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Report: Is Iran a Cyber Power?

July 29, 2013
            Iran could pose a challenge to the United States despite its limited cyber warfare capabilities, according to a new report by the Atlantic Council. Given Tehran’s weak conventional forces, cyber attacks could be an attractive alternative. “Iran does not need the equivalent of a Ferrari…

Iran Angry Over New US Bill

July 28, 2013
             On August 1, Tehran warned that new U.S. legislation calling for tighter sanctions would “further complicate” negotiations on its controversial nuclear program. “Imposing sanctions against Iran is a failed policy,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi. On July 31, the U.S.…

Ahmadinejad’s Legacy: Top 10 (Mis)Hits

July 25, 2013
Robin Wright            President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leaves office with little to show for his eight years in power. Iran’s toxic economy is often blamed on his mismanagement as much as on international sanctions. Politically, his reelection in 2009 ignited the largest protests since the 1979…

Can Rouhani Resolve Iran's Economic Crisis?

July 25, 2013
Bijan Khajehpour            After taking over the presidential office in early August, President-elect Hassan Rouhani will face a long host of economic challenges. He has made the economy—especially tackling unemployment—his highest priority, but it is clear that the process of reversing the…

US Eases Rules on Export of Humanitarian Aid

July 25, 2013
            On July 25, the United States introduced new measures to ease the export of humanitarian goods, especially medical supplies, to Iran. Humanitarian supplies are technically not restricted by sanctions, but U.S. sanctions on key Iranian banks has affected the ability to pay for medical…

Rouhani Tweets! Change in 140-characters?

July 24, 2013
Garrett Nada             Hassan Rouhani is big into Twitter. (Or at least someone in his office is.) Since his election, Iran’s new president has tweeted prolifically —in both English and Farsi – on everything from World Cup soccer to women’s rights, from nuclear negotiations to Internet…

Iran: The Week in Review

July 23, 2013
Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani            The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers the latest news on Iran, based on a selection of Iranian news sources. It is a weekly summary of up-to-date information with links to news in both English and Farsi.…

Rouhani and the Revolutionary Guards

July 23, 2013
Will Fulton            Fulton is the author of “The IRGC Command Network: Formal Structures and Informal Influence,” which details the evolution of a powerful faction within the Revolutionary Guard’s core leadership and its influence on regime decision-making. How have the Revolutionary Guards…

New Challenges to Iran-Syria Alliance

July 22, 2013
Jubin Goodarzi              There is no doubt that one of the most intriguing developments in modern Middle East politics has been the emergence and continuity of the Iranian-Syrian alliance since its formation in 1979. Generally speaking, there are three important reasons to study and…

Report: US and EU Sanctions Bite

July 21, 2013
            New rounds of tightened sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors hit hard in 2013. The economy is now suffering from “high inflation, a devalued currency, unemployment and high food costs,” according to an updated report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.…

131 Lawmakers to Obama: Deal with Rouhani

July 19, 2013
            A bipartisan group of 131 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have joined Representatives Charlie Dent (R-PA) and David Price (D-NC) in urging President Barack Obama to reinvigorate U.S.-Iran diplomacy. They argued that the United States should test whether Hassan Rouhani's…

What Iran’s Election Means for the Future

July 18, 2013
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo      Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo was a member of Iran’s parliament between 2000 and 2004. Elected at the age of 30, she was the youngest woman member ever elected to the Majles and one of only 13 women — among 290 — in the sixth parliament. Haghighatjoo charged the Revolutionary…

Iran: The Week in Review

July 18, 2013
Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani            The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers the latest news on Iran, based on a selection of Iranian news sources. It is a weekly summary of up-to-date information with links to news in both English and Farsi.July…

Ex-officials say Reinvigorate Iran Diplomacy

July 15, 2013
July 15, 2013The Honorable Barack H. ObamaPresident of the United States of AmericaThe White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500  Dear President Obama,            The election of Hassan Rouhani to be Iran’s next president presents a major potential opportunity to…

Report: New Progress on Arak Reactor

July 15, 2013
            Iran’s heavy water reactor near the central city of Arak will likely begin operating in 2014, according to a new report by the Institute for Science and International Security. U.N. Security Council resolutions dating back to 2006 have urged Iran to stop construction on the Arak reactor…

US Report: Limited Sanctions Impact

July 14, 2013
            The following are excerpts from a new Congressional Research Service report on Iran sanctions with a link to the full text at the end.   Summary             Increasingly strict sanctions on Iran—which target primarily Iran’s key energy sector as well as its ability to access the…

Secret Nuclear Facility: Claim and Denial

July 14, 2013
            An exiled opposition group claimed that Iran has been hiding an underground nuclear site since 2006. “The People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) has discovered credible evidence of a secret new nuclear site, gathered over a year by 50 sources in various parts of the regime," according to a…

Iran on Egypt: Range of Reactions

July 10, 2013
      Many top Iranian officials have condemned the military coup against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. “The interference of military forces in the political scene is unacceptable,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi said on July 8. He charged that Western powers were…

Iran's Car Chaos

July 10, 2013
      Iran is the world's fourth most dangerous country for driving in terms of road traffic death rate, according to a recent World Health Organization report. More than 27,000 people die each year in traffic accidents, equivalent to about 34.1 deaths per 100,000 people. The Dominican Republic,…

Iran Missile Program Expanding

July 10, 2013
      Iran could develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States by 2015, according to a new report by U.S. National Air and Space Intelligence Center. Tehran’s extensive missile development program has benefited from Chinese, North Korean and Russian…

Iran: The Week in Review

July 10, 2013
Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani            The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers the latest news on Iran, based on a selection of Iranian news sources. It is a weekly summary of up-to-date information with links to news in both English and Farsi.July 5:…

Iran Expanding Naval Power

July 10, 2013
      Iran is expanding its maritime territorial claims while strengthening naval ties with China and Russia, according to a new Institute for the Study of War report. Tehran reduced the size, scope and duration of local naval exercises during the past year. But it also increased long-range…

Iran: Record High Foreign Investment

July 9, 2013
            Foreign direct investment in Iran surpassed $4.8 billion in 2012, a record high for the Islamic Republic according to a new U.N. report. Global foreign direct investment fell 18 percent to $1.35 trillion in 2012 while investment in Iran actually grew 17 percent. Iran was the second…

Iran Willing to Accept Syrian Peace Talks?

July 2, 2013
Jubin Goodarzi      Iran may be searching for an exit strategy in Syria. Tehran initially supported President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on the rebels since Syria is a frontline against the West and Israel. But Iran’s position on the conflict has evolved since fighting erupted in mid-2011. Tehran…

Gallup: Half of Iran Lacks Funds for Basics

July 1, 2013
             Iranian residents' election of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani to the presidency has been widely interpreted as evidence of their desire for meaningful change in the country. Rouhani will preside over an increasingly distressed population: Half of Iranians say there have been times…

Rouhani: Rival Constituencies

June 24, 2013
Alireza Nader            Hassan Rouhani now faces the hard part. Iran’s president-elect won a decisive and surprising victory because he appealed to three conflicting constituencies— conservatives, reformists exiled from the political system, and Iranians dissatisfied with the status quo. Now his…

Rouhani: Challenges Ahead

June 24, 2013
Haleh Esfandiari             The decisive election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new president has been greeted around the world as a sign that Iranians are tired of hardline policies at home and abroad and are ready to embrace change. But the outcome also raises the question of how the new…

Rouhani in his own words: On Nukes, Talks

June 24, 2013
      In mid-2005, President-elect Hassan Rouhani gave a detailed speech outlining Iran’s nuclear needs and its negotiating strategy with the outside world. The 39-page speech is the best indication – in his own words—of his views on Iran’s controversial program. Most notably, he told senior…

Khamenei Comments: Nuclear Deal “Easy”

June 24, 2013
      In a meeting with the judiciary, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested that a deal on Iran’s controversial nuclear program would be “easy” to achieve if unspecified countries in an “anti-Iranian front” were not so stubborn. “If they set aside stubbornness, resolving the Iranian…

Rouhani College Thesis: Islam Flexible

June 24, 2013
      As a graduate student in Scotland, President-elect Hassan Rouhani wrote about two deeply debated issues: the flexibility of Islamic law and the separation of powers in an Islamic democracy. His work in the mid-1990s echoes many of the reformist ideas at the time.      Glasgow Caledonian…