New Articles

Explainer: Iran’s 2022 Protests in Context

October 24, 2022
How do the 2022 protests compare to previous rounds of demonstrations in 2009, 2017-18, and 2019? What is unique or different this time? First, the 2022 protests were driven by a demand for greater civil liberties, including women’s rights. They were triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-…

News Digest: Week of October 24

October 24, 2022
Updated: October 26, 2022
October 24 International: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russia had ordered 2,000 suicide drones from Iran. “The disgusting sound of Iranian drones is heard in our skies every night,” he said. “Iranian instructors came to teach Russians how to use drones.” #UPDATE President…

Iran's Tactics During Protests

October 21, 2022
Updated: November 10, 2022
In September 2022, Iran deployed diverse tactics–killings, beatings, surveillance, internet restrictions, and military operations–to contain the most significant unrest in more than a decade. Protests over the price of eggs and poultry in 2017 and the gas price hike in 2019 lasted just days, while …

World Reaction to Iran’s Drones in Ukraine

October 21, 2022
On October 20, the White House charged that Iranians had deployed in Crimea to help Russian forces launch dozens of Iran’s kamikaze drones on Ukraine. Tehran’s decision to intervene in Russia’s war reflected the deepening strategic alliance with Moscow. “Tehran is now directly engaged on the ground…

News Digest: Digest Week of October 17

October 18, 2022
Updated: October 23, 2022
October 17 Domestic: Protests endured for a 31st day following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd who was detained for “improper” dress. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child condemned Iran for “grave violations of children’s rights,” including the killing of at least 23 children…

Fire and Chaos at Evin Prison

October 17, 2022
A large fire broke out at Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison on October 15. Flames and thick smoke could be seen for miles. Eight prisoners died and dozens were injured, according to the judiciary. Hundreds of security forces, including the Basij paramilitary, were reportedly deployed around the prison…

Context of Protests: Economic Woes

October 12, 2022
The protests that erupted in mid-September after the death of Mahsa Amini also grew out of widespread discontent over core economic challenges for the average Iranian ― cost of living, unemployment, limited opportunity, sanctions, and a weak currency. Since May 2022, the prices of bread and other…

Biden on Iran in October

October 12, 2022
Updated: October 16, 2022
In October 2022, President Biden toughened his stand on Iran amid protests over the death of a young Kurdish woman detained for inappropriate dress. On October 3, Biden endorsed Iran’s protests and vowed to impose “further costs” on the government for its crackdown on nationwide protests, many led…

Explainer: Russia Deploys Iranian Drones

October 12, 2022
Updated: October 17, 2022
What drones has Iran provided to Russia? How many? What are their capabilities? When did they arrive and how quickly did Russia begin to use them? Iran has apparently provided at least two systems—the Shahed-136 and the Mohajer-6. The Shahed-136 can be described as a direct-attack munition,…

Iran’s #HairForFreedom Campaign Goes Global

October 12, 2022
Iran’s protests – launched over personal freedoms for women – have inspired a campaign by women across the globe who are cutting their hair and posting videos using the #HairForFreedom hashtag on Instagram. The protests erupted after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd, was detained for showing too…

Protestors Challenge Raisi, Khamenei

October 11, 2022
On Oct. 8, 2022, Iranians launched separate acts of defiance against President Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei amid nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini for improper dress. Female students demonstrated during Raisi’s speech at Al Zahra University, a college for…

The Rallying Cries of Iran’s Protests

October 11, 2022
The slogans of Iran’s protests have evolved dramatically since the death of Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16, 2022. They grew quickly into broader issues about personal freedom for women, political change, and rejection of the clerical vision of an Islamic Republic. They called for “Death to the Dictator,”…

News Digest: Week of October 10

October 10, 2022
Updated: October 13, 2022
October 10 Economy: Britain sanctioned Iran’s morality police and several senior security officials involved in the bloody crackdown on protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. The new sanctions “send a clear message to the Iranian authorities — we will hold you to account for your repression…

Protest Context: Statistics on Iran's Women

October 7, 2022
Since the 1979 revolution, women have worked to regain rights attained during the monarchy. The status of women has improved in some fields, especially in health and education. In 1998, Iran won a U.N. award for closing the gender gap in education. In 1999, Iran won the U.N. Population Award for…

The Women Killed or Detained in Iran’s Protests

October 7, 2022
Teenage girls and women fueled nationwide protests across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16, 2022. The demonstrations quickly evolved into calls for the ouster of the Supreme Leader and an end to the Islamic Republic. They challenged basic tenets of the theocracy by removing…

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.”…

U.S. Supports Iran Protests

October 3, 2022
Updated: November 14, 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
Updated: November 21, 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 and Protests

September 28, 2022
Updated: November 4, 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
Updated: January 11, 2023
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 31, 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…