United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Iran Sanctions: Which way out?

Ali Vaez

      The United States has imposed several layers of sanctions against Iran—for widely diverse reasons—dating back to the 1979 revolution. Tehran now wants relief from sanctions as part of any diplomatic deal on its controversial nuclear program. But lifting sanctions is often harder than imposing them—and varies depending on the issues, origins and methods imposed.
 
What types of sanctions has the United States imposed on Iran?
            Sanctions have been the policy tool of choice used by six presidents to deal with Iran. Since the 1979 revolution, the White House has issued 16 executive orders and Congress has passed nine acts imposing punitive sanctions on Iran in four waves.
            The first wave of U.S. sanctions, from 1979 to 1995, was a response to the U.S. embassy hostage crisis and Tehran’s support for extremist groups in the region.
            The second wave of sanctions, from 1995 to 2006, sought to weaken the Islamic Republic by targeting its oil and gas industry and denying it access to nuclear and missile technology. U.S. sanctions also targeted any company in a third country that invested in Iran’s energy sector, a move to compel allies to adopt a unified stance against Iran.
            The third wave, from 2006 to 2010, was imposed chiefly due to concerns over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but also included punitive measures for Iran’s human rights violations. Sanctions targeted almost every major chokepoint in Iran’s economy.
            The latest wave of sanctions since 2010 includes some of the toughest restrictions the United States has ever imposed on any country. They target Iran’s Central Bank and its ability to repatriate oil revenues  as well as many transportation, insurance, manufacturing and financial sectors.
            The first two waves of sanctions were unilaterally imposed by Washington. But the last two included similar measures imposed by U.S. allies and the United Nations, generating almost a global sanctions regime against Iran.
 
What would the United States need to do to lift sanctions?
      The standard for lifting U.S. sanctions is high. The president could nullify the White House executive orders imposed over the years. But nearly 60 percent of these sanctions have also been codified into law by Congress, which puts amending or repealing sanctions beyond the president’s control. Congress would also have to take action.
      For example, executive orders banning U.S. trade with Iran –under Executive Orders 12957, 12959 and 13059-- were subsequently written into the law when Congress passed the Iran Freedom Support Act in 2006 and the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act in 2010. Similarly, sanctions on Iran’s energy and petrochemical sector under Executive Order 13590 and human rights violators under Executive Order 13606 were subsequently codified into law through the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012.
            The president could still exercise his waiver authority to exempt countries, entities and individuals from sanctions. He could also mandate greater flexibility in determining violations and enforcing penalties. The Clinton and Bush administrations opted for the latter option and never determined any country in violation of U.S. sanctions, which could have damaged relations with US allies.
           
What steps would Iran have to take to get sanctions lifted?
            Sanctions have become so extensive and so intricately woven that the United States will probably have a hard time offering significant or tangible relief unless Iran reverses major aspects of its domestic and foreign policies. The same applies to the 34-year-old state of emergency on Iran, which gives the president broad powers to unilaterally impose sanctions or other punitive measures.
            The 16 executive orders and nine Congressional acts are also not tied only to the nuclear issue. More than 80 percent of the sanctions are linked to Iran’s broader foreign or domestic policies. As such, not all have the same standards to be lifted.
 
            On Terrorism: Restoration of U.S.-Iran trade relations would first require that the United States remove Iran from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, which Tehran has been on since the list was created in the 1980s. And the requirements are stiff. Tehran would notably have to cut ties to Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite militia and political party that Tehran helped create in the early 1980s, as well as several other movements that use violence.
            Tehran would also have to provide assurances – and proof -- that it had abandoned international terrorism and support for extremist groups. The White House would then have to certify to Congress that Iran had not provided support for terrorism for at least six months, timing that could delay implementation of any diplomatic deal. Congress could block Iran’s removal from the list through a joint resolution , which would in turn be subject to a presidential veto. Congress could override the veto with a two-thirds majority, however.
 
            On Human Rights: Ending sanctions imposed for human rights violations under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act would require Iran to take several steps, including:
                 •  unconditional release of all political prisoners;
                 •  conducting a transparent investigation into the killings, arrests and abuse
                      of protestors after the disputed 2009 presidential election;
                 •  ending human rights violations;
                 •  and establishing an independent judiciary.
 
            On the Nuclear Program: The United States has no clear criteria for removing these sanctions. The basic demands by the world’s six major powers include:
                 •  halting all enrichment of uranium up to 20 percent,
                 •  neutralizing the current stockpile of uranium enrich to 20 percent
                 •  mothballing the new enrichment facility build into the mountains of Fordo.
                 •  accepting maximum level of transparency and intrusive inspections,
                 •  resolving all the outstanding issues with the International Atomic Energy
                      Agency,
                 •  and abiding by the six UN Security Council resolutions demanding
                      suspension of uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.
 
            But most US sanctions are multipurpose. For example, termination of measures under the Iran Sanctions Act , which is at the core of U.S. sanctions, requires:
                 •  that the president to certify that Iran has ceased efforts to design, develop or
                      acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as ballistic missile
                      technology;
                 •  that Tehran has been removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of
                      terrorism;
                 •  and that Iran poses no significant threat to U.S. national security interests or
                      its allies.
 
What obstacles would the White House face in lifting sanctions from Congress, political lobbies, public opinion or other players?
      Lifting U.S. sanctions could be complicated by politics, particularly discordant views between the White House and Congress. Some lawmakers seem less interested in a diplomatic resolution--or less convinced of its feasibility. They are not swayed by the views of U.S. allies. Others would actually prefer to impose additional sanctions.
      So in Washington’s highly politicized climate, Congress may not easily defer to the president on sanctions relief, especially given powerful lobbies on the issue.
      Easing sanctions may also not automatically alter or increase international trade with Iran, given economic realities and business wariness. Sanctions have significantly altered basic trade and consumption patterns that may be hard to change—and may limit or delay any benefits to Iran. Some companies and countries that have shifted away from Iran over the years are unlikely to rush back without solid assurances that sanctions relief is not just temporary. Uncertainty would make them hesitant to re-engage.
            For example, one possibility in a diplomatic deal would be short-term suspension of sanctions–as an interim step—so the two sides have time for building confidence between each other and for winning political support at home for concessions. One of Iran’s top priorities is to get sanctions relief so that it can export more oil, which accounts for up to 80 percent of its export earnings. But the international oil industry may hesitate to reengage during a short-term suspension. Iranian crude also has specific characteristics that would require reconfiguration of refineries, an expensive step without prospects of an enduring deal.
            All in all, the nature of multi-purpose and multi-layered sanctions has confused their strategic purpose, while constraining Washington’s ability to respond to positive actions with requisite nimbleness. Over time, as they has simultaneously grown and ossified, the sanctions have become a less-than-optimal tool to advance negotiations in a diplomatic process where a scalpel, rather than a chainsaw, is required.
 
Would the United States remove the diverse sanctions in the same way?
            The timing and means of removing sanctions will almost certainly vary.
                 •  Politically sensitive sanctions--notably for Iran’s human rights violations and
                      support of militant groups--are unlikely to be on the menu in the near future.
                 •  Restrictions on oil and financial transactions are the crown jewels of the
                      sanctions regime in the eyes of Western policy makers. Neither Washington
                      nor its European Union partners are likely to suspend them without significant
                      Iranian guarantees about Tehran’s nuclear concessions.
            But the reality of suspending sanctions is also not easy either. For instance, both the president and Congress would have to act to allowing Iran to reach its previous petroleum exports , including:
                 •  revoking Executive Order 13622,
                 •  using national security waiver to permit other states to buy more oil from Iran
                       under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012,
                 •  permitting financial transactions with Iran’s energy, shipping and port sectors,
                      which are all declared “entities of proliferation concern” under the Iran
                      Freedom and Counter-proliferation Act of 2012,
                 •  waiving sanctions under TRA and IFCA to allow the provision of insurance and
                      reinsurance for shipping Iranian oil,
                 •  and waiving the ban on repatriating Iran’s oil revenue under TRA. Waivers need
                      to be renewed every 120 or 180 days.
            Almost all Iranian major energy and shipping companies are also blacklisted by the Treasury Department, either as entities supporting terrorism (under Executive Order  13224) or for being involved in proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction under Executive Order  13382. Foreign companies will be more than reluctant to work with these companies unless they are delisted.
            The only remaining option would be to suspend other sanctions that tangibly affect Iran’s economic well-being. The United States could allow Iran to import or export specific goods that produce revenue or help Iran’s manufacturing sector.  The P5+1 world major powers – the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia--chose a similar route in the February and April 2013 negotiations with Iran in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Their offer to relax sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical sales and gold trade was meaningful, but it was not proportionate to the concessions expected from Tehran.  
            Given the complexities, another U.S. option might be to focus on European sanctions, which are more elastic and lack clear criteria for termination. Their repeal requires a unanimous decision by all 28 member states of the European Union. Building consensus, however, is not always a straight forward enterprise in Europe. Also, there is now so much overlap between the U.S. and EU sanctions that a unilateral EU removal of sanctions might have little impact on the ground. One-sided EU concessions also risk being seen by Tehran as a tactical ploy to maintain U.S. sanctions in place indefinitely.
            Diplomatic talks are expected to resume in the fall. The challenge for world’s six major powers will be devising a package of incentives, including some degree of sanctions relief that is achievable both politically and legally while also genuinely addressing Iranian concerns. The challenge for the new Iranian government will be to respond in kind.
 
Ali Vaez is the International Crisis Group’s senior Iran analyst.
 
Click here to see Vaez discuss sanctions at a July 22 event at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Pete Souza photo of Barack Obama

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Inauguration of Hassan Rouhani

      On August 3, Hassan Rouhani took office as Iran’s new president at a ceremony in Tehran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorsed Rouhani’s victory in front of political, military and religious leaders. The new president took the oath of office before parliament and foreign dignitaries on August 4. The following are excerpts from Rouhani's remarks at the two ceremonies.

 

August 3
            "Moderation does not mean deviating from principles and it is not conservatism in the face of change and development. Moderation ... is an active and patient approach in society in order to be distant from the abyss of extremism.
            "In the international arena we will also take new steps to promote the Iranian nation towards securing national interests and removing sanctions. Although there are many limitations, the future is bright and promising.
            "The orientation of the government is Iran's economic salvation, constructive interaction with the world, and a restoration of morality."
 
August 4
            “All those people who voted for me and those who voted for others or even those who did not attend the polling stations — everyone. They are all Iranian citizens and they enjoy equal citizens’ rights. So the government of hope and prudence feels obliged to carry out the lawful demands of all of the people.
            “People want change, development, and improvement. People don't want poverty and discrimination… The fight against corruption and discrimination will be one of the key priorities of the government. All government bodies, agencies, and officials should work together to begin a serious campaign against corruption and inequality.
            “I say candidly that if you [the West] want a proper response, speak to Iran not with the language of sanctions but with the language of respect… The only way for interaction with Iran is dialog on equal footing, mutual confidence-building, mutual respect and reduction of hostilities.
            “The Islamic Republic seeks peace and stability in the region. Iran is the harbor of stability in this tumultuous region. We do not seek to change borders and governments."
 
 

Photo credit: @HassanRouhani via Twitter

Obama on New Iranian President

            On August 4, the Obama administration welcomed Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration as Iran’s new president. The following is the full text of the press secretary's statement.

            "On the occasion of Dr. Hojjatoleslam Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration today as the Islamic Republic of Iran’s seventh president, we again congratulate the Iranian people for making their voices heard during Iran’s election.  We note that President Rouhani recognized his election represented a call by the Iranian people for change, and we hope the new Iranian government will heed the will of the voters by making choices that will lead to a better life for the Iranian people.  The inauguration of President Rouhani presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.  Should this new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue, it will find a willing partner in the United States."
 

Profile: New Foreign Minister

            The following article by Robin Wright was originally published by The Washington Post as Iran’s next foreign minister, Javad Zarif, left the United Nations in 2007. Zarif served as Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations from 2002 to 2007.

Diplomatic Exit
For Iran's Javad Zarif, a Curtain Call Behind the Scenes
By Robin Wright
April 15, 2007

      Javad Zarif, the highest-ranking Iranian diplomat in the United States, made a rare trip to Washington last month. The timing could not have been worse.
       Five days earlier, Iran's Revolutionary Guard had seized 15 British sailors in the Persian Gulf. The U.N. Security Council had just imposed new sanctions on Iran for failing to ensure that its nuclear energy program could not be subverted to make the world's deadliest weapon.
       Yet Zarif, whose five-year stint as Tehran's ambassador to the United Nations is about to end, was widely welcomed here, getting access that would make envoys from America's closest allies green with undiplomatic envy.
       He was even invited to Capitol Hill to chat with with presidential hopefuls from both sides of the aisle.

             "Zarif is a tough advocate but he's also pragmatic, not dogmatic. He can play an important role in helping to resolve our significant differences with Iran peacefully," Democrat Joe Biden said afterward. Noting his previous talks with the Iranian envoy, Republican Chuck Hagel called for "direct engagement" between Washington and Tehran. "Isolating nations does not fix problems," Hagel said.
             During Zarif's talk with Democrat Dianne Feinstein, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican John Warner of the Armed Services Committee dropped by to have a word. "I find him to be a positive, reasonable figure, and it would be useful if he could stay at the U.N.," Feinstein said later.
             Similar encomiums were heard as Zarif made the rounds of Washington think tanks. At a luncheon hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Martin Indyk, the former ambassador to Israel, turned to the Iranian envoy and said, "We're going to miss you."
             At a dinner hosted by the Nixon Center, its president, Dmitri Simes, introduced Zarif as "one of the most impressive diplomats I've met anywhere. He obviously is a strong spokesman for his country, but he knows how to do it with eloquence and credibility."
             All this transpired in just over 24 hours -- the time limit dictated by a special State Department permit that allowed him to leave the 25-mile quarantine imposed on Iranian diplomats at the United Nations.
* * *
             Ever since the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, relations between Washington and Tehran have devolved into a bizarre mix of non-communication, misunderstanding and occasional farce. With Iran's history of arming Iraqi, Lebanese and Palestinian militias, seizing British sailors, refusing to support Arab-Israeli peace, allegedly having a nuclear weapons program, and swinging from revolutionary to reformist back to hard-line politics, both Republican and Democratic administrations have struggled with whether there is any Iranian official that the United States can talk to -- and actually believe.
             Some U.S. foreign policy experts say Zarif may be one of the few.
             Simes compares Zarif to Anatoly Dobrynin, the legendary Soviet ambassador who served in Washington for a quarter-century during the Cold War.
             "Both countries were lucky to have someone who was willing to serve as an honest communication channel, who knew there were a lot of voices in both countries who wanted to destroy the relationship," says Simes. "Dobrynin's role was to keep a modicum of cooperation alive. That's what Zarif is trying to do."
             Others think Zarif is just more skilled at talking out of both sides of his mouth -- and that anyone in the current regime shares the same extremist agenda. "All their goals are the same. They all want to destroy Israel," says Kenneth Timmerman, executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran and author of "Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown With Iran."
             "But there are tactical differences on how to achieve it," he says. "Some think they can trick the U.S. into making a deal that would be advantageous to the regime and keep it in power. Others are willing to be more confrontational. But there's no doubt that they're all out to get nuclear weapons."
             "He's very used to Western habits, so he is the perfect face for an unreasonable regime," says former U.N. ambassador John Bolton. "But he has no independent discretion on what he does."
             Before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's announcement last year that the United States was willing to join Europe in talks with the Iranians if they suspended uranium enrichment, Bolton was asked to deliver an advance text to let Tehran know. His secretary notified the Iranian U.N. mission and set up a time for Bolton to hand it to Zarif. But a half-hour later, the mission called back to say the Iranian government did not want a meeting. "I called him and said: 'I have to give you this piece of paper and you have instructions not to meet me. So what do we do?' " Bolton recalled. "We agreed to have it sent by messenger."
             Ironically, Zarif is suspect among hard-liners at home, too -- one reason analysts believe he is being recalled this summer.
             Zarif follows the rules of the revolutionary Islamic regime: He won't shake a woman's hand or wear a tie, which is disparaged as a symbol of the West. But he speaks English with an American accent after getting two degrees at San Francisco State and a doctorate in international relations at the University of Denver. He was at Denver shortly after Rice finished her PhD there in the same subject.
             "We had some of the same professors," Zarif says with a chuckle.
             He then moved to New York for his first U.N. posting, before going home to become deputy foreign minister. As he often notes, he has spent more of his adult life in the United States than in Iran. Both of his grown children are currently living in the United States.
             "In America, he's the face of the Islamic Republic, and in Iran hard-liners view him as the face of America," says Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
             Being in the middle has taken a physical toll. Zarif's hair has gone from a little salt in a lot of pepper to snowy white during his time at the United Nations -- and he is only 47.
             Even unofficial dialogue between Washington and Tehran has been an elusive goal since the Carter administration broke off relations after the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy. Each country has made overtures to the other, but rarely at the same time. The one connection imploded in the disastrous arms-for-hostage swap during the Reagan administration.
             Indyk, who served in the Clinton administration, recalls when he and two other State Department officials went to New York for a speech to the Asia Society by then-Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi. They dispersed around the room, Indyk says, to try to meet him. But when a mutual contact offered to make introductions, Kharrazi apparently got wind of it and quickly left.
             On another occasion, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright attended a small U.N. meeting on Afghanistan in part to have contact with her Iranian counterpart, Indyk says. But the Unites States knew so little about what Iranian officials looked like that they did not realize he had sent his deputy. The foreign minister had skipped the meeting to avoid the potential controversy at home of meeting with Albright.
             After the 9/11 attacks, diplomats from the two countries began to actually meet when they were in the same room. In 2001, Zarif was Iran's emissary to U.N. talks on the future of Afghanistan after the Taliban's ouster. In Bonn, Germany, he met daily with U.S. envoy James Dobbins, who credits Zarif with preventing the conference from collapsing because of last-minute demands by the Northern Alliance to control the new government.
             "It was about 2 in the morning," Dobbins recalls. The Northern Alliance, an ethnic faction backed by the United States, Iran and Russia, insisted on 18 of 24 ministries, excessive given the population and political realities, Dobbins says.
             "Finally, Zarif took him aside and whispered to him for a few moments, after which the Northern Alliance envoy returned to the table and said, 'Okay, I give up,' " says Dobbins, who is now director of the Rand Corp.'s International Security and Defense Policy Center.
             Assigned to the United Nations in 2002, Zarif met three times in 2003 with then-National Security Council staffer Zalmay Khalilzad or Ambassador Ryan Crocker about Afghanistan and Iraq, a tentative behind-the-scenes effort that died after a massive suicide bombing by al-Qaeda in Riyadh that initially appeared to have possible Iranian links.
             Since then, Zarif has continued "Track 2" diplomacy. In 2005 he agreed to a dinner-party debate on Iran's nuclear program with Robert Einhorn, former assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation, sponsored by the International Crisis Group and hosted by board member George Soros.
             Einhorn is among those who believe that Iran is worth dealing with -- eventually. "I'm not sure it would be productive at this juncture," he says. "But in six to 12 months, if Iran comes to the conclusion that it's playing a losing hand and it needs a better deal, there is no one better than Zarif to do that."
             Last year Zarif participated in a Princeton seminar -- by video, as he could not get State Department permission to travel from New York -- when he was pressed on Iran's position on the Holocaust. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had just questioned whether it truly happened. As he has often said publicly, Zarif said he believed the Holocaust took place and that it was genocide and a crime against humanity. He then countered that the Palestinians should not have to pay the price for mass murder by the Germans. Only later did he learn that the questioner was Uri Lubrani, Israel's envoy to Iran before the 1979 revolution.
             "I asked him a very tough question. He is a very loyal and able servant of his masters," Lubrani recalls. "But I have a notion -- only a notion -- that he did not agree with his boss."
             And when former secretary of state James A. Baker III was working on the Iraq Study Group report, he went to dinner at Zarif's elegant diplomatic residence across from Central Park to talk about cooperation on Iraq. The most controversial section of the final report recommended diplomatic outreach to Iran and Syria to help stabilize Iraq.
             Unlike most of Iran's reclusive envoys, Zarif has also been a regular on American television, from "The Charlie Rose Show" to C-SPAN. But his willingness to talk doesn't mean any give in his defense of his country's positions:
             He insists that Iran is not interested in developing a nuclear weapon. He says Iran wants stability in Iraq, its neighbor. And he denies that Iran is trying to create a "Shiite crescent" running from Iran into Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. "It is a scare tactic," he said on "Charlie Rose" in February.
             On the issue of terrorism, Zarif counters the long list of extremist movements supported by Iran by noting that U.S. troops in Iraq are not taking action against the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, a group that is both the leading Iranian opposition group and on the State Department's terrorism list.
             What draws former U.S. officials and Middle East analysts to Zarif is his willingness to talk about solutions to policy differences. Arms specialists credit him with meeting American scientists to discuss ways to allow Iran to enrich uranium, while guaranteeing Tehran could not use it for bombmaking.
             As he prepares to leave the United Nations, Zarif warns that time is running out. "It would have been far easier to resolve the nuclear issue two years ago, a year ago or last week than it is now," he said at the Nixon Center dinner. "And it is far easier to resolve the nuclear issue today than in two or three months' time, after the next Security Council resolution against Iran. I know if you follow this path, you will have a few more resolutions and we will have a few more centrifuges spinning in Natanz."
             "The outcome is not resolution but greater confrontation on both sides," Zarif said. "That is not the path that is needed."
             The Bush administration remains skeptical. A senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says Zarif has presented a "user-friendly face" for the Iranian regime. "But the fact of the matter is that their behavior has belied his smooth diplomatic effort."
             Zarif is sanguine about his failure to bring down the "wall of mistrust," his mandate when he was originally dispatched by the comparatively reformist government of President Mohammad Khatami.
             Asked what he has achieved during his U.N. stint, Zarif says, "Not much.
             "I don't think that the West interpreted our openings and accommodations the way they should have. They interpreted them as a sign of weakness, whereas it was a genuine desire by people like me to change the nature of the relationship," he says. "Since it was misinterpreted, the reaction was disappointing and in fact only heightened tension and increased mistrust.
             "A stupid idealist who has not achieved anything in his diplomatic life after giving one-sided concessions -- this is what I'm called in Iran."
             Some U.S. analysts suggest that Zarif may have played more of a role than he realizes.
             "The history of relations since the revolution has been ships passing in the night," says Indyk. "When we were ready to talk, they weren't, and when they were, we weren't. We've never been able to get to the table. With him there, we had the best chance. Without him, it will be much more difficult."
 
Photo credit: Javad Zarif by Max Talbot-Minkin via Flickr
 
Robin Wright has traveled to Iran dozens of times since 1973. She has covered several elections, including the 2009 presidential vote. She is the author of several books on Iran, including “The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and transformation in Iran” and “The Iran Primer: Power, Politics and US Policy.” She is a joint scholar at USIP and the Woodrow Wilson Center. See her chapter, “The Challenge of Iran” from "The Iran Primer."
 

Rouhani's Cabinet

            On August 4, Hassan Rouhani was formally inaugurated as Iran's seventh president. He presented the following list of cabinet nominations to parliament. 
 

Appointments

First Vice President: Eshaq Jahangiri 

Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs: Teimour Ali Asgari 

Vice President for Political and Security Affairs: Ali Younesi 

Vice President for Executive Affairs: Morteza Bank 

Vice President for Supervision and Strategic Affairs: Mohammad Baqer Nobakht 

Vice President and Head of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization: Reza Salehi 

Head of Presidential Office’s Inspection Bureau: Hossein Fereidoun 

Chief of Staff: Mohammad Nahavandian 

Chief Advisor: Akbar Torkan 

Foreign Affairs Advisor: Mahmoud Sariolqalam 


Nominations 

Minister of Oil: Bijan Namdar Zanganeh 

Minister of Interior: Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli 

Minister of Economy: Ali Tayebnia 

Minister of Intelligence: Mahmoud Alavi 

Minister of Energy: Hamid Chitchian 

Minister of Defense: Hossein Dehqan 

Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade: Mohammad Reza Ne'matzadeh 

Minister of Labor, Cooperative and Welfare: Ali Rabiei 

Minister of Agriculture: Mahmoud Hojjati 

Minister of Road and Urban Development: Abbas Akhoundi 

Minister of Education: Mohammad Ali Najafi 

Minister of Health: Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi 

Minister of Sports and Youth: Massoud Soltanifar 

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Mohammad Javad Zarif 

Minister of Justice: Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi 

Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance: Ali Jannati 

Minister of Information and Communications Technology: Mahmoud Vaezi 

Minister of Science, Research and Technology: Jafar Meili Monfared 

 

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