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Iran & Russia: Growing Economic Competition

July 18, 2022
Henry Rome is the deputy head of research at Eurasia Group. Iran and Russia have had a contentious relationship going back almost four centuries, including the Qajar dynasty’s loss of territory to the Russian Empire in the 19th century and the Soviet Union’s brief occupation of Iran in the 20th…

Sweden Imprisons Iranian for 1988 Massacre

July 14, 2022
In a groundbreaking human rights case, Sweden sentenced Hamid Noury, a former Iranian prosecutor, to life imprisonment for his role in the 1988 prison massacre of an estimated 5,000 dissidents. The verdict, announced on July 14, 2022 after a nine-month trial, was the first time anyone has been…

U.S. Sanctions Oil Smuggling Network

July 8, 2022
On July 6, the United States sanctioned a network that smuggled hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products to East Asia. Petrochemicals, derived from oil and natural gas, are essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine, and mobile…

U.S. & Britain Seized Iranian Missiles

July 8, 2022
Britain and the United States confiscated Iranian weapons bound for Yemen during naval military operations on January 28 and February 25. The equipment included surface-to-air missiles and cruise-missile rocket engines that were on speedboats in the Gulf of Oman. “This is the first time a British…

Iran and U.S. Spar at U.N.

June 30, 2022
With the failure of U.S.-Iran nuclear talks in Qatar, envoys from Washington and Tehran traded accusations at the United Nations. Iran “continued to make demands that go well beyond” the 2015 nuclear deal, Ambassador Richard Mills, said at a Security Council meeting on the implementation of…

News Digest: Week of June 27

June 29, 2022
June 27 Security: State-owned Khuzestan Steel Co. said that it halted production due to a cyber attack that also targeted two other plants. A hacker group known as “Predatory Sparrow” claimed responsibility and shared footage of what appeared to be a fire on a production line. “These companies are…

G7 Summit on Iran

June 28, 2022
On June 28, the G7 leaders issued the following position on Iran in the final communique. The G7 countries include: Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States.    G7 Leaders‘ Communiqué  “We reiterate our clear commitment that Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon.…

Iranian-U.S. Citizen Pleads Guilty to Evading Sanctions

June 28, 2022
On June 28, a dual Iranian-U.S. citizen pleaded guilty to conspiring to export goods and technology to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). U.S. export laws prohibit procuring equipment for the CBI, which was sanctioned for providing support to terrorist organizations. Kambiz Attar Kashani, age 44, and…

After Long Delay, U.S.-Iran Talks in Qatar Falter

June 27, 2022
Updated: June 29, 2022
International diplomacy to revive the historic 2015 nuclear deal failed after two days of last-gasp talks conducted indirectly between the United States and Iran by European Union envoy Enrique Mora in Qatar. “Unfortunately, not yet the progress the EU team as coordinator had hoped-for,” Mora…

Iranian Economists Warn of Chaos 

June 17, 2022
In a bold challenge to Iran’s autocratic government, dozens of economists published a scathing public letter warning that the country had reached an “explosive stage” of social unrest due to economic mismanagement and turmoil. “Our admonition to government officials is that the country's situation…

U.N. Alarmed Over Iran Crackdown

June 17, 2022
On June 15, U.N. human rights experts criticized Iran’s crackdown on peaceful protestors and arrest of teachers, union leaders, lawyers, and human rights activists during a wave of spring demonstrations. “In the absence of meaningful channels of participation in Iran, peaceful protests are now the…

U.S. Sanctions Smuggling Network

June 16, 2022
On June 16, the United States sanctioned a network smuggling Iranian petrochemical products, a class of chemicals derived from oil and natural gas essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine and mobile phones that facilitate modern life. The goods were exported to China and…

Part 5: Iran Condemns IAEA Resolution

June 14, 2022
On June 14, Iran condemned the tough rebuke by the U.N. nuclear watchdog for failing to explain traces of uranium and suspect activity. Tehran’s rebuttal escalates tensions with Iran and the world’s watchdog agency, which ultimately can report serious violations to the U.N. Security Council for…

News Digest: Week of June 13

June 13, 2022
Updated: June 17, 2022
June 13 Defense: Two men involved in Iran’s aerospace industry were “martyred” in separate incidents while on duty, according to local media. Ali Kamani, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, was killed in a “driving accident.” He was stationed in Khomein in…

Part 4: Challenges to IAEA Monitoring

June 13, 2022
The U.N. nuclear watchdog may not be able to verify the nature or scope of Iran’s nuclear program if it does not restore 27 cameras that have monitored its activities over the past six years, Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned on June 12. The…

Part 3: JCPOA Faces "Fatal Blow" – Grossi

June 9, 2022
Iran will remove “basically all” the extra monitoring equipment, including 27 cameras, installed as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, the U.N. nuclear watchdog announced on June 9. If Iran does not restore the cameras within three to four weeks, “this would be a fatal blow” to reviving the historic…

Part 2: IAEA Rebukes Iran

June 9, 2022
Updated: September 14, 2022
On September 14, a third of the 175 member states of the U.N. nuclear watchdog urged Iran to explain traces of uranium at three undeclared sites that date back to a covert program before 2003. In a joint statement, the 56 countries reiterated support for a resolution passed by the Board of…

Gulf States Sanction IRGC Funders

June 8, 2022
On June 6, six Arab Gulf countries sanctioned three Iranians for helping fund the Qods Force, which conducts the external operations of the Revolutionary Guards, and Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party and militia. The three are: Meghdad Amini and Ali Qasir, who directed a network that funneled…

Khamenei Blames Protests on West

June 8, 2022
On June 4, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Western and “reactionary forces” were trying to infiltrate the country. Iran’s enemies were harnessing popular protests—through social media, psychological warfare and hired “mercenaries”—to undermine the Islamic Republic, he said in a…

Amnesty International: Executions Spike in Iran

June 7, 2022
In 2021, Iran executed at least 314 people – more than any other country except China – according to Amnesty International’s annual report on the death penalty. The increase was linked to death sentences for drug-related offenses. Executions “routinely followed grossly unfair trials, with ‘…

Part 1: Iran Accelerates Nuclear Program

June 7, 2022
Iran has stockpiled more than 18 times the amount of enriched uranium allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal, an unprecedented advance, according to a leaked report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. The growing stockpile means that Iran could amass sufficient fuel for a single nuclear bomb in a few weeks…

News Digest: Week of June 6

June 7, 2022
Updated: June 9, 2022
June 6:  Domestic: The death toll from the collapse of a 10-story building in Abadan on May 23 rose to 41. The incident had triggered week-long protests against government corruption. Religion: Iran demanded an apology from India after two officials of India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata…

Part 1: Explainer - Iran's Space Program

June 3, 2022
Updated: August 9, 2022
John Krzyzaniak is a research associate at the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. Follow him @john_krzyzaniak.  When did Iran start its space program? What are its goals? Who or what agency is in charge? Iran’s interest in outer space dates back to 1957, when it joined 17 other nations in…

U.S. Report on Religious Freedom in Iran

June 3, 2022
In 2021, Iranian authorities arrested, detained, harassed, and surveilled members of minority faith groups – including Baha’i, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Sunni and Sufi Muslims. “The government convicted and executed dissidents, political reformers, and peaceful protesters on charges of ‘…

FBI: Iran Behind Cyberattack on Boston Hospital

June 2, 2022
On June 1, FBI Director Christopher Wray alleged that Iran-backed hackers targeted Boston Children’s Hospital in “one of the most despicable cyberattacks” he has seen. Hackers attempted to infiltrate the facility’s computer network in June 2021, but the FBI warned the hospital, then helped identify…

Explainer: Iran’s Protests Over Food Prices

June 1, 2022
As of April 2022, food prices in Iran were up 43 percent over the previous year largely due to a severe drought, sanctions, inflation, corruption, and government mismanagement. In early May, the government implemented economic reforms intended to help consumers, but prices of bread and other…

Amir-Abdollahian Interview on Iran’s Foreign Policy

May 30, 2022
On May 26, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran had presented a “new initiative” to the United States, through intermediaries, to restore the 2015 nuclear deal. The diplomat acknowledged, however, that both governments faced domestic challenges in reviving the Joint…

News Digest: Week of May 23

May 25, 2022
Updated: May 27, 2022
May 23 Domestic: A 10-story building partially collapsed in the city of Abadan in southwestern Khuzestan province. Dozens of people were trapped in the rubble. As of May 25, the death toll was 16. The general prosecutor of the province told state media that 11 people were detained in connection to…

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Oil Smuggling Network

May 25, 2022
On May 25, the United States sanctioned an oil smuggling network that secretly funded both Iran’s Qods Force, the external operations arm of the Revolutionary Guards, and Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party and militia. The United States named a web of nine companies and 10 men operating in Iran…

Malley: Future of JCPOA is “Tenuous”

May 25, 2022
On May 25, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley warned that the prospects of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal were “tenuous at best.” He blamed “excessive Iranian demands” for the impasse. Malley addressed a range of issues during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: On…