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U.S. Sanctions Senior Officials for Crackdown

October 6, 2022
On October 6, the United States sanctioned seven senior Iranian officials for violence against protestors and curtailing internet access following the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Kurdish woman had been detained for “improper” clothing on September 13. Her death three days later sparked…

World Demonstrations Support Iran Protests

October 5, 2022
Rallies in support of Iranian protestors were organized in dozens of cities across six continents—from San Francisco to Seoul and Sydney, from Tunis to Tokyo—in late September and early October 2022. Demonstrators chanted “Death to the dictator” and carried signs boasting “Women, Life, Freedom.”…

Iran Protest Song Goes Viral

October 4, 2022
On September 29, Iran arrested Shervin Hajipour after the release of a song inspired by the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman detained for “inappropriate attire” on Sept. 13, 2022. Her death three days later sparked nationwide protests for weeks. The lyrics of “Baraye”—or “For…” or “…

U.S. Supports Iran Protests

October 3, 2022
On October 3, President Joe Biden endorsed Iran’s protests and pledged to impose “further costs” on the government for its crackdown after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained for “inappropriate attire” on September 13. “The United States stands with Iranian women and all…

News Digest: Week of October 3

October 3, 2022
Updated: October 6, 2022
October 3 Security: The Indian Air Force scrambled jet fighters to intercept an airliner operated by Iran’s Mahan Air headed to Guangzhou, China. The airliner pilot refused to divert to either Jaipur or Chandigarh, but the threat ended up being false. Domestic: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali…

Iran Attacks Kurdish Groups in Iraq

September 29, 2022
On September 24, Iran launched several days of attacks—deploying artillery, ballistic missiles and drones—on Kurdish separatist groups harbored in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish area. The operations “will continue in order to ensure viable border security, punish criminal terrorists, and hold…

U.S. Sanctions Oil Smuggling Network

September 29, 2022
On September 29, the United States sanctioned an international network of companies for selling Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products worth millions of dollars to Asian buyers. Petrochemicals, derived from oil and natural gas, are essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels,…

World Leaders on Mahsa Amini’s Death

September 28, 2022
Updated: October 3, 2022
World leaders widely condemned Iran’s crackdown on protests after the death in detention of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman detained for improper hijab, or head covering. “We stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights,”…

U.S. Helps Expand Internet Access for Iranians

September 23, 2022
On September 23, the Treasury Department authorized American companies to expand the range of internet services – which otherwise could be restricted by U.S. sanctions – available to ordinary Iranians. “Today we are issuing a General License to advance our efforts and commitments to ensure that the…

U.S. Sanctions Morality Police, Senior Officials

September 22, 2022
On September 22, the United States sanctioned Iran’s Morality Police and seven senior security officials for the death of Mahsa Amini and violence against protestors. The 22-year-old woman was detained by Morality Police in Tehran on September 13 for an “improper” hijab, or head covering. She was…

Raisi Chastises U.S. at U.N.

September 21, 2022
During his in-person debut at the U.N. General assembly, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi declared that U.S. power and influence were waning. The United States “keeps equivocating militarism with security and has pursued its interests in the world at the expense of other countries.” Washington “…

News Digest: Week of September 19

September 21, 2022
September 19 International: During a hearing, Iran told the International Court of Justice that the United States violated international law by seizing $2 billion from Iranian government bank accounts to compensate 241 victims of the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. Sports:…

Former Political Prisoners Sue Raisi in U.S. Court

September 21, 2022
On September 15, an Iranian dissident and two former political prisoners launched a civil lawsuit against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for complicity in their torture and false imprisonment. The complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, cited “severe personal injuries and other…

Protests Erupt After Death in Detention

September 19, 2022
Updated: October 3, 2022
In mid-September 2022, protests broke out across Iran after the death in detention of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman picked up for improper hijab, or head covering. She collapsed in a “reeducation” center. During the first two weeks, spontaneous demonstrations erupted in more than 90 cities in…

Poll: American Views on Iran, Nuclear Deal

September 16, 2022
Six in 10 Americans support returning to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six major world powers, according to a survey by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The remainder of those polled prefer to maintain economic sanctions on Iran and stay out of the agreement, which President…

Iran on Queen Elizabeth and Monarchy

September 14, 2022
Iran was one of the few countries that failed to officially note or express condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II. But its hardline press featured scathing editorials that reflected the Islamic Republic’s longstanding condemnation of monarchy as a system of government and its history of…

U.S. Sanctions on President Raisi

September 14, 2022
The United States sanctioned Ebrahim Raisi in November 2019, citing his complicity in human rights violations over three decades. The Treasury Department noted Raisi’s role in the so-called “death commission” that ordered the extrajudicial executions of between 4,000 and 5,000 political prisoners…

U.S. Sanctions IRGC-linked Group for Cybercrimes

September 14, 2022
On September 14, the United States sanctioned 10 Iranian men and two companies for hacking computer systems and installing ransomware, which can prevent victims from getting access to their files and data unless they pay a ransom to the hackers. “Ransomware actors and other cybercriminals target…

Year One: Raisi on the Nuclear Deal

September 14, 2022
Updated: September 21, 2022
In his first year in office, President Ebrahim Raisi backed diplomatic negotiations to restore full U.S. and Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Raisi’s goal was to lift and “neutralize” all U.S. sanctions through talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers—Britain, China, France…

Year One: Raisi on the U.S. & the West

September 14, 2022
In his first year in office, President Ebrahim Raisi blamed many of the Middle East’s problems on Western powers. Foreign intervention, notably by the United States, had produced only conflict and political discord, he argued. The “idea of hegemony, but also the project of imposing Westernized…

Year One: Raisi on the Economy

September 14, 2022
In his first year in office, President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to stabilize the economy, address people’s basic needs, fight corruption and to better manage water and gas resources. Raisi took weekly trips to the provinces after he took office in August 2021 to learn about the problems facing average…

News Digest: Week of September 12

September 13, 2022
Updated: September 14, 2022
September 12 Nuclear/Diplomacy: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran’s latest response to the E.U. draft deal on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal was “clearly a step backwards and makes the prospects for an agreement in the near term — I would say — unlikely.” He said that Tehran had…

Europeans: No More Flexibility on Iran Deal

September 12, 2022
On September 10, Britain, France and Germany warned that the intense international diplomacy—between the world’s six major powers and Iran—to revive the 2015 nuclear deal was in grave jeopardy because Tehran had abruptly backtracked from compromises in the final draft. A month earlier, the European…

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Intelligence Ministry

September 9, 2022
On September 9, the United States sanctioned Iran’s intelligence ministry and minister for cyberattacks against the United States and its allies. “Iran’s cyberattacks targeting civilian government services and critical infrastructure sectors can cause grave damage to these services and disregard…

Albania Cuts Ties with Iran Over Cyberattack

September 9, 2022
Updated: September 12, 2022
On September 6, Albania severed diplomatic ties with Iran over an alleged cyberattack on July 15. Iran had tried to “paralyze public services and hack data and electronic communications from the government systems,” Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a statement. Tehran had allegedly directed four…

Iran Seizes and Releases U.S. Sea Drones

September 9, 2022
In two provocative incidents just days apart, Iranian naval forces briefly seized three U.S. drones collecting data in the international waters of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The seizures coincided with growing tensions between the United States and Iran over militia activities in Syria and…

U.S. Sanctions Iran for Providing Drones to Russia

September 8, 2022
Updated: September 13, 2022
On September 8, the United States sanctioned four Iranian companies and a defense contractor for providing drones to Russia for use in Ukraine. The move reflects a tightening of the sanctions noose around countries facilitating Vladimir Putin’s war machine. “The Russian military is suffering from…

News Digest: Week of September 5

September 7, 2022
September 5 Human Rights: Two Iranian women, Zahra Hamadani and Elham Chubdar, were sentenced to death for their activism on behalf of the LGBTQ community. They were reportedly found guilty of “corruption on Earth,” “promoting Christianity,” and “communicating with the media opposing the Islamic…

Part 3: Iran on Its Space Program

September 7, 2022
The Iranian government has long considered the space program a source of national pride. Despite Western criticism, Tehran has claimed its program is completely peaceful and will not be used for military purposes. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly boasted that the space…

Part 2: U.S. on Iran’s Space Program

September 7, 2022
For more than a decade, the United States has warned that Iran’s space program could be adapted to advance its ballistic missile program, with implications for the entire Middle East and beyond. As of 2022, Iran already had missiles with a 2,000-kilometer (or 1,200-mile) range. The Trump…