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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…

World Leaders React to Ahmadinejad

September 27, 2012
            Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New York on Sept. 22 and addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 26. President Barack Obama and other U.S. and world leaders condemned Iran’s positions on Syria, Israel and its nuclear program both before and after Ahmadinejad’s…

Ahmadinejad’s Speech at the United Nations

September 26, 2012
            On Sept. 26, President Ahmadinejad addressed the 76th annual U.N. General Assembly. He spoke about the need "to remove the structural barriers" between people and criticized the current state of global decision-making.           The following are excerpts from his speech:“Despite all…

U.S. Senate Rejects Containment Policy on Iran

September 25, 2012
            On Sept. 22, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution ruling out the policy of containing a nuclear-armed Iran. But it stipulates that it shall not be “construed as an authorization for the use of force.” Resolution 41 also urges increased diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions on Iran…

Ahmadinejad in New York for U.N. Assembly

September 25, 2012
            Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to several New York audiences after arriving Sept. 22. He discussed Iran's nuclear program, Syria, the "Innocence of Muslims" film, Israel and other key issues. The following are excerpts of his statements. Nuclear Program and…

Treasury Links Iran Oil to Elite Military

September 25, 2012
           On Sept. 24, the Treasury Department submitted a report to Congress determining that the National Iranian Oil Company is an agent or affiliate of the Revolutionary Guards. The following is an excerpt from the report. The IRGC is Iran’s most powerful economic actor, dominating many…

Talk of Tehran: Squabbling over the Economy

September 24, 2012
Helia Ighani             The hottest topic in Tehran’s media—and society generally—is the Islamic Republic’s deeply troubled economy. Over the past 12 months, the national currency has lost half of its value. Despite Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves, youth unemployment has hit 28.6 percent.…

FACT SHEET: Two Years of Tightening U.N. Sanctions

September 21, 2012
            On Sept. 20, one week before the U.N. General Assembly’s opening session, the American mission to the United Nations issued a fact sheet outlining the growing squeeze on Iran from U.N. sanctions since the passage of Resolution 1929. Iran is again expected to be a major topic when world…

IAEA Presses Iran on Nuclear Program

September 19, 2012
            On Sept. 13, the U.N. nuclear watchdog passed a resolution urging Iran to cease uranium enrichment and comply with international obligations on its nuclear program. At a board of governors meeting in Vienna, 31 out of 35 countries, including Russia and China, supported the resolution.…

Benefits and Costs of Military Action Against Iran

September 13, 2012
On Sept. 13, a group of former U.S. ambassadors, generals, officials and national security experts released a report cautioning against a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities without a robust public debate. The Iran Project report aims to offer “an objective description of some of the prerequisites…

U.S. Treasury: Iran Oil Exports Down 55 Percent

September 13, 2012
On Sept. 12, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen announced that Iran’s crude oil exports have decreased by 55 percent since January 2012. “Today, the Iranian government is relegated to the backwaters of the international financial system,” said Cohen at the New York…

U.S. Welcomes Release of Christian Pastor

September 10, 2012
On Sept. 10, the State Department applauded Iran’s release of a Christian Pastor who was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010. The charges were reportedly dropped from apostasy to evangelizing Muslims, with a sentence of three years. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released for time served,…