On December 14, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, presented what she referred to as "undeniable" evidence of Iran’s transfer of arms to Houthi rebels in Yemen. “It’s hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it,” she told reporters, standing in front of a missile allegedly fired by Houthis into Saudi Arabia.
On December 10, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged Europe to work with Iran and not follow in “lock step” behind the United States. In an op-ed published in The New York Times, he argued that the United States has proven unreliable on foreign policy since President Donald Trump took office.
On December 5, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to exchange views on recent developments in the Middle East and the Balkans. In remarks to the press, Mogherini reiterated that “continued implementation of the Iran nuclear deal is a key strategic priority for European security but also for regional and global security.” Tillerson highlighted Iran’s regional activities and that he looked forward to working with European partners to address Tehran’s support of armed groups like Hezbollah.
Americans are divided on their opinion of the Iran nuclear deal and President Donald Trump’s decision to not certify Tehran’s compliance, according to a new survey conducted by Shibley Telhami and Stella Rouse at the University of Maryland. The following are key results from the poll carried out November 1-6, 2017 with a margin of error of 2.19 percent.
On December 2, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said that he sent a letter to the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Qods Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani, warning that Iran would be held responsible for attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq. Soleimani, once a shadowy figure, has played an increasingly public role and often traveled to the front lines of the fight against ISIS. He has been photographed extensively with Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria. The following are Pompeo’s excerpted remarks from The Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.
In November, regional and world powers renewed efforts to end the six-year conflict in Syria and discussed ways to combat ISIS and other terrorist organizations. A flurry of meetings and phone calls came just days after ISIS lost its last stronghold in Syria, Abu Kamal. The following is a rundown of the latest diplomatic efforts, including a Russia-Iran-Turkey summit.
On November 20, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned a wide network of individuals of entities that were helping Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force “counterfeit currency to support its destabilizing activities.” The U.S. government has accused the Qods Force of meddling in the affairs of Iran’s neighbors and supporting terror. The following is the full text of the Treasury’s press release.
On November 21, President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
On November 14, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano said that Iran is abiding by the nuclear deal’s restrictions and that his agency’s verification measures are strong. “IAEA inspectors now spend around 3,000 days in the field in Iran each year, twice as many as in 2013,” he said at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Amano gave an overview of the Iran nuclear issue from 2002 to the present and detailed the IAEA’s involvement in verifying the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
On November 4, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned, blaming Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah for destabilizing the region. The Arab world would "cut off the hands that wickedly extend to it [Iran]," he warned. Hariri, leader of the Future Movement Party, is the leader of Lebanon’s main Sunni Muslim political bloc and a close ally of Saudi Arabia. It was Hariri’s second visit to the kingdom in less than a week.