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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…

Iran’s Statement after Nuke Talks

February 27, 2013
            On February 27, Iran's mission to the United Nations issued the following statement on the Almaty talks. In the name of God,               In Moscow, the Islamic Republic of Iran presented a comprehensive proposal for the talks. The proposal included five pillars for cooperation and…

Iran Talks: Is New Momentum Enough?

February 27, 2013
Patrick Clawson Diplomats from Iran and the world’s six major powers met in Almaty, Kazakhstan on February 26. What did the talks produce?                 The talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers — the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, also known as P5…

Iran TV Interviews Ben Affleck about Argo

February 26, 2013
Garrett Nada                  Iran’s official media dismissed the film “Argo” as “an advertisement for the CIA” and its Oscar win as politically motivated. “The film is against Iran” and “lacks artistic value,” Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said on February 25,…

Khamenei Comments: U.S.-Iran Talks Won’t Solve Any Problems

February 26, 2013
            In two major speeches in February, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei focused on the nuclear program, Iran-U.S. relations and domestic infighting.             In a speech on February 7, Khamenei rejected U.S. overtures for direct talks on the nuclear issue. He also criticized the…

Khazaee Welcomes U.S. Calls for Direct Talks

February 25, 2013
            On February 20, Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee welcomed recent U.S. calls for direct talks in remarks to the Asia Society. He claimed that the Obama administration has taken measures against Iran that could be considered “tantamount to war.” But negotiations are “not a red line for Iran,…

Report: Unwinding the Sanctions Web

February 25, 2013
            Iran is more likely to adapt to tightened sanctions than to adjust its nuclear policy, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group. A key problem is that the West and Iran view sanctions differently. European and U.S. officials assume that economic hardships will…

Report: Arabs Divided on Iran

February 25, 2013
            Arabs hold complex and sometimes conflicting views of Iran, according to a new report by the United States Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. Attitudes toward Iran in countries with large Shiite populations such as Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain tend…

Iran Expects New Offer at Upcoming Talks

February 22, 2013
            Iranian officials expect the world’s six powers to make a new offer at the fourth round of nuclear talks scheduled for February 26. Iran will negotiate with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States—the so-called P5+1— in Almaty, Kazakhstan. “We will just be…

U.N. Report: Iran Upgrading Nuclear Capabilities

February 21, 2013
            Iran has begun installing new centrifuges for enriching uranium at the Natanz nuclear facility, according to a new report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Tehran had informed the United Nations in January 2013 that it would install the advanced models, which can enrich uranium two or three…

Nukes, Negotiations and “Argo”

February 20, 2013
John Limbert What is the lesson of “Argo” when it comes to dealing with Iran?               The historical thriller has swept the awards season. “Argo” probably has a better chance of winning an Oscar on February 24 than the negoti­ators have of breaking their long deadlock. The film’s real…