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U.S. on Earthquake Aid

August 14, 2012
On August 12, 2012, the United States offered aid to Iran after two earthquakes reportedly hit almost 200 villages near the northwest city of Tabriz. The early official Iranian reports cited more than 300 dead, 3,000 injured and some 16,000 left homeless. The United States has previously provided…

U.S. Sanctions Syrian Oil Company for Iran Support

August 10, 2012
On August 10, the United States “imposed sanctions on the Syrian state-run oil company Sytrol under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA), for conducting business with Iran’s energy sector.” State Department Deputy…

Tehran Conference Statement on Syria

August 10, 2012
On August 9, Iran hosted an emergency conference on developments in Syria. Envoys from 26 countries attended the one-day meeting including Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Benin, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman,…

New Congressional Sanctions on Iran

August 2, 2012
On August 1, Congress voted to impose new sanctions on Iran that target companies aiding Tehran’s energy sector. The Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act of 2012 differs from President Obama’s July 31 executive order by targeting companies conducting business with Iran’s national…

Panetta: “All options” on the table for Iran

August 2, 2012
On August 1, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that “all options” are on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, including “military options.” At a joint press conference with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Panetta admitted that although sanctions are having a “biting” impact,…

Iran “Leading” State Sponsor of Terrorism

August 1, 2012
On July 31, the State Department reported that Iran is the world’s “leading” state sponsor of terrorism. According to the Country Reports on Terrorism 2011, Tehran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force to support additional terrorist activities and “implement foreign policy goals…

Part II: U.S. Assesses New Sanctions

August 1, 2012
On July 31, the Obama administration provided a briefing on the new U.S. sanctions on Iran. In this conference call, three government officials discussed President Obama’s new sanctions and the impact of existing sanctions on Iran’s government and economy. The following are excerpts from the…

Part I: U.S. Sanctions Oil Industry

July 31, 2012
On July 31, President Obama issued the following statement on new sanctions on Iranian oil and foreign financial institutions that facilitate transactions for Iranian banks. Today, the United States is announcing two significant steps that strengthen our efforts to pressure and isolate the Iranian…

Iran’s Evolving Policy on Syria

July 30, 2012
Garrett Nada Iran has consistently supported President Bashar Assad since the uprising erupted in March 2011. Yet Iran’s tone on the Syrian crisis has noticeably evolved. Tehran initially subscribed to the official Syrian narrative; it described the protests as insignificant and orchestrated by…

Part II: U.S. Slams Iran on Baha’is

July 30, 2012
The State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom report focused particular attention on Iran’s Baha’is, the country’s largest religious minority at between 300,000 and 350,000.   In releasing the report for 2011, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson…

Part I: Iran “Horrible” on Religious Freedom

July 30, 2012
On July 30, 2012, the U.S. Department of State released its annual International Religious Freedom Report, which highlighted serious human rights violations in Iran. The new report outlines persecution of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic.At a briefing on the 2011 report, Ambassador-at-…

Romney: Iran "testing our moral defenses"

July 30, 2012
On July 29, U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered a much-anticipated speech on foreign policy in Jerusalem. His remarks to the Jerusalem Foundation focused on the U.S.-Israel relationship and the current state of affairs in the Middle East. The following are excerpts from the speech…

Iran Leaders Openly Bemoan Economic Pain

July 25, 2012
Helia IghaniThroughout July, a broad range of top political leaders, lawmakers and even military generals have publicly conceded that Iran faces growing economic hardships—with increasingly dangerous consequences. They have blamed both tightening international sanctions and years of government…

U.S. Warns Iran about Prisoners

July 19, 2012
On July 18, the State Department expressed concern about the deteriorating condition of political prisoners in Iran. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland issued the following statement. We are concerned by recent reports that Kurdish activist Mohammed Seddigh Kaboudvand and human rights defender Nargess…

Reformist Challenges Iran’s Nuclear Program

July 13, 2012
On July 10, reformist politician Abdollah Nouri openly challenged the benefits of Iran’s controversial nuclear program. The comments were striking because Nouri, a cleric, was long a regime insider with close ties to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini. He also served twice as Interior Minister…

New U.S. Sanctions Target 50 Iranian Entities

July 12, 2012
On July 12, the United States announced broad new sanctions on Iranian front companies and banks linked to the proliferation of nuclear and missiles programs. The following is a statement from the U.S. Treasury Department, with a link to the full list of targeted entities at the bottom.…

China's Oil Cutbacks may be only Temporary

July 9, 2012
Erica Downs On June 28, the United States reported that China cut its imports of Iranian oil by 25 percent to avoid U.S. sanctions. What impact will the cutback have on China-Iran relations, both economically and politically?  Politically, the exemption from the Obama administration…

U.S. Condemns Iran's Anti-Semitic Remarks

July 3, 2012
On July 3, the State Department issued the following statement condemning comments by Iran's vice president.We strongly condemn Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi’s vile anti-Semitic and racist comments on June 26 at the International Day Against Drug Abuse conference in Tehran. …

U.S. Heralds European Sanctions on Iran

July 2, 2012
On July 1, the White House press secretary issued the following statement on the European Union’s new sanctions on Iranian oil, as they went into effect.   Statement by the Press Secretary on European Union Actions on Iranian Oil   The United States welcomes the European Union’s prohibition of…

White House Briefing on New U.S. Sanctions

June 28, 2012
On June 28, three senior Obama administration officials gave a briefing on the growing impact of international sanctions on Iran and the new U.S. sanctions on countries that import oil from the Islamic Republic. The following are key excerpts, with factual assessments in bold: Senior…

China Cuts Back Iran Oil Imports

June 28, 2012
On June 28, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a waiver on China and Singapore from facing U.S. sanctions because both have now significantly cut back on their imports of Iranian oil. The following is her statement. Today I have made the determination that two additional countries, China…

Iran Both Fights and Facilitates Narcotics

June 26, 2012
Garrett Nada After struggling for decades to combat narcotics, Iran is today both fighting and facilitating narcotics, according to reports by the United Nations, the United States and Iran. Tehran has escalated its campaign against narcotics use and trafficking with help from the United Nations…

What Happened when Putin and Netanyahu talked Iran?

June 25, 2012
Mark  N. KatzOn Iran, what came out of the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel? What specifically did each leader want from the other?The Putin-Netanyahu summit made little progress in bridging vast differences between Russian and…

Clinton and Baker on Diplomacy v. War

June 21, 2012
On June 20, the State Department hosted a conversation on U.S. foreign policy between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State James Baker. The following are excerpts from the discussion, which was hosted by Charlie Rose.   CLINTON: One of the real successes of…

Quotes from Iran nuclear talks June 18-19

June 20, 2012
The world’s six major powers held talks with Iran in Moscow on June 18 and 19. The following are comments from key parties to the talks. Six Major Powers  European Union foreign policy chief Lady Catherine Ashton We set out our respective positions in what were detailed, tough and frank…

ICG Warns on Brinksmanship with Iran

June 16, 2012
On June 15, the International Crisis Group issued a report warning that the new negotiations between the world’s six major powers and Iran is becoming a “diplomatic roller coaster.” The assessment warns that the talks are likely to “hit a wall” unless the parties on both sides alter their…

44 Senators Warn Obama on Iran Diplomacy

June 15, 2012
 June 15, 2012 President Barack ObamaThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Ave NWWashington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President: We are writing to share our views about discussions between the Iranian government and the P5+1 over Iran’s nuclear program.  We are concerned that, while the meetings held…

Iranian Hip Hop: Voice of Resistance

June 15, 2012
Ayesha ChughHip-hop music is increasingly the voice of underground protest against Iran’s puritanical restrictions and political repression. It’s been nicknamed Rap-e Farsi, a word-play on the music and national language. Farsi, a poetic language, is particularly conducive to rap. The Islamic…

Hillary Clinton and Shimon Peres on Iran

June 12, 2012
On June 12, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Israeli President Shimon Peres held a public discussion in Washington on critical Middle East issues to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center. The following is an excerpt about Iran from their discussion…

U.S. Waivers Seven Countries for Reducing Iran Oil

June 11, 2012
On June 11, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued the following statement on Significant Reductions of Iranian Crude Oil Purchases: Today I have made the determination that seven economies—India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan--have all significantly…