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Hagel’s Past Comments on Iran

January 8, 2013
            On January 7, President Obama nominated former Senator Chuck Hagel to be the Secretary of Defense during his second term. The following are comments by Senator Hagel on Iran since 2005.             “War with Iran is not inevitable, but U.S. national security would be seriously…

New Penalties on Iran in Defense Bill

January 7, 2013
            On January 3, President Barack Obama signed a $633 billion defense bill for fiscal year 2013. The comprehensive appropriations bill will help “ensure the United States will continue to have the strongest military in the world,” Obama said.             The legislation also contained…

Iran’s Economy Faces Grim 2013

January 3, 2013
Kevan Harris What is the state of Iran’s economy in 2013 compared to a year ago?             Iran's economy enters 2013 significantly worse than a year ago, particularly with higher inflation and unemployment than at the beginning of 2012. The rial also plunged from around 11,000 to the dollar…

Iran: A Rough Year in 2013

January 2, 2013
Alireza Nader            For Iran, 2013 could be one of the most challenging years—both at home and in relations with the outside world—since the 1979 revolution. The Islamic Republic faces the potential of stronger economic sanctions and even an Israeli and/or U.S. military strike because of its…

Kerry’s Past Comments on Iran

December 21, 2012
            On December 21, President Barack Obama nominated Senator John Kerry to be the Secretary of State during his second term. The following are comments by Senator Kerry on Iran since 2004.             “If I can just say to you and to the people of Israel: I hope there is no doubt about…

More U.S. Sanctions for Proliferation

December 21, 2012
            On December 21, the U.S. Treasury froze the assets of four Iranian companies and one executive for links to Tehran’s missile and nuclear programs. SAD Import Export Company was also sanctioned for supplying weapons to Syria’s government, which is cracking down on its civilian…

Panetta: New U.S. Strategy to Counter Iran

December 21, 2012
            On December 18, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta outlined a new U.S. defense strategy that will counter “the continuing threat from Iran.” If Tehran attempts to close the Straits of Hormuz, “we must be capable of being able to respond decisively,” he said. Panetta also warned…

Iran Boosts North Korean Missile Program

December 21, 2012
             Iran may have helped North Korea launch a multistage rocket and put a satellite into orbit on December 12, according to a new report by John S. Park. “What started as a transactional relationship, where Iran provided much-needed cash to North Korea in return for missile parts and…

The U.S.-Iran Covert War

December 20, 2012
Ari Ratner What is the U.S.-Iran covert war? What is the United States doing? What is Iran doing? And why?              During both the Bush and Obama administrations, Iran and the United States have engaged in a shadow war that relies more on technology and human intelligence than conventional…

Iran’s Subsidy Reform: RIP

December 18, 2012
           In November 2012, Iran’s parliament suspended subsidy reform and is now unlikely to allow “drastic increases” in the price of consumer staples over the next year, according to a new report by Jahangir Amuzegar. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a phased reform plan in 2010 that…

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Nuclear Proliferation Networks

December 13, 2012
           On December 13, the U.S. Treasury and State Department imposed sanctions on seven Iranian companies and five individuals for “proliferating weapons of mass destruction” pursuant to Executive Order 13382. The entities “provide the Iranian government unique goods, technology and services…

U.S. Intelligence: Iran Key to Future Mideast Stability

December 13, 2012
            Iran’s nuclear intentions will be a key variable in future Middle East stability, according to a new report by the U.S. National Intelligence Council. “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” explores what the world may look like in the coming decades. The report predicts that an…

U.S.-Iranian Competition in the Middle East

December 13, 2012
            The Arab uprisings shattered the conventional military balance between Iran and the United States in the Middle East, according to an updated report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The two countries have since strengthened relationships with both state and non-…

U.S. Intelligence: Iran Key to Future Mideast Stability

December 13, 2012
            Iran’s potential decision to build a nuclear weapon may be the key variable in the future stability of the Middle East, according to a new report by the U.S. National Intelligence Council. “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” predicts that Tehran’s decision to build a nuclear weapon…

U.S. Ready for Negotiations but Time is Short

December 11, 2012
            On December 8, Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns said that the United States is ready for negotiations if Iran is “serious about meeting its international obligations” on its nuclear program. He spoke at the Manama Dialogue, a regional security summit convened by the…

U.S. Renews Iran Sanctions Waivers

December 10, 2012
            On December 7, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the renewal of Iran sanctions exceptions for China, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan. The nine countries will be able to continue buying reduced quantities of Iranian…

U.S. Issues Iran Travel Warning

December 10, 2012
            On December 7, the State Department warned that U.S. citizens may be subject to “harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran.” Dual national Iranian-Americans could face additional obstacles because Tehran does not recognize their American citizenship. The following is an…

U.S. “Virtual Embassy” Gets 2 Million Hits

December 7, 2012
            The State Department announced that the “Virtual Embassy Tehran” website has been visited nearly two million times by Iranians since its December 2011 launch. The site provides Farsi-language information on U.S. policy, American culture and how Iranians can visit the United States. The…

Weighing Benefits and Costs of International Sanctions Against Iran

December 6, 2012
            The United States could better leverage sanctions against Iran while mitigating negative consequences, according to a new report by former U.S. ambassadors, generals, officials and national security experts. International sanctions imposed on Iran over the last three decades have…

Dealing with the Iranian Nuclear Challenge

December 6, 2012
            Tehran has “no urgent incentive to build nuclear weapons” according to a new policy brief by Robert Litwak. The nuclear issue is just part of a wider debate within Iran over how to interact with the outside world. The Islamic Republic “perceives the process of integration into an…

Khamenei Comments: Iran on the Rise

December 4, 2012
            In November, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised Iran’s influence and growing power in the region. He challenged Arab governments to follow Tehran’s example by assisting the Palestinians in Gaza. On Iran’s Navy Day, Khamenei encouraged navy commanders to expand operations in…

Iran on Direct U.S. Talks

December 3, 2012
            Senior Iranian officials sent mixed signals in response to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement about bilateral talks between Washington and Tehran. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has indicated an openness to direct U.S. talks. But the Supreme Leader’s…

Israeli Support Wanes for Iran Strike

December 3, 2012
            Support for an Israeli strike on Iran has waned over the last year, according to a new study. Only one in five Israelis polled support a unilateral strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Half of the respondents said they believed that Iran will eventually acquire nuclear weapons, while…

U.S. Sanctions Iran's Shipping and Energy Sectors

November 30, 2012
            On November 30, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved new sanctions on Iran’s energy and shipping sectors. Foreign financial institutions will face stiff penalties for facilitating the sale, supply or transfer of goods or services from Iranian energy and shipping companies. The sanctions…

Clinton: U.S. Must Test Diplomatic Option

November 30, 2012
            On November 29, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “it’s imperative that we do everything we can – unilaterally, bilaterally, multilaterally–” to reach an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. The key word may have been "bilateral," indicating that Washington is open to…

U.S. Sets March Deadline for Iran’s Cooperation

November 29, 2012
            On November 29, Ambassador Robert Wood set a March 2013 deadline for Iran to begin cooperating with the U.N. nuclear watchdog. He warned that the United States may otherwise refer the nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council. “Iran cannot be allowed to indefinitely ignore its…

Striking Iran: An Avoidable Disaster?

November 28, 2012
            Iran’s most advanced missiles cannot reliably reach Israel, according to a new study by the Middle East Policy Council. It concludes that an Israeli pre-emptive strike would also probably rally domestic support for the Iranian government- and potentially even fail to destroy Tehran’s…

Iran’s Nuclear Program: A Shift in the Winds?

November 27, 2012
Shaul Bakhash             In the wake of President Obama’s re-election, Iran has been signaling its readiness for direct talks with the United States over Iran’s nuclear program. A spate of statements in early November by officials close to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, speak of…

Iran Denies Role in Gaza Crisis

November 20, 2012
            Senior Iranian officials have vehemently denied any role in the Gaza crisis over the past week. Tehran claimed it only provides “spiritual” support to Hamas, and condemned Israeli strikes. But officials also criticized Arab countries and the international community for not taking…

U.N. Watchdog: Iran Expands Nuclear Activities

November 16, 2012
            On November 16, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium, upgrade its facilities and build a heavy water reactor. Since August, Tehran has added 43 kilograms of 20 percent-enriched uranium to its stockpile. At the current pace, it…