to Iran

March 14, 2013
            On March 12, Iran’s Human Rights Council Secretary Mohammad Javad Larijani said that there is no need to produce enriched uranium if the West sells it to Iran. Larijani, a key advisor to the supreme leader, suggested that Iran “think about new models” for approaching the United States…

U.S. Sanctions Secret Iranian Oil Network

March 14, 2013
            On March 14, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned a Greek businessman and 14 companies for helping Iran evade international oil sanctions. Dr. Dimitris Cambis used front companies and Iranian funds to purchase oil tankers and disguise the Iranian origin of crude oil. The vessels involved were…

Gulf III: Iran’s Power in the Sea Lanes

March 12, 2013
Michael Connell What is the record of interaction between the U.S. and Iranian navies in the Persian Gulf?               The United States and Iran have never officially been at war, but several recent incidents between the U.S. and Iranian navies have had the potential to escalate into…

Gulf II: Timeline of U.S.-Iran Encounters

March 12, 2013
Michael Connell            Iranian and U.S. naval forces have had sporadic and sometimes hostile interactions since the 1980s.                  ·May 13, 1984: After repeated Iraqi attacks on Iranian shipping and refining facilities, Iran retaliated with attacks on neutral shipping. The tit-…

Gulf I: Iran’s Power in the Air

March 11, 2013
Michael Elleman What are Iran’s missile assets?               Iran has the largest and most diverse inventory of long-range artillery rockets and ballistic missiles in the Middle East. It is estimated to have between 200 and 300 Scud-B and Scud–C missiles, which Iran has renamed the Shahab-…

Latest on the Race: Rouhani Declares Candidacy, Rezaei Condemns Opposition

March 11, 2013
            On March 11, the Moderation and Development Party announced Hassan Rouhani’s candidacy for president. He is a senior member of the Expediency Council, a powerful government body that resolves disputes between parliament and the Guardian Council. Rouhani is also a former head of the…

U.S. Intelligence: Iran’s Nuclear Policy Depends on Political Will

March 11, 2013
            Iran has the “scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons,” according to the U.S. intelligence community’s new worldwide threat assessment. But the decision to build or not build a weapon depends on Iranian “political will”  and a cost-benefit…

Iran Blocks Bypass of Internet Filter

March 11, 2013
Garrett Nada             Iran has reportedly blocked virtual private networks (VPNs), used by millions of Iranians to access banned websites such as Facebook. “Only legal and registered VPNs can from now on be used,” Ramezanali Sobhani-Fard said on March 10, according to Iranian news media. He…

E.U. Sanctions Cyber Police, Judges and Media

March 11, 2013
            On March 11, the European Union announced new sanctions against Iranian cyber police, judges, and media officials linked to the death of blogger Sattar Beheshti. Beheshti is “believed to have been tortured to death by the Cyber Police authorities” in November 2012, the E.U. Official…

U.N. Report: Iran Repressing Dissent

March 11, 2013
            Iran’s crackdown on journalists and detainment of opposition leaders “does not bode well for the prospect of a free and fair” presidential election in June, said Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. investigator on human rights in Iran. In his brief to U.N. Human Rights Council on March 12, Shaheed…

The Mysterious Case of Robert Levinson

March 11, 2013
            Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent, disappeared from Iran’s Kish Island on March 9, 2007. He was reportedly investigating cigarette smuggling while working as a private investigator. Levinson’s family first received evidence that he was alive in November 2010. In the 54-second video,…

Video: Iranians Candid on One Wish

March 8, 2013
            Iranian graphic artist Ali Molavi asked 50 people in Tehran: “What’s your wish for today?” At first timid, they answered candidly, reflecting the passions, problems and politics in Iran today. Their wishes ranged from buying a motorcycle, being reborn, to finding a good job. One man…

Video: Former U.S. Commander and Diplomat on Iran

March 8, 2013
            On March 7, Admiral William Fallon, a retired four-star admiral and former head of U.S. Central Command, warned that “you can’t lock them [the Iranians] in a box” on the nuclear issue. He discussed U.S. policy on Iran with a former assistant secretary state, James Dobbins, and Karim…

Khazaee: Threatening Iran Won’t Work

March 7, 2013
            On March 3, U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said that the recent talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers in Kazakhstan were “a turning point.” Iran feels that “both sides are getting closer to each other,” he told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. But Khazaee also warned against…

Khamenei Tweets: Iran Needs More Concessions

March 7, 2013
            On March 7, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed that Western nations only acknowledged a “fraction” of Iran’s nuclear rights. “Western nations did not accomplish anything that can be construed as a concession.” His remarks to the Assembly of Experts, supplemented by several…

Iran’s Message: Now in English too

March 6, 2013
Helia Ighani and Garrett Nada             Since 2007, Iran’s English-language media has increasingly become its chief propaganda tool. The turning point was the launch of Press TV, a news website and international television station that seeks to compete with the world’s most sophisticated media…

U.S. General: Iran buying time with talks

March 6, 2013
            On March 5, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East said that he believes Iran is buying time with talks on its controversial nuclear program. But Marines Corps General James Mattis told the Senate Armed Service Committee that negotiations should continue because they are "critical to…

Poll: Iran Unpopular in Arab and Muslim Eyes

March 5, 2013
            Iran is now viewed unfavorably in 14 out of 20 Arab and Muslim countries, according to a new poll by Zogby Research Services. The survey results show a growing antipathy towards Tehran. Majorities in all but four countries agree that Iran is contributing to sectarian division in the…

World Powers Seek Early Results from Nuke Talks

March 5, 2013
            On March 5, the six world powers called for “tangible” and early results from their negotiations with Iran. The United States, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom had a joint statement read to the U.N. nuclear watchdog board of governors.            The world powers…

Three Already Running for President

March 4, 2013
Garrett Nada            Three individuals have already declared their candidacy for president. On March 4, the Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezaei, added his name to the list of candidates. Elections are scheduled for mid-June. Candidates must be vetted by the Guardian Council, an…

Kerry: Nuke talks cannot go on forever

March 4, 2013
            On March 4, Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal warned that the window for diplomacy cannot remain open indefinitely for Iran. Talks on the controversial nuclear program “cannot become an instrument for delay that in the end make the situation…

Iran and Syria Condemn U.S. Aid to Rebels

March 4, 2013
            On March 2, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his Syrian counterpart, Walid Mouallem, condemned the recent U.S. move to provide non-lethal aid to rebels for the first time. “Double standards were being applied by certain countries that serve to prolong and deepen the Syrian…

Former Officials Debate Iran-U.S. Relations

March 4, 2013
            On February 23, former senior officials debated prospects for a real deal on the nuclear issue at the 2013 Camden Conference. Seyed Hossein Mousavian opened with remarks on Iran-U.S. relations. He served as spokesman for Iran in its nuclear negotiations with the European Union from 2003…