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Energy Secretary on Iran Nuclear Deal

February 3, 2016
On February 2, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz discussed the steps Iran has taken to curb its nuclear program and what lies ahead for the nuclear deal at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Moniz played a key role in the negotiations that led to the July 2015 brokering of the…

Rouhani on Economy, Elections, Syria

February 2, 2016
On February 2, President Hassan Rouhani discussed the economy, the upcoming elections, and the Syria conflict in an interview on state TV. The following are excerpted remarks from the interview.Economy"If U.S. companies are willing to come and invest in Iran, to bring manufacturing to Iran, we have…

Economic Trends: January 2016

February 1, 2016
Cameron GlennThe most significant development in January was the implementation of the nuclear deal, which awarded Iran partial relief from U.S., U.N., and E.U. sanctions. European and Asian companies quickly took steps to establish a foothold in the Middle East’s second largest economy.  Days…

US Issues New Travel Warning for Iran

January 29, 2016
On January 29, the U.S. State Department issued new guidance warning Americans to “carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran.” The updated travel warning comes less than two weeks after Iran released four Iranian-Americans in exchange for six Iranian-Americans and one Iranian held in the…

Iran Reaches Out to East and West

January 28, 2016
Cameron GlennIn the two weeks following implementation of the nuclear deal, Iran reached out to Europe and Asia in a series of high-profile visits. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iran on January 22 and 23, marking the first Chinese presidential visit to Iran in 14 years. On January 25,…

Report: No Improvement in Human Rights

January 27, 2016
Iran’s human rights situation did not significantly improve in 2015, according to a new report by Freedom House. The brokering of the nuclear deal between Iran and the world’s six major powers in July 2015 raised hopes that President Hassan Rouhani would gain enough leverage to enact domestic…

Report: Corruption Perceptions in Iran

January 27, 2016
Iran ranked 130 out of 168 countries and territories in terms of corruption perceptions, according to Transparency International’s 2015 report. On a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), Iran received a score of 27, the same score it received in last year’s report. Five other countries…

Report: Human Rights Abuses in Iran

January 27, 2016
In 2015, Iran executed significantly more people than in previous years, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. Authorities executed at least 830 prisoners from January to November 2015 compared with some 600 from January to October 2014. “Repressive elements within the security and…

Rouhani Challenges Candidate Vetting

January 21, 2016
In the buildup to the parliamentary election, Iran’s top leaders appear to have differing views as to who should be allowed to run. In a January 21 speech to election officials, Rouhani challenged the Guardian Council’s disqualification of the majority of candidates who registered for the February…

US Implements Changes to Visa Waiver Law

January 21, 2016
On January 21, the U.S. State Department began implementing changes to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of 38 countries, including many E.U. states, do not need visas to travel to the United States. But the new measure bars citizens of those countries who are also dual nationals of Iran, Iraq…

Implementation Day: Diplomacy in Pictures

January 21, 2016
On January 16, Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Vienna for a final series of meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before implementation of the historic nuclear deal between Iran and the world's six major powers. Implementation Day occurred after the U.N. nuclear…

Poll: Banks Most Corrupt Institutions in Iran

January 21, 2016
Iranians see banks as the most corrupt type of institution among 14 different types, according to a new survey by U.S.-based Information and Public Opinion Solutions (IPOS). Some 77 percent of those surveyed said banks were corrupt. And some 63 percent of participants thought the judiciary and…

Robert Levinson Not Included in Swap

January 20, 2016
Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran more than eight years ago, was not among the four Americans released by Tehran as part of the prisoner swap. President Obama announced on January 17 that Iran had agreed to deepen its coordination with the United States to find him. “Each and every day, but…

Obama Lifts Ban on Civilian Aircraft Exports

January 20, 2016
On January 15, President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum allowing civilian aircraft exports to Iran. Sanctions had prohibited U.S. manufacturers from selling planes, though the 2013 interim nuclear deal lifted bans on selling spare parts. Under the final deal, U.S. businesses will…

Implementation Day: Congress Reacts

January 19, 2016
The implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and the world's six major powers prompted mixed reactions from U.S. lawmakers. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that the United States is "on track for full implementation of this historic agreement and greater security and stability in the…

Khamenei Responds to Rouhani Letter

January 19, 2016
On January 19, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei thanked President Hassan Rouhani and his negotiating team for protecting Iran’s interests while progressing on the nuclear issue. In a written response to a letter sent by Rouhani, Khamenei cited resistance and struggle against the West as key to…

Rouhani Letter to Khamenei on Nuclear Deal

January 18, 2016
On January 18, President Hassan Rouhani penned a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei outlining 11 achievements resulting from the nuclear deal’s implementation. He hailed international acceptance of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, the release of foreign assets, sanctions reliefs and…

Rouhani Hails Nuclear Deal Implementation

January 17, 2016
On January 17, President Hassan Rouhani welcomed implementation of the nuclear deal as a victory for Iran. “Today we have reached a landmark where our nuclear program is not a tool for sanctions and pressure from the side of enemies, but rather a new chapter in developing scientific, technological…

US Sanctions Iran Ballistic Missile Program

January 17, 2016
On January 17, the United States imposed new sanctions on 11 individuals and entities for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program. The new measures follow a December report by U.N. experts that concluded that an Iranian test launch in October violated sanctions banning Iran from test firing…

US-Iran Financial Settlement Controversy

January 17, 2016
Updated: August 18, 2016
On January 17, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States and Iran resolved a long-standing financial dispute dating back to 1981. Iran was to receive the balance of $400 million from a trust fund used to purchase military equipment from the United States before the break in…

Obama on Nuclear Deal, Prisoners, Sanctions

January 17, 2016
On January 17, President Obama welcomed the nuclear deal’s implementation and Iran’s release of four Americans as part of a prisoner swap. “Engaging directly with the Iranian government on a sustained basis, for the first time in decades, has created a unique opportunity, a window, to resolve…

Secretary Kerry on Implementation Day

January 16, 2016
On January 16, Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and Tehran’s release of American prisoners as part of a swap. “Today marks the moment that the Iran nuclear agreement transitions from an ambitious set of promises on paper to measurable action in…

Mogherini, Zarif Joint Statement on Implementation Day

January 16, 2016
On January 16, E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the start of implementation of the nuclear deal. Implementation Day was triggered by the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s certification that Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the…

Implementation Day: Obama Lifts Sanctions

January 16, 2016
On January 16, President Obama issued an executive order lifting sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. Implementation Day was triggered by the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s certification that Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the nuclear agreement. As a result, Iran is to receive relief from…

US Presidential Candidates on Prisoner Swap

January 16, 2016
Nearly all of the U.S. presidential candidates have reacted to the prisoner swap with Iran. The following are excerpted remarks. Click the name of each candidate to learn more.Democrats Republicans Hillary Clinton Martin O’MalleyBernie Sanders Jeb BushBen CarsonChris ChristieTed CruzCarly…

UN: Iran Has Met Nuclear Obligations

January 16, 2016
On January 16, the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s director general confirmed that Iran has taken the necessary steps to start implementation of the nuclear deal. Implementation Day will trigger the lifting or suspension of certain U.S., E.U., and U.N. sanctions on Iran. Iran will also be able to access…

Fifth American Freed by Iran

January 16, 2016
On January 16, Iran released American student, writer and researcher Matt Trevithick, who had been held in Evin Prison for 40 days. He was released separately from the four Iranian-Americans that were part of a prisoner swap. The following is a biography of Trevithick with a statement from his…

Seven Iranians Freed by US in Prisoner Swap

January 16, 2016
Iranian news outlets reported on January 16 that the United States released seven Iranians — Nader Modanloo, Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afghahi, Arash Ghahreman, Nima Golestaneh, and Ali Saboonchi —as part of a prisoner swap with Iran. The State Department later confirmed that the United States “…

Amid Secret Diplomacy, US & Iran Said…

January 16, 2016
Despite progress on the nuclear deal, Iran and U.S. leaders have insisted over the past year that negotiations had a singular focus. Both sides claimed that they were not straying into other subjects—when, in fact, both governments had authorized a secret channel to pursue a diplomatic solution to…

Iran Frees Four Americans in Prisoner Swap

January 16, 2016
The U.S. State Department confirmed on January 16 the release of four Iranian-Americans as part of a prisoner swap with Iran. They were Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari. Iranian State media had initially incorrectly reported that the fourth prisoner was…