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News Digest: Week of November 18

November 19, 2019
November 18 Economics: The government announced that 12 people had been killed in clashes with security forces during protests against a sudden fuel price hike. But activists claimed that at least 40 people had died.  Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei claimed that attendance in demonstrations had…

Protests: U.S. Reaction

November 18, 2019
Updated: November 19, 2019
The Trump administration offered support to Iranians protesting a hike in gas prices announced on November 15. “We condemn the lethal force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators. Tehran has fanatically pursued nuclear weapons and missile programs, and supported terrorism…

Protests: Government Response

November 18, 2019
Updated: November 19, 2019
Protests have spread across Iran in response to increased fuel prices and rationing. The government’s move, announced overnight on November 15, triggered an angry reaction. "Have shame [President] Rouhani, Leave the country alone!" and "Have shame dictator, Leave the country alone!” protestors…

Protests: Overview and Timeline

November 18, 2019
Updated: November 19, 2019
In a surprise overnight announcement on November 15, Iran hiked gas prices—by up to 300 percent—and introduced a new rationing system. The government’s goal was to raise funds to help the poor, but it backfired. Protests erupted across the country. The sudden move followed rising inflation and…

U.S. Renews National Emergency Regarding Iran

November 13, 2019
On November 12, President Donald Trump, like his predecessors, renewed the national emergency with respect to Iran. The emergency status was first declared on November 14, 1979, shortly after the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The following is the full text of the White House press release…

U.N.: Iran Violating Nuclear Deal

November 12, 2019
Updated: November 13, 2019
In its quarterly report, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said that Iran had violated the 2015 nuclear deal by increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also reported that its inspectors had found traces of uranium “at a location in Iran not declared to…

News Digest: Week of November 11

November 12, 2019
Updated: November 19, 2019
November 11 Nuclear: In its quarterly report, the world’s nuclear watchdog said that Iran had violated the 2015 nuclear deal by increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also reported that its inspectors had found traces of uranium “at a location…

Iran’s Hegemony Tested in Iraq, Lebanon

November 6, 2019
Updated: November 13, 2019
By Andrew Hanna In late 2019, Iran faced challenges to its influence in Iraq and Lebanon that, for the first time in a more than a decade, weakened its hold on two countries critical to its regional ambitions. Protesters in both countries criticized Tehran’s role in their domestic politics. Iran…

International Reactions to Iran’s Nuclear Moves

November 6, 2019
Updated: November 12, 2019
On November 5, President Hassan Rouhani announced a major increase in Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity. He said Iran would start injecting gas into centrifuges at a heavily fortified facility. He said Iran would start injecting gas into centrifuges at a heavily fortified facility. Fordo, built…

Report: Internet Censorship in Iran

November 5, 2019
In 2018 and 2019, internet freedom in Iran remained highly restricted, according to a new report by Freedom House. Authorities “handed down harsh prison sentences to online journalists and other users, and continued to block access to independent news sites and a number of social media and…

Iraqis Storm Iranian Consulate

November 4, 2019
As Iran marked 40 years since the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iraqi protestors stormed the Iranian consulate in Karbala. On November 3, demonstrators scaled concrete barriers protecting the building and lobbed stones and firebombs over the wall. They accused Iran of interfering in Iraq’…

News Digest: Week of November 4

November 4, 2019
Updated: November 12, 2019
November 4 Foreign Policy/Society: More than 1,000 rallies were held across Iran to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy. Outside of the former U.S. mission, thousands of Iranians chanted “Death to America,” as army chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi condemned…

U.S.: 40 Years After Its Embassy Takeover

November 4, 2019
The United States marked 40 years since the seizure of its embassy in Tehran by announcing new sanctions on Iran. “Forty years later, the revolutionary regime in Tehran has proven, time and again, that its first acts after gaining power were a clear indication of its evil character,” Secretary of…

Iran: 40 Years After U.S. Embassy Takeover

November 4, 2019
On November 4, thousands of Iranians chanted “Death to America” outside of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran. It was one of more than 1,000 rallies held across Iran to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the embassy’s seizure. In 1979, students stormed the compound to protest the Carter…

Khamenei: 40 Years After U.S. Embassy Takeover

November 4, 2019
On November 3, Iran’s supreme leader renewed the ban on talks with the United States. “No problem will be solved with meetings and with negotiations,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told students on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. “The same wolfish qualities…

U.S.: Iran Worst State Sponsor of Terror

November 1, 2019
Iran “remains the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism,” according to a new State Department report. In the latest edition of “Country Reports on Terrorism,” Washington alleged that Tehran “has spent nearly one billion dollars per year to support terrorist groups that serve as its proxies and…

U.S. Sanctions Iran’s Construction Sector

November 1, 2019
On October 31, the U.S. State Department announced sanctions on Iran’s construction sector and the sale of certain materials used in Tehran’s nuclear, military or ballistic missile programs. The sale of raw and semi-finished metals, graphite, coal, and software for integrating industrial purposes…

Detainees in Iran and the U.S.

November 1, 2019
Updated: November 15, 2019
Hostage seizures and arrests have been a recurrent feature of the troubled relationship between the United States and Iran since revolutionary students captured the U.S. Embassy—and 52 diplomats—on Nov. 4, 2019. That 444-day drama ended on January 20, 1981, the day President Ronald Reagan was…

Inside the Former U.S. Embassy in Tehran

October 30, 2019
For almost four decades, the U.S. embassy in Iran was off-limits to visitors. Students seized the embassy on November 4, 1979 to protest the Carter administration’s decision to take in the ailing former shah for medical treatment. Student leaders later said their intention was to hold the embassy…

U.S. and Gulf Partners Sanction Financial Network

October 30, 2019
On October 30, the United States and six Gulf countries—Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait—imposed sanctions on a financing network controlled by Iran’s military and linked to Hezbollah, a Lebanese militia and political movement. The Terrorist Financing…

News Digest: Week of October 28

October 28, 2019
Updated: November 4, 2019
October 28 Justice: The Iranian lawyer of two French citizens detained in Tehran said prosecutors had provided no evidence of espionage or security-related charges. Roland Marchal was arrested in June while visiting his Iranian-French colleague Fariba Adelkhah, who was also detained. The attorney…

U.S. Announces Humanitarian Mechanism

October 25, 2019
On October 25, the U.S. Treasury announced a new financial channel “to ensure unprecedented transparency into humanitarian trade with Iran.” The Treasury Department said the mechanism would allow “permissible trade” to support the Iranian population while continuing to deprive Tehran of the…

The Invisible U.S.-Iran Cyber War

October 25, 2019
By Andrew Hanna By 2019, tensions between the United States and Iran increasingly played out in invisible cyberspace. Both governments acknowledged that cyberattacks were central to their strategies. The scope was unknown, but cyberspace has turned into a near-unrestricted war zone. Cyber offered…

Thaw in Iran-Gulf Relations

October 22, 2019
On October 20, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that it released $700 million in frozen funds to Iran—a sign of thawing relations between the two Gulf countries. On October 14, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said there have been “some contacts between Iran and the United Arab Emirates in…

News Digest: Week of October 21

October 21, 2019
Updated: October 25, 2019
October 21 Justice/Diplomacy: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran sent the United States a list of names for a proposed prison swap. Tehran did not publicize the list, but Zarif said he hoped to hear “good news” regarding the release of Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani. The United…

Hook: Syria Pullout Does Not Affect Iran Strategy

October 18, 2019
On October 16, Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on U.S. policy toward Iran. Hook told lawmakers that Washington’s policy was rooted in “an unprecedented pressure campaign” with two objectives: “to deprive the Iranian regime of the…

Iran’s Role in Iraqi Protests

October 16, 2019
Updated: November 7, 2019
On October 1, more than 1,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Baghdad to protest corruption, unemployment and a lack of basic services. The protests also targeted growing Iranian influence in Iraq. Some protestors chanted anti-Iranian slogans, while others displayed posters of Iraq’s former…

Imran Khan’s Saudi-Iran Diplomacy

October 16, 2019
In mid-October, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan traveled to Iran and Saudi Arabia to discuss ways to reduce regional tensions. Khan met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani on October 13. After the meeting, Tehran indicated a desire to engage with…

Poll: Iranians on the Economy

October 16, 2019
Some 68 percent of Iranians say their country’s economic situation is bad, and 55 percent say it is getting worse, according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll.com. Some 54 percent of Iranians say that domestic mismanagement and…

Rouhani's Brother Goes to Prison

October 16, 2019
On October 16, Hossein Fereydoun, the brother of President Hassan Rouhani and a senior negotiator in nuclear talks with the United States, began a five-year prison term in Tehran’s Evin prison. He was arrested in 2017 and initially sentenced to seven years in prison; an appeals court reduced the…