New Articles

Nasser Hadian on Why Iran is Ready

September 20, 2013
Nasser Hadian      Iran’s entire socio-political landscape has changed since President Hassan Rouhani’s June election. There are a lot of hopes that things are going to get better, especially given what happened under the previous government. But this is a cautious hope or optimism, not the wild-…

Rouhani Speaks on Washington Post

September 20, 2013
            In a Washington Post op-ed, President Hassan Rouhani urged world leaders to take advantage of his call for constructive dialogue. He pledged a sincere effort to secure “win-win solutions” to disputes with other nations. Rouhani argued that international politics is no longer a “zero-sum…

Iran at the UN: Khamenei to Rouhani

September 19, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             On September 24, Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani will make his debut at the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He is far from the first Iranian president to make this appearance. For a quarter century, Iran’s top elected leaders have all…

Key Quotes from Earlier U.N. Speeches

September 19, 2013
           The following are excerpts from speeches by top Iranian leaders from the U.N. General Assembly opening going back to 1987.   1987: President Ayatollah Ali Khamenei             “Today after some seven years of war it is quite clear to all that the invasion of Iran by the Iraqi army…

Rouhani’s First US Television Interview

September 19, 2013
      In his first American television interview, President Hassan Rouhani signaled an interest in improving relations with the United States. Less than a week earlier, President Barack Obama revealed that he had privately communicated with Iran’s new president. Rouhani described the tone of Obama’…

Iran Frees Top Human Rights Activist, Others

September 18, 2013
Garrett Nada             In the first big move on human rights since President Hassan Rouhani took office, Iran released noted activist Nasrin Sotoudeh on September 18. The government did not make a formal announcement, but Rouhani’s office retweeted reports claiming that seven other female…

Khamenei on Diplomacy : “Heroic Flexibility”

September 17, 2013
      On September 17, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Revolutionary Guards commanders that he is not opposed to more flexible engagement with the outside world. “I am not against proper political moves in diplomacy. I believe in what was named many years ago as ‘heroic flexibility,’”…

Qods Force leader : A political funeral?

September 17, 2013
            Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani hosted what was almost certainly the most high-profile funeral held this year in Tehran. The funeral for Soleimani’s mother was an unusually public acknowledgment of his increasingly powerful role in the Islamic Republic. Iran’s political and…

Obama and Rouhani Exchange Letters

September 16, 2013
             President Barack Obama confirmed in a televised interview that he has exchanged letters with President Hassan Rouhani. This is the most significant direct communication between the United States and Iran in years— and at the highest level since Rouhani’s election in June. The…

Rouhani to Guards: Stay Out of Politics

September 16, 2013
      On September 16, President Hassan Rouhani warned the elite Revolutionary Guards to stay out of politics. The Guards, Iran’s most powerful military organization, should “belong to the entire nation,” he told leaders at the 20th National Assembly of Commanders and Officials.       Rouhani…

Rouhani Meets Russian, Chinese Leaders

September 13, 2013
            President Hassan Rouhani met with his Russian and Chinese counterparts in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on September 12 and 13. Rouhani’s visit to the Kyrgyz capital for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit was his first official trip abroad since taking office in August.      Rouhani…

What to do now? Iran Torn on Syria

September 11, 2013
Alireza Nader             Iran has mixed feelings and conflicting interests in the Syrian crisis. Tehran has a strategic interest in opposing chemical weapons due to its own horrific experience during the 1980-1988 war with Iraq. For years, President Saddam Hussein’s military used chemical…

Zarif TV Interview in English on Nuke Talks

September 11, 2013
            On September 11, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed nuclear talks and the Syrian crisis in an interview with Press TV, Iran’s English-language news channel. The interview was reproduced on YouTube in two parts. Zarif speaks English fluently after receiving two degrees from…

Obama: Shifting Language on Iran?

September 11, 2013
            On September 10, President Barack Obama warned that inaction in the face of Syria’s use of chemical weapons would embolden Iran. Obama presented Tehran with two options during his address to the American public. Iran “must decide whether to ignore international law by building a nuclear…

Rouhani Cabinet: Profiles

September 10, 2013
            Rouhani’s cabinet reflects a dramatic shift in the balance of power. After one month in office, the top officials are now outlining the policies of Rouhani’s administration.            The majority of the ministers -- 15 of 18 who were immediately confirmed -- were ministers or senior…

Profile: New Security Council Chief

September 10, 2013
            On September 10, President Hassan Rouhani appointed former Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani as the new secretary of the Supreme National Security Council -- effectively making him national security advisor. Shamkhani, a centrist, will replace hardliner Saeed Jalili, who was chief…

U.S. Eases Sanctions for Medicine, Sports

September 10, 2013
            On September 10, the U.S. Treasury eased sanctions on humanitarian activity and athletic exchanges with Iran. Nongovernmental organizations can now provide disaster relief and conduct projects on environmental issues, human rights and democracy. And athletic exchanges will be easier to…

Rouhani and Zarif Wish Jews Happy New Year

September 6, 2013
            On September 4, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif used Twitter to wish a happy new year to the world’s Jews. “As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah,” tweeted Rouhani. Iran is home to…

US Expands Sanctions, EU Court Voids Others

September 6, 2013
            On September 6, Iran faced new sanctions imposed by the United States as the top European court mandated the lifting of sanctions on key Iranian banks and business.           The European Court of Justice criticized the European Union for relying on alleged insufficient or inconclusive…

US Renews Sanctions Waivers for 11 Nations

September 6, 2013
            On September 6, the United States extended Iran sanctions waivers to Japan and 10 E.U. countries for significantly reducing their crude oil purchases from Tehran. Japan’s imports of Iranian oil in June 2013 were down 38.1 percent compared to a year earlier. Washington had already…

Report: Iran’s Strategy in Afghanistan

September 6, 2013
            Iran is set to play a major role in Afghanistan after the 2014 pullout of U.S. combat troops, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. On August 5, 2013 — President Hassan Rouhani’s first day in office —Tehran signed strategic cooperation…

Iran Factor in U.S. Syria Strike

September 4, 2013
            Iran has been a constant subtext of the Obama administration’s campaign to justify a military strike on Syria. Both proponents and opponents of a strike have have referred to Iran’s controversial nuclear program as a factor in deliberations. Proponents have argued that an attack could…

Rouhani Wishes Jews Happy New Year

September 4, 2013
            On September 4, President Hassan Rouhani used Twitter to wish a happy new year to the world’s Jews. Iran is home to some 25,000 Jews—the second largest population in the Middle East outside of Israel. His tweet contrasted starkly with the tone of his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who…

Iran Minorities 2: Ethnic Diversity

September 3, 2013
Bijan DaBell      Persians are Iran’s largest ethnic group, but nearly a dozen other ethnicities represent well over a third of the 79 million population. The largest ethnic groups, which are major factors in Iranian politics, are Azeris, Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis, and Lors. Others include Turkomen,…

Iran Minorities 1: Diverse Religions

September 3, 2013
Bijan DaBell                        Iran may be the world’s only modern theocracy, but the Islamic Republic’s constitution actually mandates a political role for three religious minorities. Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians all have seats in the 290-seat parliament proportionate to their…

Iran Officials Warn Against Syria Strike

September 3, 2013
      Iran’s political and military leaders have condemned calls for Western military intervention following reports of chemical weapons use in Syria. Military action would drag the Middle East into “the abyss of violence and conflict,” warned Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on August 27.…

Foreign Minister’s Facebook Essay on Chemical Weapons

August 30, 2013
      On August 30, Iran's new foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif posted an essay on his personal Facebook page strongly condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria. But he also challenged the international response -- and hypocrisy -- in light of the world's lack of action in the 1980s when…

Khamenei Google+ : On Iran’s Lazy Youth

August 30, 2013
            On August 29, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office announced the launch of his English language Google Plus account. One of the first postings bemoaned the laziness of Iran’s youth and included a picture of Khamenei walking up a mountain road. Tehran has periodically blocked…

Rouhani Tweets: Women, Egypt, Econ & Sport

August 28, 2013
      During his first month in office, President Hassan Rouhani’s office tweeted extensively on women’s rights, job creation and foreign policy. He promised to take decisive action to fix the economy within 100 days. But Rouhani also warned, “I'm no miracle maker” in one tweet. “National unity,…

Khamenei Comments: On Foreign Policy

August 28, 2013
      In August, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei focused particularly on regional conflicts and foreign policy. He urged Egyptians to avoid a civil war—and prevent the kind of conflict that is destroying Syria. Khamenei blamed the bloodshed in Syria and Iraq on foreign powers. “U.S.…