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Iran Expects New Offer at Upcoming Talks

February 22, 2013
            Iranian officials expect the world’s six powers to make a new offer at the fourth round of nuclear talks scheduled for February 26. Iran will negotiate with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States—the so-called P5+1— in Almaty, Kazakhstan. “We will just be…

U.N. Report: Iran Upgrading Nuclear Capabilities

February 21, 2013
            Iran has begun installing new centrifuges for enriching uranium at the Natanz nuclear facility, according to a new report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Tehran had informed the United Nations in January 2013 that it would install the advanced models, which can enrich uranium two or three…

Nukes, Negotiations and “Argo”

February 20, 2013
John Limbert What is the lesson of “Argo” when it comes to dealing with Iran?               The historical thriller has swept the awards season. “Argo” probably has a better chance of winning an Oscar on February 24 than the negoti­ators have of breaking their long deadlock. The film’s real…

Report: Iran Nuke May Not Trigger Arms Race

February 20, 2013
            Saudi Arabia would probably not rush to acquire a nuclear weapon if Iran builds one, according to a new report by the Center for a New American Security. It is widely assumed that Riyadh would rush to develop its own bomb or acquire weapons from Pakistan. But the report argues that “…

U.S. Poll: 83 Percent See Iran as Top Threat

February 19, 2013
            About 83 percent of Americans ranked Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions as the greatest threats to U.S. interests, according to a new poll by Gallup. The development of nuclear weapons by the two nations tied for the top spot on a list of nine potential threats.           …

Khamenei: Iran Not Seeking Nuclear Weapons

February 19, 2013
            On February 16, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed Iran has no intention to build nuclear weapons. But he warned that if Tehran decided to build them, the United States could not stop it.            The Supreme Leader called Washington hypocritical on nuclear proliferation,…

Democrats Propose Posting U.S. Diplomat in Iran

February 19, 2013
            On February 15, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced legislation that would reestablish a new diplomatic envoy to Iran. The high level envoy would be responsible for pursuing direct, sustained, bilateral and multilateral negotiations with Tehran to prevent it from…

U.S. Condemns Imprisonment of Opposition

February 14, 2013
            On February 14, the United States condemned Iran's continued imprisonment of former presidential candidates and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and his wife, women’s rights activist Zahra Rahnavard. They have been under house arrest for two years without being…

Iran Responds to U.N. on Nuclear Program

February 13, 2013
            Tehran is serious about upcoming talks with the six world powers, and expects them to be forthcoming, according to a statement from the Iranian Mission to the United Nations. Iran is scheduled to discuss its controversial nuclear program with China, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and…

Obama: Time for a Diplomatic Solution

February 13, 2013
            On February 12, President Obama said Iran’s leaders “must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution” to the nuclear issue, during his State of the Union address. He warned that the United States will do “what is necessary” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.…

Khamenei: U.S. Policies Have Failed in Mideast

February 13, 2013
            On February 7, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that U.S. Middle East policies have failed. He condemned the U.S. response to the Arab uprisings in a speech to Iranian Air Force commanders and personnel. “You suppress the nations who have risen in revolt as much as you can,…

U.S. Sanctions Chinese Firms for Proliferation

February 13, 2013
            On February 11, the U.S. State Department imposed new nonproliferation sanctions on entities and individuals from Belarus, China, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela. Credible information indicated that they had transferred to, or acquired from, Iran, North Korea, or Syria, equipment and…

Iran Reacts to Obama’s New Team

February 13, 2013
            Tehran has sent mixed messages on President Obama’s secretary of state nominee John Kerry and defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. Two Foreign Ministry officials said they hoped Kerry and Hagel would revise U.S. foreign policy towards Iran. But Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei…

Iran’s Successes and Failures - 34 Years Later

February 9, 2013
Daniel Brumberg On February 11, Iran will mark the 34th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. What are Iran’s successes?               The Islamic Republic is now a regional power, thanks to three decades of social, economic, diplomatic, and military advancements. But not all of these…

New Human Rights Watch Report on Iran

February 9, 2013
            In 2012, Iran put opposition leaders under house arrest, harassed and arrested civil society activists, and prevented opposition candidates from running for parliament, according to the new World Report by Human Rights Watch. The following are excerpts from the Iran chapter with a link…

Sanctions and Medical Supply Shortages in Iran

February 9, 2013
            Sanctions have unintentionally played a key role in creating shortages of life-saving medical supplies and drugs in Iran, according to a new report by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Siamak Namazi and several consultants interviewed Iranian importers, manufacturers…

Nuclear Issue: Why is Iran Negotiating?

February 9, 2013
            The Islamic Republic is under increasing domestic and international pressure to be more flexible on its nuclear program, according to according to a new report by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Iran is scheduled to meet with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia…

Gallup: Most Iranians Support Nuclear Program Despite Sanctions

February 7, 2013
            Nearly half of Iranians said international sanctions have hurt their personal livelihoods a great deal, according to a new Gallup survey. Another 35 percent said sanctions have somewhat affected their livelihoods. Despite the impact of sanctions, 63 percent of surveyed Iranians said…

Supreme Leader Rejects U.S. Overture

February 7, 2013
            On February 7, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected an offer by Vice President Joe Biden for direct talks. “Some naïve people like the idea of negotiating with America. However, negotiations will not solve the problem,” he said in a speech to Iranian Air Force commanders…

Treasury Sanctions Oil Revenues and Targets Human Rights Abusers

February 6, 2013
            On February 6, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and other financial institutions to restrict Tehran’s ability to spend oil revenues. The Treasury Department also designated one individual and four entities for involvement in censorship…

Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle

February 6, 2013
            Iran is still years away from developing nuclear weapons, according to a new report by the Arms Control Association. Evidence suggests that the Islamic Republic has not decided whether or not to build a weapon. But in the meantime, Tehran is building up its technological base and…

What is Iran’s Strategy at New Talks?

February 5, 2013
Alireza Nader What is Iran's strategy on diplomacy today — now that a fourth round of talks is scheduled in Kazakhstan on February 26?               Iran is still willing to give diplomacy a chance after a seven-month hiatus, as demonstrated by the announcement of new talks. But Tehran wants…

What are Prospects for Progress at New Talks?

February 4, 2013
Bruce Riedel   The world’s six major powers and Iran are due to hold the fourth round of talks in Kazakhstan on February 26. What has to happen to make these talks a success—even if it just means enough to hold a fifth round?               Iran would need to announce a tangible reversal of its…

Chuck Hagel on Iran at Senate Hearing

February 4, 2013
            On January 31, defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel said the United States should pursue all diplomatic options with Iran, including direct engagement if the “dynamics are right.” But he also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the “military option must remain on the table.”…

Biden: U.S. Open to Direct Talks with Iran

February 2, 2013
            On February 2, Vice President Joe Biden said the United States is prepared to hold direct talks with Iran to resolve tensions over its controversial nuclear program. Biden said there is still time for diplomacy, either through the current format involving the world’s six major powers or…

Clinton’s Parting Words on Iran

February 1, 2013
            During her last week as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton made several comments on Iran and unfinished U.S. business. The following are excerpts from various farewell interviews and speeches.  Remarks on American Leadership at the Council on Foreign Relations  Jan. 31, 2013  …

Khamenei Comments: West Wants to Block Election

February 1, 2013
            In three major speeches in January, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei focused on the upcoming presidential election, the troubled economy and Muslim unity worldwide.             In a speech on January 19, Khamenei charged that the United States and other world powers are trying to…

Part IV - Pivotal Election: The Issues

January 31, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             Three major issues will dominate Iran’s presidential election in June: ·    A deteriorating economy due to both chronic mismanagement and tough international sanctions, ·    The nuclear stand-off with the West, the flashpoint undermining Iran’s broader foreign…

Part III - Pivotal Election: The Reformists

January 30, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             Iran’s reformers transformed revolutionary politics between 1997 and 2005 under former President Mohammed Khatami. But today, the reformists’ ability to contest the presidential elections in any meaningful way appears slim. Conservatives have even taken to labeling them…

Part II - Pivotal Election: The Ahmadinejad Camp

January 29, 2013
Shaul Bakhash             Despite their current political dominance, Iran’s conservatives appear inordinately fearful of challenges looming in the June presidential election. Perhaps the most surprising is their concern that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may field a member of his inner circle…