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The Race: Second Presidential Debate

May 5, 2017
The most interesting aspects of Iran’s second presidential debate, on May 5, were discussions of the nuclear deal and a nuanced but obvious question about the Revolutionary Guards. All six candidates implicitly supported the nuclear deal with the United States and five other major powers, which has…

The Race: Poll Results

May 3, 2017
Updated: May 18, 2017
The following are polls by various organizations on the upcoming May 19 presidential election.  IPPO Group Click here for more information.   The Iranian Labour News Agency   Click here for more information.    The Iranian Students Polling Agency (ISPA) After the second presidential…

The Race: First Presidential Debate

April 28, 2017
On April 28, the six candidates vying for Iran’s presidency engaged in a fiery first debate. Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf challenged President Hassan Rouhani’s economic record. “You are the government of the four percent,” Qalibaf told Rouhani, accusing the president of working to benefit…

Tehran Firefighters Memorialize NYC Counterpart

April 26, 2017
In a gesture of good will, firefighters from Tehran’s Station 55 held a memorial for William N. Tolley, a 14-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department. Tolley died on April 20 after falling five stories while fighting an apartment fire in Queens. The firefighters said they believe…

The Race: Khamenei Wades into Election

April 25, 2017
Updated: May 10, 2017
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei The May 19 election is widely seen not just as a contest for the presidency, but also for the political trend in the post-Khamenei period. In July, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will turn 78. He is likely to retain the top position in the Islamic…

The Race: Election Factoids

April 24, 2017
Updated: April 27, 2017
Iran’s 2017 presidential election is setting records. A total of 1,636 men and women signed up to run, an increase of almost 1,000 over the 686 candidates in the 2013 poll. Among them was a record number of women—137. The Iranian media reported that several minors also signed up, including a five-…

Poll: Economy to Dominate Presidential Race

April 19, 2017
The economy is the most important issue for Iranian voters in the upcoming election, according to a new study by Some 42 percent of respondents said unemployment is the number one challenge that the next president should address, followed by youth unemployment and other economic…

The Race: Khamenei vs Ahmadinejad

April 19, 2017
Updated: April 20, 2017
On April 12, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shocked Iranians when he registered for the presidential election. The Guardian Council, which is responsible for vetting all potential candidates, may or may not let him run, but his decision alone openly defied the supreme leader. In September…

Trump Orders Review of Iran Sanctions

April 19, 2017
Updated: April 20, 2017
On April 18, the Trump administration announced the launch of an interagency review of whether sanctions relief for Iran, as part of the nuclear deal, is vital to U.S. national security interests. Iran committed to significantly curbing its nuclear program and taking greater steps towards…

G7 Countries Support Nuclear Deal

April 13, 2017
On April 10-11, the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union met in Lucca, Italy to discuss pressing issues that impact global peace and security. The so-called Group of Seven (G7) is an…

New US Sanctions for Human Rights Abuses in Iran

April 13, 2017
On April 13, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned the Tehran Prison Organization and Sohrab Soleimani, a senior official within Iran’s State Prison Organization. The announcement cited an April 2014 incident at the infamous Evin Prison, when dozens of security guards and prison officials attacked political…

The Race: Presidential Candidates

April 12, 2017
Updated: May 16, 2017
On April 20, the Iran’s interior ministry announced the names of the six men allowed to campaign for president. A record number of individuals, 1,636, had registered for the May 19 election. A record number of women, 137, had also signed up. But as in previous years, none were approved. The…

European Union Extends Iran Sanctions

April 11, 2017
The following is the press release from the European Council on renewed sanctions.   On 11 April 2017, the Council extended until 13 April 2018 its restrictive measures responding to serious human rights violations in Iran. These measures consist of:  a travel ban and an asset freeze against 82…

US and Iran on Syria, Chemical Weapons

April 5, 2017
Updated: April 10, 2017
On April 4, more than 80 people died after planes reportedly dropped chemical bombs on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northwestern Syria. At least 100 others were later treated in hospitals in Idlib province while several dozen were transferred to Turkey. The victims included women and children. The…

Baluch Insurgents in Iran

April 5, 2017
Updated: April 27, 2017
The Baluch are among the two most independent and defiant ethnic groups in Iran. Citizens listen to President Rouhani give a speech in Sistan-e Baluchestan  Over the past few decades, several Baluchi groups have fought Iran’s theocratic regime—as well as the neighboring Pakistani government—for…

ISIS Threatens Iran in New Video

March 30, 2017
On March 27, the Islamic State group released a rare Farsi-language video threatening Iran. The nearly 40-minute clip, issued on social media by the group’s Diyala Province in neighboring Iraq, is titled “The Farsi Land: From Yesterday ‘till Today.” The Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or…

Rouhani and Putin Strengthen Iran-Russia Ties

March 29, 2017
On March 27, President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Moscow with a large political and economic delegation for a two-day visit. Iranian and Russian officials signed 14 memoranda of understanding to cooperate on a range of security, economic, scientific and cultural issues. Putin highlighted that…

Iran Sanctions 15 US Companies

March 27, 2017
On March 26, Iran imposed sanctions on 15 U.S. companies for alleged human rights violations and support for Israel. The retaliatory move came two days after the United States sanctioned 11 entities and individuals from China, North Korea or the United Arab Emirates for transferring sensitive items…

New US Sanctions on Iran’s Missile Program

March 24, 2017
On March 21, the United States imposed sanctions on 11 entities and individuals for “transfers of sensitive items to Iran’s ballistic missile program.” Washington considers Tehran’s missile program a threat to regional security. Since Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile in January 2017,…

Trump and Tillerson on Nowruz

March 21, 2017
On March 22, President Donald Trump issued a statement marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year. "On behalf of the American people, I wish you freedom, dignity, and wealth," he said in remarks directed to the Iranian people. On March 20, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had also issued a Nowruz message…

Khamenei, Rouhani Vie Over Economy

March 20, 2017
Updated: March 21, 2017
On the Persian New Year, Nowruz, Iran’s supreme leader and president gave conflicting assessments about Iran’s economy. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the middle and lower classes had suffered during the year from unemployment and high prices. He added that, despite the government’…

US Sanctions Bahrainis Linked to Iran

March 18, 2017
On March 17, the U.S. State Department sanctioned two Bahrainis with ties to Iran for supporting terrorism. One was affiliated with the al Ashtar Brigades, which has received funding and support from the Iranian government and carried out attacks in Bahrain. Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram…

Trump and Saudi Prince on Iran

March 17, 2017
On March 14, President Donald Trump met with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House. The two discussed shared interests in the region, including challenging Iran’s “destabilizing regional activities.” The following are excerpts from statements about the meeting. US…

U.S. General: Iran Biggest Threat to Interests in Region

March 16, 2017
On March 9, General Joseph Votel, discussed the U.S. military posture in the Middle East before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The head of U.S. Central Command said that Iran “poses the most significant threat to the Central Region and to our national interests and the interests of our…

Trump Travel Ban Seeks to Suspend Iran Visas

March 6, 2017
Updated: March 30, 2017
On March 6, President Donald Trump issued a new executive order banning people from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the United States for 90 days. The move comes about a month after a panel of federal judges blocked enforcement of his initial executive order. The…

US Report: Iran’s Human Rights Abuses

March 3, 2017
On March 3, the U.S. State Department released its annual human rights report. The following is the executive summary of the Iran country report, which covers 2016. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic republic with a Shia Islamic political system based on “velayat-e faqih” (“guardianship…

IMF Report on Iran's Economy

March 1, 2017
On February 27, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its annual report on Iran’s economy. The organization “commended the authorities for achieving an impressive recovery in economic growth after the lifting of nuclear sanctions in 2016, maintaining inflation in single digits, and…

Ahmadinejad Writes Open Letter to Trump

February 26, 2017
On February 26, Iran’s ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad published a lengthy open letter to President Donald Trump encouraging him to end U.S. interventions in the Middle East. He rhetorically asked, “What outcome has meddling in other’s affairs and military deployments to other regions and imposing…

Iran Beats US Wrestling Team

February 17, 2017
On February 17, Iran’s national wrestling team beat the U.S. team 5-3 to take the gold in the World Cup freestyle championship. The match was held in Kermanshah, Iran. Just weeks before the competition, the Americans thought they might not be able to attend. The Islamic Republic vowed reciprocation…

Recent Trends in US-Iran Trade

February 16, 2017
The nuclear deal with six world powers, concluded in mid-2015, raised the starter's pistol on Iran’s recovery from years of international sanctions. But the race didn’t begin until January 2016, when the deal was formally implemented and sanctions were lifted. Over the next year, the Islamic…