Iran’s French Connection

February 9, 2017

President Donald Trump’s statements challenging the nuclear deal with Iran contrast with the views of key European allies in support of the agreement. On January 30, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault touched down in Tehran for a two-day visit that included meetings with President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.  Ayrault’s trip is the most recent in a series of bilateral visits heralding a renaissance in Franco-Iranian relations.

Trump vs. Khamenei

February 7, 2017

On February 7, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced President Donald Trump in an address to air force commanders. He thanked Trump for revealing the “true face” of the United States. “What we have been saying, for over thirty years, about political, economic, moral, and social corruption within the U.S. ruling establishment, he came out and exposed during the election campaigns and after the elections,” said Khamenei.

Freedom House: Iran’s Human Rights Abuses

February 7, 2017

In Freedom House’s annual report, Iran received a score of 17 out of 100, with 100 being the most free. It also received poor marks for political rights and civil liberties. “Freedom in the World 2017” is the organization’s flagship report, which assesses the condition of political rights and civil liberties around the world. It is composed of numerical ratings and supporting descriptive texts for 195 countries and 15 territories. The following is Iran’s profile from the report. 

Congress on Iran, Missile Test

February 6, 2017

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have condemned Iran’s January 29 ballistic missile test. Many also criticized Tehran for destabilizing the region through its sponsorship for terrorist organizations and militias. The following are recent remarks by members of Congress on Iran.

 

Bipartisan Letter to President Trump

Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Corker (R-TN) and 20 colleagues

Dear Mr. President: 

Kuwait Minister Calls for Dialogue with Iran

January 25, 2017

On January 25, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Khaled al Sabah made a rare one-day visit to Tehran and called for a frank dialogue between Iran and its Arab neighbors. He delivered a message to President Hassan Rouhani from his country’s emir, Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, the details of which have not been publicized. The minister said that Iran and Kuwait should find common ground on combating terrorism and boost bilateral ties for the sake of regional security.  

Poll 2: Rouhani’s Standing, 2017 Election

January 25, 2017

President Hassan Rouhani will be up for reelection in May 2017. His popularity peaked in August 2015 with an 89 percent favorability rating just after the nuclear deal was brokered between Iran and the world’s six major powers. As of December 2016, however, only 68 percent of Iranians viewed him favorably, according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll.com.

Poll 1: Iranians on Nuclear Deal, Trump

January 25, 2017

Some 71 percent of Iranians believe that President Donald Trump is likely to decide not to abide by the terms of the nuclear deal, according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll.com. Some 59 percent of Iranians think Tehran should reject renegotiating the agreement if Trump demands to increase the duration of the deal. Enthusiasm for the deal in general, however, has waned. In September 2015, 77 percent of Iranians approved of the deal, compared with 55 percent in December 2016.