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Unusual Rivalry: Iran v. U.S. Over Ice Cream

April 1, 2013
            Iranians apparently take their desserts seriously. The sweet final course of any meal even spills over into foreign policy.      In the latest rivalry between Iran and the United States, a Tehran ice cream company broke the Guinness record for the world’s largest ice cream cup — a full…

U.N. Stats: Life Longer and Healthier In Iran

April 1, 2013
            A new U.N. report highlights Iran’s significant progress in providing citizens with a long and healthy life, access to education and a decent standard of living. Between 1980 and 2012, Iran’s life expectancy at birth increased by 22.1 years, mean years of schooling increased by 5.7…

U.N. Stats: Iran’s Gender Gap

April 1, 2013
            A new U.N. report ranked Iran 107 out of 148 countries on the Gender Inequality Index (GII), which measures reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity of women. Iran’s maternal mortality ratio and adolescent fertility rate are relatively low compared to other countries close…

U.N. Stats: Iran's Slow Population Growth

April 1, 2013
            Iran’s low fertility rate has produced a rapidly aging population, according to a new U.N. report. The rate has declined from 2.2 births per woman in 2000 to 1.6 in 2012. This has pushed the median age of Iranians to 27.1 years in 2010, up from 20.8 years in 2000. The median age could…

Latest on the Race: Appeals to Khatami to Run

March 28, 2013
Garrett Nada             Iran’s political limelight is increasingly focused on whether former President Mohammad Khatami will run again. On March 16, 91 reformist leaders published an open letter calling on Khatami, who was president from 1997 to 2005, to run again in the June 14 election…

Latest on the Race: Reformists Regroup to Run

March 28, 2013
Garrett Nada              Iran’s reformers appear to be rejoining the political fray, with the first reform candidate entering the presidential race and new pressure on former President Mohammad Khatami to run as well. So far, the field of about twenty candidates is otherwise dominated by…

Kerry Presses Iraq on Iran Flights to Syria

March 25, 2013
            On March 24, Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraq to inspect Iranian cargo flights for arms. Iranian flights are “helping to sustain” the Syrian regime, Kerry claimed during a previously unannounced visit to Baghdad. The United States suspects that Tehran is using the flights to…

Khamenei Open to Direct U.S. Talks

March 24, 2013
            Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he is not opposed to direct talks with the United States in a speech marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year. But he is “not optimistic” about prospects for success if negotiations take place. Khamenei claimed that the United States “doesn’t want…

Obama and Netanyahu Agree on Iran

March 24, 2013
            President Obama, on his first visit to Israel since taking office, warned that the time left to solve the Iranian nuclear issue “is not unlimited.” He said that the international community will increase pressure on the regime until it meets international obligations on its controversial…

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…