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Rising Iran-Saudi Tensions

October 27, 2015
Iran and Saudi Arabia are regional rivals, with both countries falling on different sides of Middle Eastern conflicts. In Syria, Iran backs President Bashar al Assad, while Saudi Arabia supports Sunni rebels. In Yemen, Iran is widely believed to support the Houthis, a Zaydi Shiite movement that has…

Iran’s Growing Toll in Syria

October 26, 2015
Garrett NadaIran’s involvement in Syria is growing. So is the Iranian death toll. For decades, the Islamic Republic has been a pivotal ally of the Assad dynasty and a source of arms, military advisers, and billions in financial aid. But it stepped up support after the uprising began in 2011. It…

Khamenei Approves Nuclear Deal

October 21, 2015
On October 21, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved the nuclear deal between Iran and the world’s six major powers. In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, he laid out conditions for implementing the deal, warning that that any new sanctions would be considered a violation of the…

Adoption Day: Iran and P5+1 Comment

October 19, 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…

Adoption Day: US Officials Comment

October 19, 2015
U.S. officials welcomed the nuclear deal’s Adoption Day on October 18. "This is an important day for all of us and a critical first step in the process of ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes," said Secretary of State John Kerry. Following Adoption Day,…

Adoption Day: State Department Briefing

October 19, 2015
On October 17, senior State Department officials answered questions about implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran. The following are excerpts from the background briefing, which was held one day before Adoption Day, the point at which the agreement came into effect.   MODERATOR:  The…

US Report: Iran's Religious Freedom Abuses

October 15, 2015
Iran’s government reportedly continued to imprison, harass, intimidate and discriminate against people based on religious beliefs in 2014, according to an annual report by the U.S. State Department. It also notes that non-Muslims faced “substantial societal discrimination, aided by official support…

Rouhani on Economy, Parliament Vote

October 13, 2015
In a live television interview, President Hassan Rouhani applauded parliament's approval of the nuclear deal. On October 13, the parliament passed a bill to support implementing the deal, with a vote of 161-59. Rouhani discussed the agreement and its implications for Iran's economy in the interview…

Parliament Approves Nuclear Deal

October 13, 2015
Iran’s parliament voted to approve a resolution permitting the government to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). On October 11, 139 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill’s general provisions, with 100 lawmakers against and 12 abstaining. And on October 13, Parliament approved…

Iran Convicts Jason Rezaian

October 13, 2015
Tehran's Revolutionary Court has convicted Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who has been held in Iran for 14 months on charges including espionage. In a press conference on October 11, Judiciary spokesman Mohseni Ejei confirmed that Rezaian had been found guilty but did not provide details…

Zarif Interview on Russia & Peace in Syria

October 7, 2015
Robin Wright (for The New Yorker)Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is in demand these days. On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, he shook hands with President Obama and met twice with Secretary of State John Kerry. … Zarif hosted both Republican and Democratic officials from…

Khamenei: Negotiations with US Forbidden

October 7, 2015
On October 7, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that further negotiations with the United States are “forbidden." In an address to Revolutionary Guards commanders, he claimed that talks expose Iran to U.S. influence and harm Iran’s national interests. The following are excerpted remarks…

Javad Zarif on Syria Peace Plan

October 6, 2015
In New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said prospects for progress on the Syrian crisis grew after meetings around the U.N. General Assembly. “I think it is important that everybody is coming around to the same concept that we need to focus on procedures and institutions rather…

Parliament Moves to Approve Nuclear Deal

October 5, 2015
On October 4, the Iranian parliamentary committee tasked with reviewing the nuclear deal presented its preliminary report to the Parliament. It highlighted both the strengths and weaknesses of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but  emphasized the harmful effects some provisions could…

Assad Interview with Iranian Television

October 5, 2015
On October 4, Syrian President Bashar al Assad said that he was optimistic about the new cooperation between Iran, Iraq, Russia and Syria in the fight against ISIS. The other week, Iraq announced that the four countries would share intelligence. The “coalition has great chances of success,” he told…

Economic Trends: August and September

October 5, 2015
Cameron Glenn In August and September, Iran’s leaders tried to manage high expectations that the final nuclear deal will carry immediate economic benefits. The deal’s “Implementation Day,” when certain U.S., E.U., and U.N. sanctions will be lifted, will likely not occur until mid-2016.…

Regional Leaders at UNGA: On Iran

October 2, 2015
Top officials from across the Middle East and South Asia discussed Iran during their visits to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. Some leaders welcomed the nuclear deal or proposed new dialogue with Iran while others accused Tehran of meddling in the region. The following are excerpted remarks…

Iranian Officials on Syria, Possible Solutions

October 1, 2015
Iranian officials have long expressed their unwavering support for Syria and President Bashar al Assad. But while some officials have said it is Iran’s duty to support the Syrian government militarily, others have stressed the importance of a political solution to the conflict. In interviews and…

Netanyahu at UNGA: On Iran, Syria

October 1, 2015
On October 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the nuclear deal with Iran during his address to the U.N. General Assembly. “By fueling Iran’s aggressions with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it makes war more likely,” he said. He also spoke at length about Iran’s…

Iran & Saudi Arabia: New Tensions on Hajj

September 29, 2015
Tensions began escalating between Iran and Saudi Arabia after a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, killed and injured pilgrims completing a hajj ritual. Saudi officials reported that 769 people had been killed, but Iranian officials estimate the death toll could be as high as 4,700 – including some…

Obama & Zarif: Controversial Handshake

September 29, 2015
On September 28, President Barack Obama shook hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. The exchange, confirmed by U.S. and Iranian officials, lasted less than minute. But it caused a firestorm among hardliners in Iran.…

Rouhani at UNGA : On Syria

September 28, 2015
During two meetings in New York, President Hassan Rouhani covered a range of issues from working with the United States to the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, tensions with Saudi Arabia, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and more. On September 25 he met with journalists and on September…

Rouhani at UNGA : On US Relations

September 28, 2015
During two meetings in New York, President Hassan Rouhani covered a range of issues from working with the United States to the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, tensions with Saudi Arabia, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and more. On September 25 he met with journalists and on September…

Rouhani at UNGA : On Saudis & Yemen

September 28, 2015
During two meetings in New York, President Hassan Rouhani covered a range of issues from working with the United States to the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, tensions with Saudi Arabia, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and more. On September 25 he met with journalists and on September…

Rouhani at UN: On Nuclear Deal, Extremism

September 28, 2015
On September 28, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hailed the nuclear deal as a potential model for positive change in the Middle East. In his address to the U.N. General Assembly, Rouhani also warned that the gravest threat to the world is for terrorist organizations to become terrorist states.…

Obama at UNGA : On Iran, Syria Peace

September 28, 2015
On September 28, President Barack Obama said that the nuclear deal with Iran will make the world safer if fully implemented. But he also noted that Tehran’s support for “violent proxies” is detrimental to the Middle East’s security and that Iran's policies are preventing its citizens from unlocking…

Kerry, Zarif Discuss Nuclear Deal in NY

September 28, 2015
On September 26, Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the implementation of the nuclear deal with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. The meeting in New York City on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly was their first since the agreement was announced in July. Before the meeting…

Rouhani CBS Interview on Nuclear Deal, US

September 21, 2015
Iran and the United States have “taken the first steps” toward decreasing enmity by negotiating the nuclear deal announced in July, President Hassan Rouhani told CBS in an interview. But he emphasized that establishing trust between Tehran and Washington would take a long time given decades-long…

US Treasury on Iran Sanctions Post-Deal

September 18, 2015
On September 17, a ranking Treasury official told lawmakers that the United States is “intensifying a battery of sanctions that will not change under the terms of that deal” even while preparing to suspend secondary nuclear sanctions in return for Iranian compliance. “These include sanctions…

State Department on Implementing Iran Deal

September 18, 2015
State Department officials announced that Adoption Day for the Iran nuclear deal will be October 18, 2015. They also clarified that the deal will not go into full effect, notably sanctions relief, until after Iran dismantles key components of its nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy…