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Iran v Saudi Arabia: Women & Minorities

January 4, 2016
Katayoun KishiWomenWomen in Iran and Saudi Arabia face political, social, and economic discrimination. Rhetorically, Iranian and Saudi leaders often defend women’s rights, and the two countries have even taken steps to include women in political life. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir claimed …

Progress on Enacting Nuclear Deal

December 28, 2015
On December 28, Iran took a key step towards implementation of the nuclear deal by exporting more than 25,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium to Russia. Tehran must shrink its low-enriched uranium stockpile to 300 kg by Implementation Day, which could come as early as January. Secretary of State…

US Hostages to Receive Compensation

December 28, 2015
Personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran who were held for 444 days in Iran from 1979 to 1981 will receive up to $4.4 million each in compensation. The provision was signed into law as part of a massive funding bill signed by President Obama on December 18. Each of the 53 hostages or their estates…

Timeline and ABCs of the Deal

December 21, 2015
October 18 marked Adoption Day for the nuclear deal between Iran and the world’s six major powers —Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. The day signaled the starting point for the so-called P5+1 countries and Iran to begin preparing to implement their commitments under the…

Zarif on Syrian Peace, Nuclear Deal

December 18, 2015
Robin Wright (for The New Yorker)Two years of transformative diplomacy between the United States and Iran—after almost four decades of hostility—are reaping tentative benefits on other Middle East flashpoints. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whom I wrote about in the magazine, is meeting…

Iran and the World in 2015

December 18, 2015
Garrett Nada Iran went from being a pariah to a player in international affairs in 2015. The turning point was the final nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers brokered in July. It “changed the way the international community looked at Iran,” Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said in…

Iran Warns US on Visa Waiver Act

December 17, 2015
Iranian officials have warned that changes to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program could be a violation of the nuclear deal. On December 20, 102 Iranian lawmakers sent a letter to President Rouhani condemning the move and demanding government action. House Resolution 158, which passed 407 to 19 on December…

Iran's Economy in 2015

December 17, 2015
Cameron GlennFor Iran’s economy, 2015 was a year of high expectations and slow results. The historic nuclear deal in July – and the promise of sanctions relief – initially raised hopes among foreign companies eager to tap into the Middle East’s second largest economy (after Saudi Arabia). Iranians…

Iran and the Region in 2015

December 17, 2015
Garrett Nada Tensions between the Islamic Republic and the Arab world deepened in 2015, exacerbated by the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. President Hassan Rouhani’s top priority after securing the nuclear deal in July was to improve relations with Tehran’s neighbors. Iran made limited progress in…

Ambassador Mull on Iran Deal Status

December 17, 2015
On December 17, the U.S. lead coordinator for implementing the nuclear deal said Iran has been “making tangible progress on a number of key commitments.” Iran has “begun dismantling its uranium enrichment infrastructure by removing thousands of centrifuges and transferring them for storage under…

Iran Primed for End of Sanctions

December 17, 2015
On December 16, President Hassan Rouhani declared the closing of the U.N. probe of Iran’s nuclear program a victory. In an address to the Iranian public, Rouhani announced that international sanctions would be lifted in December or January. He also invited investment from domestic and international…

Report: 19 Journalists Imprisoned in Iran

December 17, 2015
At the end of 2015, Iran was the world’s third leading jailer of journalists after China and Egypt, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The organization listed 19 journalists behind bars in the Islamic Republic. In Iran, among other countries, “a climate of fear for the media…

Iran's Female Dynamos

December 16, 2015
Katayoun KishiDespite legal and social limits, Iranian women play dynamic roles in politics, the arts, education, the environment, the media and human rights. They are players. President Hassan Rouhani campaigned specifically on a platform of improving women’s rights. He named four female vice…

UN Closes File on Iran’s Past Nuclear Work

December 15, 2015
On December 15, the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board decided to close the inquiry into the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program. The unanimous decision by the 35-nation group will end the 12-year probe while allowing inspectors to continue monitoring Tehran’s program. “The…

Report: Iran After the Nuclear Deal

December 15, 2015
The implementation of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world’s six major powers has raised the stakes for internal debates about the future of the Islamic Republic, according to a new International Crisis Group report. The February 2016 elections for parliament and the Assembly of Experts…

US Reviewing Alleged Iran Missile Test

December 9, 2015
On December 8, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said that Washington is “conducting a serious review” of reports that Tehran launched a ballistic missile in November. A 2010 U.N. Security Council resolution prohibits Iran from testing ballistic missiles. State Department…

Kerry: Iran Deal Was Right Thing to Do

December 7, 2015
On December 5, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the nuclear deal with Iran at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum, an annual U.S.-Israel dialogue. “It was the right thing to do whether it leads to cooperation or not in other areas, because any effort to roll back Iran’s behavior, my…

Congress Reacts to New UN Report

December 4, 2015
Democrats and Republicans in Congress were disturbed, but not surprised, to find out that Iran had worked on activities relevant to nuclear weapons development. A long-awaited U.N. watchdog assessment said that the most “coordinated” work was done before 2003, but that Tehran continued some…

Tehran Transformed by Surreal Murals

December 4, 2015
Robin Wright Tehran has new colors—and a new un-revolutionary whimsy. The sprawling Iranian capital, long famed for its anti-American graffiti and grim billboards of war martyrs, is now adorned with huge surreal murals in bright hues that have transformed drab cement-and-steel high-rises. Some…

Nuclear Experts on New UN Report

December 3, 2015
The following are reactions by nonproliferation experts to the new U.N. report on possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. The long-awaited assessment concluded that Tehran had worked on a “range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” despite its…

UN Report on Iran's Past Nuclear Program

December 2, 2015
In a report completed in December 2015, the U.N. nuclear watchdog concluded that Iran had worked on a “range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” despite its denial of any work on a nuclear weapons program. It reported that the most “coordinated” work was done…

Climate Change Unites US, Iran & Israel

December 2, 2015
The Paris climate change conference brought together an unlikely pair in a group photo – President Obama and Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, who was lead spokesperson for the hostage-takers of the U.S. Embassy. They were among the 150 heads of state and top leaders who gathered for the U.N…

Iran Plans to Cut Gas Emission

November 30, 2015
Iran intends to curb greenhouse gas emission in 2030 by four percent. In the run up to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Tehran published a plan for adapting to climate change and mitigating pollution. The document also included a list of financial and technological needs. Assuming…

Supreme Leader: Letter to Western Youth

November 30, 2015
In reaction to the Paris attacks, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reached out to Western youth to emphasize that terrorism is a common concern. “Without a doubt, the one-and-a-half billion Muslims also have these feelings and abhor and are revolted by the perpetrators and those responsible…

Putin in Tehran to Discuss Syria, Boost Ties

November 23, 2015
On November 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran for talks with Iranian leaders on the Syrian crisis, the fight against ISIS and implementing the nuclear deal. Putin’s visit, his first in eight years, was timed to coincide with an international gas summit. Presidential aid Yuri…

UN: Iran Dismantling Nuclear Equipment

November 19, 2015
Iran has uninstalled nearly a quarter of its uranium-enriching centrifuges since October 18, also known as the nuclear deal’s Adoption Day, according to a new U.N. watchdog report. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found that Iran has removed 4,500 centrifuges at the Natanz and Fordo…

Iran Attends Syria Peace Talks in Vienna

November 17, 2015
On November 14, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Vienna for a new round of peace talks on Syria with representatives from 17 countries, the United Nations, the European Union, and the Arab League. Secretary of State John Kerry noted that the talks had made "critical progress…

Iran Reacts to Paris Attacks

November 16, 2015
Iranian leaders condemned the ISIS attacks in Paris on November 13, but differed over who was primarily at fault. President Hassan Rouhani denounced the attacks as “anti-human crimes" and offered his condolences to "the mourning French nation." Other officials, such as judiciary chief Ayatollah…

Report: Little Progress on Internet Freedom

November 13, 2015
Iran is the world’s second most censored country, according to Freedom House’s 2015 “Freedom on The Net” report. Iran scored 87 on the study’s index (100 being the worst), tying with Syria and falling just behind China. Although President Hassan Rouhani has made some progress pushing through…

Obama Renews State of Emergency with Iran

November 10, 2015
The following is the full text of the White House press release and President Obama’s letter to Congress on renewing the national emergency with respect to Iran.  CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO IRAN   On November 14, 1979, by Executive Order 12170, the President declared a…