President Trump on Nowruz

March 20, 2018

On March 19, President Donald Trump issued a statement ahead of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. He used the occasion to condemn Iran’s leaders and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is Iran’s most powerful security and military organization. It is also the most powerful economic actor in the country. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan also issued a Nowruz statement. He expressed support for Iranians who protested economic grievances and corruption. Their statements are below.

UN Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran

March 14, 2018

The U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran has observed a “worrying” trend since her last report in August 2017. “Despite assurances from the Government, improvements are either not forthcoming or are being implemented very slowly and in piecemeal,” according to an advance copy of Asma Jahangir’s report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Jahangir passed away in February 2018, shortly after sharing the report with Iran’s government, so she did not have the opportunity to consider its response.

BBC Appeals to UN Over Harassment of Staff

March 14, 2018

On March 12, the BBC said its journalists will appeal directly to the United Nations over alleged “persecution and harassment” by Iran of its Persian Service staff. The BBC has said that staff in London and/or their families in Iran have been targets of threats, arrests and travel bans. More than 20 staff or family members have received death threats. The appeal will be made at a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.

Iranian Embassy in London Stormed

March 12, 2018

On March 9, four followers of Grand Ayatollah Sadegh Hossein Shirazi, an outspoken critic of Iran’s clerical leadership, climbed onto the first-floor balcony of Iran’s embassy in London and took down the flag. They waived blue-and-white flags of a U.K.-based Shiite group called Khodam al Mahdi, which reportedly supports Shirazi.

Zarif, Lavrov Call for Gulf Security Dialogue

March 6, 2018

On February 19, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif renewed his call for a new framework for security in the Persian Gulf region. For years, he has proposed a dialogue forum that would include the primarily Sunni Gulf states, Iraq and Shiite Iran to reduce tensions. He recently outlined his vision at the Munich Security Conference and at a Valdai Discussion Club conference in Moscow.

Report: Assessing Iran’s Missiles

February 28, 2018

Iran’s ballistic missile program is a key point of contention between Western powers and Tehran. The United States and other countries have argued that Iran’s missile testing is contrary to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”