Trump and Tillerson on Nowruz

March 21, 2017

On March 22, President Donald Trump issued a statement marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year. "On behalf of the American people, I wish you freedom, dignity, and wealth," he said in remarks directed to the Iranian people. On March 20, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had also issued a Nowruz message. It mentioned more than a dozen countries where the holiday is observed, including Iran, but did not include a special message to the Iranian people. The full text of Trump and Tillerson’s statements are below.


US Sanctions Bahrainis Linked to Iran

March 18, 2017

DoS sealOn March 17, the U.S. State Department sanctioned two Bahrainis with ties to Iran for supporting terrorism. One was affiliated with the al Ashtar Brigades, which has received funding and support from the Iranian government and carried out attacks in Bahrain. Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi, however, dismissed the allegations as political.

Trump Travel Ban Seeks to Suspend Iran Visas

March 6, 2017

On March 6, President Donald Trump issued a new executive order banning people from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the United States for 90 days. The move comes about a month after a panel of federal judges blocked enforcement of his initial executive order. The original January order barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen — from entering the United States for 90 days. The new ban will go into effect on March 16 and does not include Iraq on the list of countries of concern.

Iran Beats US Wrestling Team

February 17, 2017

On February 17, Iran’s national wrestling team beat the U.S. team 5-3 to take the gold in the World Cup freestyle championship. The match was held in Kermanshah, Iran. Just weeks before the competition, the Americans thought they might not be able to attend. The Islamic Republic vowed reciprocation after President Donald Trump issued a visa ban for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran. But after the courts put a pause on the controversial executive order, Iran granted visas to the wrestlers.

Trump & Netanyahu on Nuclear Deal

February 15, 2017

On February 15, President Donald Trump condemned the Iran nuclear deal during a joint press conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Trump said it is “one of the worst deals” he’s ever seen and that his administration would do more to prevent Tehran from attaining a nuclear weapon. Netanyahu lauded Trump for his administration’s strong reaction to Iran’s recent ballistic missile test, including imposing new sanctions.

US Calls for Release of Opposition Leaders

February 14, 2017

DoS sealOn February 14, the Acting State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner called for the immediate release of 2009 presidential candidates and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi as well as Mousavi’s wife, women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard. They have been under house arrest for six years for leading Green Movement protests after the disputed 2009 election. But they have not been formally charged with any crimes.