Israel Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria, Loses Jet

February 13, 2018

On February 10, tensions between two regional rivals escalated after an Israeli combat helicopter reportedly intercepted an Iranian drone that crossed the Syria-Israel border. IDF spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus told CNN that Israel tracked the unmanned craft from its launch from the Iranian T-4 command center near Palmyra, Syria. He said it was the first time an Iranian drone had crossed into Israeli territory since the Syrian conflict began in 2011.

US Nuclear Posture Review on Iran

February 5, 2018

On February 2, the U.S. Defense Department released a Nuclear Posture Review at the direction of the Trump administration. The document, a product of a year’s worth of analysis and deliberations across government agencies, describes the roles nuclear weapons play in U.S. national security strategy and gives an assessment of the global security environment. It “reaffirms our commitment to arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, maintains the moratorium on nuclear testing, and commits to improving efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism,” President Trump said.

Rouhani Speech in Kerman on Revolution Anniversary

February 1, 2018

On the first of the “10 Days of Dawn,” which commemorate the 1979 revolution and Ruhollah Khomeini’s return from exile, President Hassan Rouhani gave a speech on economic development, Iran’s resistance to outside powers and U.S. intervention in the region. The following are excerpts from his address to people in Sirjan city in Kerman province, which his located 500 miles southeast of Tehran.

Trump on Iran in State of the Union

January 31, 2018

On January 30, President Donald Trump expressed support for Iranian protestors and urged Congress to fix perceived flaws in the nuclear deal during his first State of the Union address.

 

“When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.”

Rouhani’s First Interview Since Protests

January 26, 2018

On January 22, President Hassan Rouhani gave his first interview since protests over economic grievances and corruption broke out in late December and early January. Rouhani reiterated his support for citizens expressing their opinions, although the interviewer never brought up the demonstrations. “Protest within the framework of the law is accepted but undue tensions and unrest causes concerns for people,” Rouhani said. Reza Rashidpour, a popular TV anchor and Rouhani supporter, conducted the hour-long interview on live state TV.

House Speaker Ryan in UAE on Iran

January 25, 2018

On January 25, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said the United States will take leverage economic relationships to make it more difficult for Iran to fund destabilizing activities in the Middle East. In remarks to the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in the United Arab Emirates, Ryan also expressed support for Iranians who demonstrated against economic hardships and government corruption. He traveled with a bipartisan Congressional delegation to the region. The following are excerpts of his remarks as prepared for delivery.