New Articles

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…

Economic Impact of a U.S.-Iran Conflict

November 16, 2012
            On November 16, a new report by the Federation of American Scientists estimated that a full-scale U.S. invasion of Iran could cost $1.7 trillion. The report on the potential impact of a conflict featured six different scenarios for the global economy. In one scenario, additional U.S.…

Iran’s Post-U.S. Influence in Iraq

November 15, 2012
Interview with Ambassador Jim Jeffrey By Garrett Nada               Jim Jeffrey was U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 2010-2012. He was also ambassador to Turkey, and deputy national security advisor under the George W. Bush administration. He is now a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute…

Obama to Push for Dialogue with Iran

November 14, 2012
            On November 14, President Barack Obama announced that he will push to start a dialogue between Iran and the international community in the coming months. “There should be a way in which they [the Iranians] can enjoy peaceful nuclear power while still meeting their international…

U.S. "Appalled" After Blogger Dies in Iran Prison

November 13, 2012
            On November 9, the United States condemned Iran's persecution of blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died in prison reportedly after being tortured. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland issued the following statement.             We are appalled by reports that Iranian authorities…

Obama to Continue Iran’s National Emergency Status

November 9, 2012
            On November 9, President Barack Obama officially notified Congress that the White House will continue the national emergency status of Iran. The following is an excerpt from his letter with links to the two formal notifications.             Our relations with Iran have not yet…

The List: Iran Bans Luxury Imports

November 9, 2012
            On November 8, the Islamic Republic announced a ban on over 70 types of foreign luxury goods. Iran Daily reported that the ban on imports could save the country $4 billion annually. Tehran’s foreign currency reserves are low due to international sanctions on its oil sales. Oil exports…

Will Obama Win Jumpstart Diplomacy?

November 8, 2012
Patrick Clawson Diplomacy has been on hold since the last round of talks in June between Iran and the world’s six major powers in Moscow. What are the diplomatic options after the U.S. presidential election?             The talks have stalled since June. The Iranians may have been waiting to…

Iran Reacts to Obama Win

November 8, 2012
            After President Obama’s reelection, Iranian officials indicated that they are open to renewed negotiations. “If it benefits us, we can hold talks with America even at the bottom of hell,” said Human Rights Council Secretary Mohammad Javad Larijani. His conservative brother, Judiciary…

U.S. Sanctions 17 Individuals and Entities

November 8, 2012
            On November 8, the U.S. Treasury announced “a set of targeted sanctions against 17 individuals and entities related to the Iranian government’s human rights abuses, its support of terrorism, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).” The actions were taken according to the…

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…