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Iran Letter to U.N. on Israeli Threat

November 8, 2012
            On November 7, Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee sent a letter to the United Nations claiming that "Iran has never had any intention to attack any other nation." Khazaee condemned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent comments suggesting Israel would strike Iranian nuclear…

U.N. Nuclear Watchdog: No progress over past year

November 6, 2012
            On November 5, United Nations nuclear chief Yukiya Amano announced that his agency “cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.” Talks between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency since November 2011 have not delivered “concrete results,” he…

Ahmadinejad Concedes to Supreme Leader

November 2, 2012
            On November 1, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledged to focus on Iran’s economic problems instead of domestic quarrels in a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The letter was posted on the president’s website just one day after Khamenei called public disputes treasonous.…

Khamenei Comments: Squabbling Is Treasonous

November 1, 2012
            On October 31, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rebuked officials for publically squabbling to score political points. “From today to election day [for president next June], whoever willfully takes disputes to the people and uses their sentiments to provoke differences has…

Talk of Tehran: The Tumbling Economy

October 31, 2012
Helia Ighani             Iran’s media is increasingly outspoken about the troubled economy, but newspapers are deeply divided over who is at fault. Editorials have become even sharper since new E.U. sanctions on Iran’s national oil, tanker, and gas companies were imposed in October…

Tribunal Blames Iran for Abuses

October 31, 2012
            On October 27, the Iran Tribunal charged that the Islamic Republic was responsible “for gross violations of human rights against its citizens under the International Covenant of Civil and Political rights” during the 1980s. The document is an interim report, with a full judgment…

Judiciary Slams Ahmadinejad

October 26, 2012
            On October 21, Iran’s judiciary denied President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad permission to visit his press advisor in Evin prison. Ali Akbar Javanfekr had been arrested and jailed for six months in September while Ahmadinejad was in New York for the U.N. General Assembly. The court convicted…

Obama, Romney Debate Iran Policy

October 23, 2012
            On October 22, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney clashed over U.S. policy toward Iran’s nuclear program. During the final presidential debate, Obama claimed U.S.-led sanctions have brought Iran to its "weakest point economically, strategically, [and] militarily.” But…

Iran, U.S. Deny Report on Bilateral Talks

October 22, 2012
            On October 20, the New York Times published an article claiming that the United States and Iran had agreed to hold bilateral talks after the U.S. presidential election. The article was allegedly based on comments by anonymous White House officials. Later that night, National Security…

Pew: More Americans Favor Firm Stand on Iran

October 22, 2012
            The Pew Research Center conducted a poll on the U.S. public‘s views on the Middle East in early October. Around 56 percent of respondents favored taking a firm stand against Iran, while 35 percent preferred avoiding war. The results were released on October 18, ahead of the final…

U.S. Targets Iran-based al Qaeda Branch

October 19, 2012
            On October 18, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned the deputy of an al Qaeda branch operating in Iran. Abdel Radi Saqr al Wahabi al Harbi is responsible for transferring operatives to Afghanistan or Iraq via Iran. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said the…

Sanctions Bite, Iran Scrambles

October 17, 2012
Gary Clyde Hufbauer  The European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s financial, energy, trade, and transport sectors on October 15. What impact will these measures have on Iran’s economy?               Oil and gas account for close to 90 percent of Iran’s exports. Anything that…

Escalating US-Iran Rivalry

October 17, 2012
            On October 10, the Center for Strategic and International Studies warned that sanctions and diplomatic isolation may not convince Iran to negotiate an agreement on its nuclear program. The United States and its allies may be facing years of “steadily escalating confrontation” over “…

U.S. Welcomes E.U. Sanctions

October 16, 2012
            On October 15, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that “Iran is under more pressure than ever before” thanks to new E.U. sanctions on its financial, trade, energy and transport sectors. At a separate press briefing, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland clarified…

E.U. Imposes New Sanctions

October 15, 2012
            On October 15, the European Union targeted Iran’s nuclear program with new sanctions on its financial, energy, trade, and transport sectors. The E.U. Council condemned Tehran’s “continuing production of enriched uranium” and “flagrant violation of its international obligations.”…

Opiate Trafficking Through Iran

October 12, 2012
            On October 11, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime released a report showing that Iran is the only Western/Central Asian country to make more heroin seizures every year since 2004. Over the last decade, Iran built extensive infrastructure on its 600 mile eastern border with Afghanistan…

Biden, Ryan Debate on Iran Crisis

October 12, 2012
            On October 11, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican candidate Paul Ryan quarreled over how to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. During the vice presidential debate, Ryan charged that President Barack Obama’s administration is not doing enough to stop the nuclear program. But Biden…

US Tightens Sanction Loopholes

October 12, 2012
            On October 9, the United States moved to tighten loopholes in its Iran sanctions. President Barack Obama’s new Executive Order will implement additional punitive measures that he signed into law on August 10, 2012. National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor said the law sanctions…

West Claims Sanctions Now Biting

October 11, 2012
             After six years of international sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, Western powers claim that their punitive measures are having a significant impact on Iran’s economy. According to U.S., European and Israeli officials, sanctions have compounded problems generated by Tehran’s…

Blame Game on Currency Crisis

October 9, 2012
Helia Ighani                       Iran’s currency crisis has sparked deep divisions inside the regime. Top officials have blamed others in the Tehran government for mismanagement and irresponsible fiscal policies. The regime has countered by citing international sanctions for a role in the…

IMF Forecasts Limited Sanctions Impact

October 9, 2012
            The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts economic growth and lower inflation for Iran in 2013, suggesting that sanctions have taken a limited toll on the economy. The IMF’s semi-annual World Economic Outlook estimates that Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) will fall .9 percent…

Iran's Enrichment Pace

October 9, 2012
           On Oct. 8, the Institute for Science and International Security warned that Iran’s uranium enrichment pace is increasing and that its breakout times are shortening. The report also notes that the United States would likely detect an Iranian dash to build a nuclear weapon. But Iran’s…

Rand: Containing Iran

October 9, 2012
            On Sept. 27, the Rand Corporation published a study concluding that “coercion is unlikely to convince Iran to change course” on its nuclear program. Author Robert Reardon estimates that Iran would need one year to produce a single bomb after deciding to weaponize its program. But he…

Analysis on Iran Currency Crisis

October 3, 2012
            Iran's currency has dropped by a stunning 40 percent in a mere week, generating protests in Tehran. But the currency crisis dates back more than a year. The following is a news analysis providing context on Iran's fluctuating rial by Siamak Namazi.             News of currency…

Foreign Minister on Nukes, Diplomacy, Syria

October 3, 2012
            On Oct. 1, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the Council on Foreign Relations that Iran was not seeking a nuclear weapon because it would only increase regional tensions and threats to Iran. He also warned against intervention in Syria, but criticized the regime of…

Part III: Would Iran Turn to Terror?

October 2, 2012
Alireza Nader             In a conflict with the United States or Israel, Tehran could turn to terror tactics—directly or indirectly through proxies—to create leverage when it is significantly outmanned and outgunned against conventional military forces. The Islamic Republic has sporadically…

Part II: Will Iran Close the Strait of Hormuz?

October 2, 2012
Alireza Nader             Iran’s repeated threats to close the Strait of Hormuz are a pivotal part of a military strategy based on psychological and asymmetric warfare. Blocking the strategic waterway, through which 90 percent of Persian Gulf oil flows to the outside world, would have sweeping…

Part I: How Would Iran Fight Back?

October 1, 2012
Alireza Nader             Iran’s response to Israeli or U.S. air strikes is likely to feature unconventional tactics that would not necessarily lead to battlefield successes, such as defeat of the U.S. Fifth Fleet. But its strategy could theoretically achieve an overall political and…

US takes MEK off terrorism list

September 28, 2012
            On Sept. 28, the U.S. State Department revoked the Mujahedin-e Khalq’s (MEK) designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The leftist group killed six Americans in Iran in the 1970s and attempted an attack against the Iranian mission to the United Nations in 1992. The State…

Iran and the Arab Spring: Ascendancy Frustrated

September 28, 2012
Shahram Chubin On Sept. 27, the Gulf Research Center published “Iran and the Arab Spring: Ascendancy Frustrated” by Shahram Chubin.   A PDF of the full report can be found at the bottom of the page. The following excerpts are a summary of the report:   Introduction: The Geopolitics of the…