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.
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.”
On January 29, opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi issued rare criticism of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in an open letter. “You have been Iran’s top leader for three decades, but still speak like an opposition,” wrote Karroubi in the letter published by Saham News, the official website of his reformist political party.
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.
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.
On January 22, Vice President Mike Pence pledged that the United States would never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and that it will “no longer tolerate Iran’s support of terrorism, or its brutal attempts to suppress its own people.” In an address to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Pence called the nuclear deal a “disaster” and said Washington will no longer certify the agreement. All Israeli ministers reportedly stood up and applauded that remark.
On January 19, Secretary of Defense James Mattis released the U.S. National Defense Strategy, the first in a decade. It builds on President Trump's National Security Strategy, which was released in December 2017.
Kevan Harris, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California-Los Angeles, and Daniel Tavana, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, have collaborated on a groundbreaking initiative focused on the political behavior and socio-economic relations of Iranians. The Iran Social Survey (ISS) is a multi-year, telephone survey research project. The first wave of data was collected in late 2016 and included a national sample of about 5,000 people.
“The 2015 Iran nuclear accord is as successful as it remains fragile,” according to a new report by the International Crisis Group. President Trump has pledged to withdraw the United States from the deal if Congress and European partners do not alter its terms. “Meanwhile, friction between Iran, the U.S. and their regional rivals is growing and could undermine the deal’s implementation,” the report warned.
On January 12, President Trump waived sanctions on Iran for a third time, as required every 120 days by law under the nuclear deal. But he only did so "in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal,” he said.