New Articles

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…

Tehran’s Views on U.S. Politics, Nuclear Talks

June 8, 2012
Mehdi Khaliji   Iran’s ruling regime pays close attention to American politics in its own calculations about how to negotiate with Washington—and how to game the new diplomatic effort. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his inner circle, for example, believe that President Barack Obama…

Khamenei Consolidates Control Amid Other Power Shifts

June 8, 2012
Mehrzad BoroujerdiSince Iran’s presidential election in 2009, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has evolved into a micromanager of Iranian politics. He curtailed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his allies. He turned the lights off on Iran’s reformists. He emasculated all other major…

U.S. and Iran Weigh in on Syria

June 7, 2012
On June 7, the United States and Iran both weighed in on the deteriorating situation in Syria. The following are officials states from the White House and the Iranian mission to the United Nations.       White House Statement from the Office of the Press Secretary  The United States…

Iran Ratchets Up Tensions over Gulf Islands

June 6, 2012
Ted Wynne  Longstanding tensions between Iran and its Arab neighbors are intensifying because of rival territorial claims over three strategic islands in the Persian Gulf--Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb. Three high-profile visits since mid-April—by President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad,…

Court Mandates U.S. Decision on Iran Opposition Group

June 2, 2012
On June 1, a U.S. District Appeals Court ruled that the Obama administration must finally decide within four months whether or not to remove the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist groups. The decision was a partial victory for the controversial Iranian…

Washington and Tehran on Iran’s role in Syria

May 30, 2012
Ted WynneOn May 29, the United States charged that Iran played a role in the weekend massacre of more than 100 Syrians, including dozens of children, in the northern city of Houla. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said a commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force was “bragging” about its…

Iran Hit by New Cyber Virus

May 29, 2012
Following a report by Russian experts, Iran confirmed on May 28 that a new cyber virus codenamed “Flame” had penetrated Iran’s computer system. The new virus is unlike earlier worms because it was designed to steal information rather than to destroy systems, according to the first report…

New IAEA Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program

May 28, 2012
 On May 25, 2012, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency issued a new report about Iran’s non-compliance with U.N. resolutions on its controversial nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that it is “unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear…

Outcome of Iran Nuclear Talks in Baghdad

May 25, 2012
Michael Adler Diplomats from Iran and the world’s six major powers—the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- met in Baghdad on May 23 and 24. What did the talks produce? Nothing concrete. It was their second meeting in a new round of negotiations over concerns Iran is…

U.S. Report on Iran Human Rights Abuses

May 24, 2012
On May 24, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the annual U.S. report on worldwide human rights violations. The following is an excerpt from the section on Iran, with a link to the full report at the bottom.     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Islamic Republic of Iran is a constitutional,…