New Articles

Iran’s Massive Banking Scandal

October 17, 2011
Kevan Harris    What’s the origin of the Islamic Republic’s biggest banking scandal?  The financial conglomerate Amir Mansour Arya Investment Development Company allegedly procured several letters of credit from domestic banks totaling $2.8 billion--far above the company’s available collateral. …

U.N. Report on “Systemic” Human Rights Abuses

October 16, 2011
The U.N. Special Rapporteur for Iran released a report on Oct. 15, 2011 detailing human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic. The following is a key excerpt, with a link to the full report at the end.          A number of individuals and organizations provided the Special Rapporteur with first-…

Treasury Testimony on U.S. Sanctions Strategy

October 14, 2011
The following is testimony by Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Oct. 13, 2011:Chairman Johnson, Ranking Member Shelby, and distinguished members of the Committee: Thank you…

State Department Testimony: Sanctions One Year Later

October 14, 2011
The following is testimony by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman before the Senate Banking on October 13, 2011:  Chairman Johnson, Ranking Member Senator Shelby, Distinguished Members of  the Committee: thank you for inviting me to appear before you today to discuss  the…

Iran Reacts to Allegations of U.S. Plot

October 13, 2011
The Iranian regime has lashed out at the United States over the Obama administration’s claims that Tehran was behind a plot to attack U.S., Saudi and Israeli targets in Washington and Argentina. The following are key quotes from top leaders in Iran.  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei "If U.S.…

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Commercial Airline

October 12, 2011
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced today the designation of Iranian commercial airline Mahan Air pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 for providing financial, material and technological support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Based in Tehran, Mahan Air…

U.S. Imposes New Sanctions for Iranian Plot

October 11, 2011
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of five individuals, including four senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) officers connected to a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir, while he…

Fate of the Green Movement leaders

October 11, 2011
Geneive Abdo   Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi were put under house arrest in early February. What is their status eight months later?  Mousavi was taken to a very small apartment and is under guard 24 hours a day, according to statements by his wife about one month…

Challenging the Balance of Power: Ahmadinejad vs. Parliament

October 5, 2011
Interview with Hosein Ghazian       Hosein Ghazian is an Iranian sociologist and former pollster who is currently a visiting scholar at Syracuse University.       This is the eleventh in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012:  How has parliament’s political role—and authority--…

Raucous Election: Politicians on the Record

October 3, 2011
Semira N. Nikou   This is the tenth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012:              Iran’s 2012 parliamentary elections will help define the country’s political course for the next four years. The campaign is already heating up, as political groups begin to mobilize in…

Clinton Blasts Iran's Human Rights

September 30, 2011
Press Statement Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton The United States is deeply concerned by reports of the Iranian government’s continued repression of its people. Despite statements from Iran’s Supreme Leader and President claiming support for the rights and freedoms of Iranian citizens and…

Death sentence on Christian leader Yousef Nadarkhani

September 29, 2011
An Iranian court has imposed the death sentence on Yousef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old protestant preacher, for apostasy after he repeatedly refused to recant his Christian faith. The verdict has generated international condemnation this week. The following are excerpts from the verdict and U.S. and…

"Suffering" in Iran Nearly Doubles to 26%

September 29, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup poll reports "suffering" in Iran has nearly doubled, up from 14% in 2008 to 26% in 2011. One factor that may play into this increase is the lack of good jobs, as Gallup finds unemployment in the country above 15% and underemployment exceeding 35%.                    …

Parliament’s Evolving Role

September 28, 2011
Interview with Ali Reza Eshraghi       Ali Reza Eshraghi was a senior editor at several of Iran’s reformist dailies. He is currently editor of Iran programs at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and a Rotary World Peace fellow in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of…

Youth Game-Changers in Elections

September 26, 2011
Kevan Harris         This is the eighth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012:   What role does Iran’s youth play in elections? After the 1979 revolution, the voting age was lowered to 15 which automatically made youth important in elections. But since the mid-1990s, Iranian…

Obama on Release of American Hikers

September 21, 2011
Statement from the President on the Release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal     I welcome the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from detention in Iran and am very pleased that they are being reunited with their loved ones.  The tireless advocacy of their families over these two years has…

Women Struggle in Parliament

September 20, 2011
Interview with Fatemeh HaghighatjooBy Semira N. Nikou          Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo is a former member of Iran’s parliament (2000-2004). She is currently a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.        This is the seventh in a series on parliamentary elections due…

Revolutionary Guards Soar in Parliament

September 19, 2011
Mehrzad Boroujerdi and Kourosh Rahimkhani         This is the sixth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012:          The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was established to protect domestic security, but the elite military wing has always had an implicit political…

Intelligence on Iran: Reliable?

September 15, 2011
     The following report about intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program was published on Sept. 15 by the Atlantic Council. The link to the full report is at the bottom:       For a country that has been accumulating nuclear know-how since the Eisenhower administration, Iran has hardly been…

Clerics Plummet in Parliament

September 14, 2011
Interview with Yasmin Alem       Yasmin Alem is an international development specialist. She is the author of Duality by Design: The Iranian Electoral System published by the International Foundation of Electoral Systems.        This is the fifth in a series on parliamentary elections due in…

Iran's Conservatives: The Headstrong New Bloc

September 12, 2011
Shaul Bakhash       This is the fourth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012:       In preparation for the 2012 parliamentary election, Iran's diverse conservative parties are already forging a strategy to marginalize or even exclude their principal opponents, especially…

Iran’s Growing State of Civil Disobedience

September 8, 2011
Alireza Nader        The Iranian regime faces a threat even more daunting than the 2009 Green Movement protests: a disparate yet potentially powerful civil disobedience movement motivated not just by politics, but by environmental, economic, and social issues. From demonstrations over the drying…

Factoids on Parliamentary Election

September 6, 2011
Semira N. Nikou          This is the third in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012: Iran’s first parliament was formed after the Constitutional Revolution in 1906. Its current parliament was created by a new constitution written after the 1979 revolution ousted the…

History of Iran’s Parliaments

September 6, 2011
      This is the second in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012: First parliament (1980-1984)Speaker: Yadollah Sahabi (for one month in mid-1980); Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1980 to 1984)  Political trends: The first parliament was the most eclectic. It included deputies from…

Iran’s Pivotal Election

September 6, 2011
      The Iran Primer today begins a series on parliamentary elections now scheduled for March 2012. The following is an excerpt from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) report on the Iranian electoral system—its origins, framework, and elected bodies:        The Islamic…

New IAEA Report on Iran

September 2, 2011
     A new International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran was released on Sept. 2, 2011. Its summary points include:       While the Agency continues to conduct verification activities under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement, Iran is not implementing a number of its obligations, including:…

Iraq Adopts Iran's Backing of Assad

August 24, 2011
Juan ColeWhat impact will the call by the United States and major European powers for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down--followed by heightened U.S. and EU sanctions--have on Syria-Iran relations?They will push Syria even more into the arms of Iran. Syria is being gradually cut off from…

U.S. Terrorism Report: State Sponsors

August 23, 2011
       The State Department’s recently released Country Reports on Terrorism cites Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism. An excerpt:        Overview: Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2010.…

U.S. Terrorism Report: MEK and Jundallah

August 23, 2011
      The State Department’s recently released Country Reports on Terrorism cites the Mujahadin-E Khalq and Jundallah as two groups that have carried out terrorist operations against the Iranian regime. Excerpts on the two groups: The Mujahadin-E Khalq Organization (MEK)       …

U.S. Terrorism Report: Iran and Hizballah, Hamas

August 23, 2011
     The State Department’s recently released 2010 Country Reports on Terrorism says Iran continues to provide aid to Hizballah (or Hezbollah) and Hamas. Excerpts on the two groups: Hizballah      Description: Hizballah was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October…