New Articles

Revolution at 40: Experts Reflect

February 5, 2019
The original co-authors of "The Iran Primer" book reflect on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Iran’s revolution. Their comments cover the diversity of analysis.  Photo by Bokopix via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow and Director of The Intelligence Project, The Brookings…

Revolution at 40: Leaders Celebrate

February 4, 2019
Updated: February 11, 2019
President Hassan Rouhani Iranian leaders have given defiant speeches, condemning U.S. sanctions and touting the country’s resilience, in the run-up to the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. “The biggest economic pressure in the past 40 years on the Iranian nation has been plotted [by the…

Trump Wants Troops in Iraq to 'Watch' Iran

February 4, 2019
Updated: February 8, 2019
On February 3, President Donald Trump said that U.S. forces departing Syria would shift to bases in Iraq to “watch” Iran, in an interview with CBS news. Iraqi leaders were quick to condemn his remark. Deputy Speaker of Parliament Hassan Karim al Kaabi called the Trump’s comment a “blatant and overt…

Iran Unveils News Missiles, Underground Factory

February 2, 2019
Iran unveiled two new missiles and an underground missile factory during celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. On February 2, Defense Minister Amir Hatami presented the Hoveizeh surface-to-surface missile, an addition to the Soumar family of cruise missiles with a…

E.U. Council Statement on Iran

February 2, 2019
On February 2, the Council of the European Union, which consists of member states’ foreign ministers, released an outline of its views on Iran and related issues. The ministers reiterated their support for the nuclear deal and recognized that Iran had fulfilled its commitments. But they also…

Europeans Launch Iran Trade Mechanism

January 31, 2019
Updated: February 8, 2019
On January 31, Britain, France, and Germany announced the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for European companies to facilitate trade with Iran. The entity is formally named the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX). The “exact method INSTEX uses will be the first…

U.S. Intelligence Community on Iran

January 29, 2019
On January 29, Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats released the annual "Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community." At a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, Coats and his counterparts from the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency,…

Pompeo on Iran During Middle East Tour

January 16, 2019
On January 8, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo embarked on a Middle East tour. He reassured U.S. allies that Washington is a reliable partner in addressing the region’s many problems. The visit followed President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement on December 19 that he was pulling U.S. troops out…

U.S. on Iran’s Failed Satellite Launch

January 16, 2019
On January 15, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi announced that Iran's effort to launch a satellite failed. The rocket carrying the Payam satellite never reached the requisite speed to get into orbit. The United States had warned Iran against pursuing three planned rocket…

Part 2: U.S. and Europeans Differ on Iran's Missiles

December 12, 2018
The United States and major European powers reacted differently to the new U.N. report on Iran’s missile program and implementation of the nuclear deal. In a speech at the United Nations on Dec. 12, 2018, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo called on the world body to impose tougher sanctions on…

Part 1: U.N. Report on Nuclear Deal, Iran's Missiles

December 12, 2018
On December 6, the U.N. Secretary General reported that Iran has continued to implement its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In the sixth report on compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, António Guterres touted the JCPOA as a “major…

Iran’s Role in Yemen and Prospects for Peace

December 5, 2018
By Gerald Feierstein   What are the prospects for peace in war-torn Yemen? How important is Iran to the peace process? Restoring security and stability in Yemen is going to be a long-term process. Successful peace negotiations — including a ceasefire and confidence-building measures — can only be…

U.S. Condemns Iran’s Missile Test

December 3, 2018
Updated: December 4, 2018
On December 1, the United States condemned Iran’s test of a medium range ballistic missile reportedly capable of striking parts of Europe and anywhere in the Middle East. “This test violates U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 that bans Iran from undertaking ‘any activity related to ballistic…

Open Letter by Families of Dual and Foreign Nationals Imprisoned in Iran

December 3, 2018
On December 3, six families of dual and foreign nationals imprisoned in Iran published an open letter calling on the international community to take action on behalf of their loved ones. “We believe that the Iranian authorities have little incentive to end the cruel and horrific practice of hostage…

U.S. Unveils Evidence of Iranian Arms Transfer

November 30, 2018
On November 29, Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, unveiled what he called new evidence of Iranian weapons proliferation. He delivered a briefing in front of a display of missiles, rockets, drones and other equipment. Some of the items were transferred to the…

U.S. Ambassador: Iran Failed to Declare All Chemical Weapons

November 28, 2018
On November 22, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) alleged that Iran failed to declare all its chemical weapons to the group. “The United States is also concerned that Iran is pursuing Central Nervous System-Acting Chemicals for offensive purposes…

U.S. Sanctions Network Supporting Assad, Hezbollah and Hamas

November 27, 2018
On November 20, the U.S Treasury sanctioned six individuals and three entities for providing millions of barrels of oil to the Syrian regime. The Office of Foreign Assets Control said that Russia facilitated the delivery of Iranian oil to Syria. The Assad government then transferred money to the…

Rouhani, Netanyahu and Pompeo on New Tensions

November 27, 2018
On November 24, President Hassan Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumor” and a “fake regime” established by Western powers. At the annual Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, Rouhani also called on the world’s Muslims to unite against the Jewish state and the United States. Other Iranian leaders…

U.S. Special Representative Jeffrey on Iran in Syria

November 14, 2018
In August 2018, Ambassador James Jeffrey was appointed as the U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement. He became the lead State Department contact on all aspects of the Syrian conflict apart from the campaign to defeat ISIS. On September 27, Jeffrey said U.S. goals included defeating ISIS…

U.S. Offers Rewards for Hamas, Hezbollah Leaders Linked to Iran

November 13, 2018
On November 13, the U.S. State Department offered rewards of up to five million dollars each for information on one Hamas leader and two Lebanese Hezbollah leaders. Both groups have received weapons, training and funding from Tehran for years. Hamas leader Salih al Aruri “is currently living freely…

U.S. Says Iran Spends $1 Billion Annually on Supporting Terrorism

November 13, 2018
On November 13, Ambassador-at-Large Nathan Sales, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, highlighted U.S. concerns about Iran’s support for terrorism and armed groups around the world. Sales said that Tehran provides nearly one billion dollars a year to groups including Lebanese…

Iran’s Troubled Auto Industry

November 8, 2018
Iran’s car industry has been under growing pressure since the Trump Administration re-imposed sanctions in August 2018. The challenges are economic, demographic, environmental, and medical—a microcosm of changes in the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. Iran has gone through waves of…

Part 4: Iranian Press on U.S. Sanctions

November 7, 2018
Iran’s often colorful press — both conservative and reformist — invoked vivid images and headlines in covering the Trump administration's decision to reimpose economic sanctions. The following is a sampling from November 4-6 of major newspaper front pages after the U.S. announcement.   Reformist…

Part 2: History of Iran-backed Terrorist Attacks

November 7, 2018
Since the revolution's early years, Iran has been linked — directly or indirectly — to acts of terror on five continents. The Islamic Republic has “conducted terrorist plots, assassinations, and attacks in more than 20 countries worldwide,” according to a State Department report released in…

Part 1: History of Terrorism against Iran

November 7, 2018
Updated: March 4, 2019
Terrorism has been a recurrent challenge for Iran since the 1979 revolution. The perpetrators, targets and frequency have fluctuated. The early attacks killed hundreds of government officials, including a president, prime minister, cabinet ministers, and dozens of members of parliament. Attacks…

Part 3: World Reacts to U.S. Sanctions

November 5, 2018
Updated: November 6, 2018
Top representatives from the European Union, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom said they regretted the U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran. In a joint statement, foreign ministers and finance ministers pledged to protect European companies doing legitimate business with the Islamic…

Part 2: Iran Responds to U.S. Sanctions

November 5, 2018
On November 5, President Hassan Rouhani condemned the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran. “We have to make Americans understand that they cannot talk to the great Iranian nation with the language of pressure and sanctions. They have to be punished,” he told officials from the Ministry of…

Part 1: U.S. Reimposes Sanctions on Iran

November 5, 2018
Updated: November 8, 2018
On November 5, the U.S. Treasury reimposed sanctions on Iran that had been lifted or waived in January 2016 under the nuclear deal. The Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned more than 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels — its largest ever single-day action targeting the Iranian…

Iranian Reaction to U.S. Sanctions

November 2, 2018
In the runup to the reimposition of U.S. sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani accused the United States of disregarding its international obligations. “The US is, in effect, threatening states who seek to abide by [U.N.] resolution 2231 with punitive measures,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Financial…

Mattis on Iran’s Role in Yemen, Syria

November 2, 2018
On October 30, Secretary of Defense James Mattis criticized Iran’s role in fueling the conflict in Yemen. He also called for a ceasefire in Yemen within 30 days. “Yemen has had more problems than any people deserve to carry, and we're calling on all the parties, specifically the Houthis and the…