New Articles

ICG: So Much Could Go Wrong

February 28, 2012
The International Crisis Group on Jan. 23 published “In Heavy Waters: Iran’s Nuclear Program, the Risk of War and Lessons from Turkey”. The following is the summary of the report. A link to the full report is provided at the bottom. The dramatic escalation in Israel’s…

Part II: Khamenei: The Nuclear Decision-maker

February 22, 2012
Alireza Nader The fate of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program—which now threatens yet another Middle East conflagration—rests in the hands of a single man: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.   Iranians are now gripped by a sense that their nation stands at a…

Part I: Khamenei Denies Nuclear Weapon

February 22, 2012
At a meeting with Iranian nuclear scientists on Feb. 22, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the following remarks about Iran’s nuclear program, international pressure and sanctions.   “The Iranian nation has never been after nuclear weapons and it will never go after…

CSIS: Iran’s Growing Missile Capabilities

February 22, 2012
Anthony Cordesman The Center for Strategic and International Studies on Feb. 22 published “Iran and the Gulf Military Balance - II” by Anthony Cordesman and Alexander Wilner. The following is an excerpt from the report. Iran continues to deny it is seeking nuclear weapons but…

How much oil does Europe buy from Iran?

February 22, 2012
Iran announced on Feb. 19 that it would halt all oil sales to France and Britain, a response to new EU sanctions on Iranian oil imports due to go into effect this summer. But the top 10 European economies actually acquire only a modest share of their oil from Iran. The following are EU statistics…

U.S. Military Chief: Strike Not “Prudent”

February 19, 2012
On Feb. 19, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey made the following comments on Iran in an interview on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria.   On Iran’s nuclear intentions We also know, or believe we know, that the Iranian regime has not decided that they will embark on the [...] effort…

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Intelligence Ministry

February 16, 2012
On Feb. 16, the State Department issued the following statement on Iran:Today the United States Government took three separate sanctions actions against Iran’s primary intelligence agency, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). MOIS was designated for its involvement in the…

Pew: American Views on Iran Nuke Program

February 15, 2012
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Feb. 8-12, 2012, among 1,501 adults, finds substantial partisan differences over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.  The public supports tough measures – including the possible use of military…

Election Watch #3: Election Crackdown on Media

February 15, 2012
Interview with Yasmin AlemThis is the first election since the controversial 2009 election and reports of a clampdown on media are increasing. What is the situation for social media and internet usage in the lead-up to the parliamentary elections?  With less than three weeks to parliamentary…

Gallup: Iranians Split on Nuclear Military Power

February 15, 2012
According to a 2012 Gallup poll, Iranians are split, 40% to 35%, on nuclear military power. Half support cutting ties with countries that impose sanctions. WASHINGTON, D. C. -- Iranians are more likely to approve of Iran developing its nuclear power capabilities for non-military use (57%) than for…

ISIS on Iran Nuke: Low Risk in 2012

February 14, 2012
The Institute for Science and International Security published “Preventing Iran from getting Nuclear Weapons: Constraining its future options” by David Albright, Paul Brannan, Andrea Stricker, and Christina Walrond. The report concludes, “In 2012, the probability of all of the scenarios occurring…

Gallup: Iranians Feel Sanctions Bite

February 7, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the U.S. orders more economic sanctions against Iran, a new Gallup poll finds nearly two-thirds of Iranians think recent sanctions that the United Nations, the U.S., and Western Europe have already imposed will hurt the livelihoods of the country's residents "a great deal…

U.S. Sanctions Central Bank

February 6, 2012
The following is an excerpt of President Obama’s statement on new U.S. sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank. I have determined that additional sanctions are warranted, particularly in light of the deceptive practices of the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks to conceal…

Four Scenarios if Iran Oil Disrupted

February 2, 2012
In an energy brief for the Council on Foreign Relations, Robert McNally outlines four possible scenarios in “Managing Oil Market Disruption in a Confrontation with Iran.” SCENARIOS  1. Partial sanctions on Iran’s crude oil exports; Iran harasses gulf production and shipping         This scenario…

Bipartisan Report Urges Talks and Threat of Force

February 1, 2012
      On Feb. 1,the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Project released its fourth report on Iran’s nuclear development urging the United States to immediately adopt a triple-track strategy that simultaneously pursues diplomacy, tough sanctions and credible, visible preparations for…

The Revolution Turns 33

February 1, 2012
Karim Sadjadpour How has Iranian society changed over the 33 years since the revolution?  Demographically, Iran is a much different society than it was 33 years ago. Its population has grown from around 35 million in 1979 to approximately 75 million today.  Before the…

U.S. on new Arrests, Harassment and Death Sentences

January 26, 2012
On Jan. 26, the State Department issued the following statement on Iran. We are deeply concerned by the alarming increase in the Iranian regime’s efforts to extinguish all forms of free expression and limit its citizens’ access to information in the lead-up to March…

Obama on Iran in State of the Union

January 25, 2012
Below is an excerpt from President Obama's State of the Union address on Jan. 24"We will safeguard America's own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests.  Look at Iran.  Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with…

U.S. lauds EU sanctions, imposes its own

January 24, 2012
President Obama’s Statement on EU’s New Iran Sanctions, on Jan. 23 I applaud today’s actions by our partners in the European Union to impose additional sanctions on Iran in response to the regime’s continuing failure to fulfill its international obligations regarding its nuclear program. These…

Election Watch #2: Iran Starts Slashing Candidates

January 24, 2012
Interview with Yasmin Alem   How do the numbers of registered candidates compare to previous elections?   The number of candidates who registered for the 2012 parliamentary elections is at its lowest since the 1996 elections. Only 5,395 individuals registered to run for parliament, a 33…

Analyzing the Impact of European Sanctions

January 24, 2012
Patrick Clawson What does the unprecedented new European Union oil embargo on Iran mean in practical terms?The direct impact of the new EU oil embargo is relatively limited. Economists like to say that oil is "fungible," that is, oil not sold to the EU could be sold to other countries, and so the…

European Union Imposes Oil Sanctions on Iran

January 23, 2012
The European Union on Jan. 23 imposed new sanctions on Iran. The following is the EU press statement, with the full conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council below.Iran: New EU sanctions target sources of finance for nuclear programme Given the EU's serious and deepening…

U.S. Sanctions Chinese, UAE, Singapore Firms for Iran Dealings

January 13, 2012
Under the Amended Iran Sanctions Act, the United States on Jan. 11 sanctioned three companies for doing business with Iran's energy sector, expanding the range of punitive American action on the international stage. The following is the State Department announcement.  Secretary of State Hillary…

Part 3: Key Quotes on Strait of Hormuz

January 11, 2012
Annika Folkeson Tension has increased between Iran and the United States over the past weeks following new U.S. sanctions and Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. The following are quotes on the tensions between Tehran and Washington.  IRAN   Vice president, Mohammad…

Part 2: Key Facts on Iranian Oil

January 11, 2012
Annika FolkesonTension has increased between Iran and the United States over the past weeks after the United States imposed new sanctions and Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. The following are key facts on Iranian oil. Iran holds the world’s fourth-…

Part 1: Key Facts on Strait of Hormuz

January 11, 2012
Annika FolkesonTension has increased between Iran and the United States over the past weeks after the United States imposed new sanctions and Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. The following are key facts on the Strait. The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most…

Israel and Iran: A Dangerous Rivalry

January 10, 2012
The Rand Corporation issued a report in December entitled “Israel and Iran: A Dangerous Rivalry” by Dalia Dassa Kaye, Alireza Nader, and Parisa Roshan. Alireza Nader is a contributing author to “The Iran Primer.” Excerpts from the summary are posted below, with a link to the entire report.   The…

Regime Isolates Entire Rafsanjani Family

January 6, 2012
Interview with Yasmin Alem The daughter of the former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been sentenced to six months in prison on charges of "spreading propaganda against the ruling system." The trial of Faezeh Hashemi took place behind closed doors in December 2011. Hashemi is a…

Will Iran Dare Close the Strait of Hormuz?

January 5, 2012
Michael Singh  Iranian officials grabbed global headlines in recent days by threatening to close the vital Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world’s traded oil passes. Iran sought to back up its threats by holding a 10-day military exercise in the Persian Gulf and warning the…

U.S. Sanctions Iran “Front Companies”

December 20, 2011
On Dec. 20, the United States issued new sanctions against front companies linked to Iran’s missile program. The following rundown was released by the Treasury Department. The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of 10 shipping and front companies…