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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…

Rouhani Challenges Hardline Crackdown

November 9, 2015
On November 8, President Hassan Rouhani challenged the escalating crackdown on journalists and businessmen, many of whom have links to the United States. He called for transparent media regulations at the opening of a press exhibition in Tehran. “We also need a clear law for press and media, thus,…

Impact of Sanctions Relief on Iran

November 6, 2015
Sanctions relief is “unlikely to greatly empower the Iranian regime at home or abroad,” according to RAND Corporation analyst Alireza Nader. The following are excerpts from his November 5 testimony presented before the House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee, Subcommittee on National…

In Pictures: Iran Marks Anniversary of US Embassy Seizure

November 4, 2015
On November 4, Iran marked the 36th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover in massive street rallies across the country. As in previous years, effigies of President Obama were burned along with American flags. The slogan “Death to America,” or “Down with the USA,” was chanted loudly and featured…

Anti-Americanism Grows in Iran — Again

November 3, 2015
Garrett NadaThe nuclear deal, announced in July, has not changed the anti-American rhetoric in Iran. Indeed, the pace of vitriol has noticeably increased. “US officials seek negotiation with #Iran; negotiation is means of infiltration and imposition of their wills,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali…

US Eases Medical Sanctions on Iran

November 2, 2015
On November 2, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) expanded its list of medical supplies approved for export or re-export to Iran. Under a general license issued in 2012, export of basic medical supplies to Iran has been permitted even while Washington tightened economic and…

Final Communique on Syria Talks

October 30, 2015
On October 30, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a delegation of Iranians participated in the Syria peace talks in Vienna. Representatives from 17 countries, the United Nations, and the European Union joined the talks. The decision to include Iran, backed by the United States, marks…

American Businessman Detained in Iran

October 30, 2015
Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi was reportedly arrested on or around October 15, according to Iranian and U.S. media reports. The Dubai-based consultant, who is in his early 40s, is at least the fourth Iranian-American to be detained by Iranian authorities in recent years. His arrest is…

UN Human Rights Report: Execution Rate Up

October 29, 2015
Iran’s human rights situation remains “deeply concerning, and in some cases, quite alarming,” according to Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. special rapporteur on Iran. In his annual report, Shaheed noted that Iran executed at least 694 people between January 1 and September 15, 2015, likely putting the…

World Bank on Iran’s Economy and Business Regulations

October 29, 2015
Iran’s economy is projected to grow by 1.7 percent in 2015 and 6.1 percent in 2016, according to a new World Bank report. “The medium-term outlook is positive though risks remain from oil prices and geopolitical considerations,” according to the October edition of the Middle East and North Africa…

Iran Attends Syria Peace Talks in Vienna

October 28, 2015
On October 29, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Vienna with a delegation of Iranians to participate in peace talks on Syria. Zarif met bilaterally with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss implementation of the nuclear deal. Kerry also used the meeting to raise the case…