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Soleimani Anniversary in Iran

January 4, 2022
On January 3, Iran marked the second anniversary of the U.S. assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Qods Force, with official speeches, commemorative rallies, major media coverage, and inflammatory threats. Soleimani, who was considered a military hero for…

Explainer: Iran's Priorities at Nuclear Talks

January 3, 2022
Nasser Hadian is a U.S.-educated professor of political science at the University of Tehran and a former visiting professor at Columbia University.   Does Iran really want to return to the nuclear deal? Why—or why not? Yes, both Iran and the United States want to go back to the nuclear deal—…

IRGC Tests Ballistic Missiles, Drones in War Game

December 28, 2021
Iran tested a wide variety of weapons, including ballistic missiles, drones and tanks, during a war game between December 20 and 24. The Great Prophet 17 exercise was held along the Persian Gulf coast in the southern provinces of Bushehr, Hormozgan and Khuzestan. Ballistic missiles on mobile…

U.S. Seizes Iranian Arms Shipment

December 23, 2021
On December 20, the U.S. Navy seized some 1,400 AK-47 assault rifles and 226,600 rounds of ammunition from a fishing vessel in the northern Arabian Sea. The stateless vessel originated in Iran and was traveling along a route historically used to illicitly traffic weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels,…

U.N. Criticizes Iran’s Human Rights Record

December 18, 2021
On December 16, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution criticizing Iran for human rights abuses. The resolution was passed with 78 votes in favor, 31 against and 69 abstentions. The resolution called on Iran to carry out wide-ranging reforms, including: ceasing use of the death penalty and…

U.S. Report: Iran’s Support for Terrorism

December 18, 2021
“Iran continued to support acts of terrorism regionally and globally,” according to the State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2020. In the Middle East, Iran provided arms, training and funding to militant groups in Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. Hezbollah, a Shiite militia and…

U.S. on Seventh Round of Nuclear Talks

December 18, 2021
Updated: December 21, 2021
U.S. officials acknowledged modest progress in the seventh round of nuclear talks with Iran and the world’s major powers. But they warned that time was running out for restoring the nonproliferation benefits of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “We’re…

Iran in 2021: Timeline

December 16, 2021
For Iran, 2021 was a tumultuous year that included the election of a new president, chronic inflation, tensions with the West over its controversial nuclear program, two deadly waves of COVID-19 infections, protests over water shortages, and more. The following is timeline of major events.  Jan. 5…

Iran in 2021: Politics and Foreign Policy

December 15, 2021
For Iran, 2021 was a year of major transitions in both politics and foreign policy. President Hassan Rouhani, a centrist, finished his second term with much of his agenda unfulfilled and the future of his signature policy project, the 2015 nuclear deal, in doubt. Ebrahim Raisi’s victory in the June…

Iran in 2021: U.S. Sanctions

December 15, 2021
In 2021, the United States imposed sanctions on Iran for issues ranging from election interference to drone proliferation and oil smuggling. In January, during the last weeks of the Trump administration, the United States expanded sanctions on Iran’s defense, shipping, and metals industries. It…

News Digest: Week of December 13

December 15, 2021
December 13 Regional: Iran condemned Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s landmark visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh warned that such moves would strengthen Israel’s “destructive and seditious presence” in the Middle East. Bennett met with…

Iran and IAEA Reach Compromise on Karaj

December 15, 2021
On December 15, Iran and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached an agreement to allow the U.N. nuclear watchdog to replace surveillance cameras at the Karaj facility that produces parts for centrifuges. Centrifuges are machines that spin uranium gas at high speeds to produce fuel for…

U.S. and Iran Vie at U.N. on JCPOA

December 15, 2021
At the United Nations, the United States and Iran charged each other with sabotaging the talks in Vienna on the future of the 2015 nuclear deal. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield charged that Iran had taken “vague, unrealistic, maximalist, and unconstructive positions on both nuclear and…

Iran: Nuclear Challenge at a Crossroads

December 15, 2021
Robert S. Litwak is Senior Vice President and Director of International Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Diplomacy between Iran and the world’s major powers—Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States—over bringing Iran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement…

Iran in 2021: Congressional Bills

December 15, 2021
Updated: December 31, 2021
In 2021, members of Congress introduced more than two dozen bills related to Iran. They spanned a wide range of issues, but the majority focused on Iran’s human rights violations, support for militant proxies, and nuclear advances. Nearly all of the bills recommended the enforcement or expansion of…

Iran in 2021: The Economy

December 15, 2021
Henry Rome is the deputy head of research at Eurasia Group. Follow him on Twitter at @hrome2. Iran’s economy expanded modestly in 2021 as trade picked up. Some of the disruptions caused by the pandemic eased as Iran vaccinated more of its population. But U.S. sanctions and uncertainty about…

News Digest: Week of December 6

December 8, 2021
December 8 Nuclear: British Foreign Minister Liz Truss urged Iran to recommit to the 2015 nuclear agreement. “This is really the last chance for Iran to sign up and I strongly urge them to do that because we are determined to work with our allies to prevent Iran securing nuclear weapons," she said…

Part 3: Europeans, Russia, & China on Nuclear Talks

December 8, 2021
Updated: December 20, 2021
European diplomats expressed frustration and concern that Iran backtracked on its earlier proposals in the diplomacy to get Tehran and Washington into full compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord. “Tehran is walking back almost all of the difficult compromises crafted after many months of hard work…

Part 2: Iran on Nuclear Talks

December 8, 2021
Updated: December 20, 2021
Iran accused the United States and the major European powers of trying to extract “maximum concessions” while yielding “minimum concessions” in the seventh round of talks on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. “Now, it is crystal clear that the U.S. reluctance to fully drop the sanctions is the main…

Justice Department: Iranian Weapons, Oil Forfeited

December 8, 2021
On December 7, the Justice Department announced the forfeiture of Iranian weapons bound for Yemen and oil bound for Venezuela. The property was obtained through three seizures: On Nov. 25, 2019 and Feb. 9, 2020, U.S. Navy Central Command seized weapons from two flagless ships in the Arabian Sea,…

U.S. Sanctions for Human Rights Abuses

December 7, 2021
On December 7, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 15 individuals and entities in Iran, Syria and Uganda for repressing peaceful protestors, political opponents and innocent civilians. “Ahead of this week’s Summit for Democracy, Treasury is targeting over a dozen government officials…

Raisi: On 100 Days in Office

December 6, 2021
On December 5, President Ebrahim Raisi said that he was prioritizing the health and livelihood of Iranians. “Today, on the 100th day of the government, I have to announce that more than 100 million doses of [COVID-19] vaccine have been injected,” he said in a live television interview. “Today we…

Part 1: U.S. on Nuclear Talks

December 6, 2021
Updated: December 20, 2021
U.S. officials expressed frustration that Iran returned to nuclear diplomacy by rolling back compromises previously floated and demanding more concessions on U.S. sanctions. After a hiatus of five months, the world’s six major powers reconvened in Vienna to negotiate a return to the historic 2015…

Explainer: Iran's "Water Bankruptcy"

December 5, 2021
Kaveh Madani is an environmental scientist, former deputy head of Iran's Department of Environment, and a former Vice President of the U.N. Environmental Assembly Bureau. He is currently the Head of the Nexus Research Programme at the United Nations University in Dresden (UNU-FLORES) and a research…

News Digest: Week of November 29

December 1, 2021
November 29 Nuclear: The world’s six major powers and Iran opened the seventh round of talks on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. Enrique Mora, the E.U. coordinator for negotiations, said that Iran agreed to build on the previous rounds. But Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s lead…

Polls: American Views on Iran, Nuclear Deal

December 1, 2021
Three public opinion polls probed American attitudes on Iran – both as a threat and in diplomatic efforts.  •    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute found that 46 percent of Americans want the Biden administration to be “more aggressive” toward Iran.  •    The Chicago Council on…

Iran, World Powers on Vienna Talks

December 1, 2021
Updated: December 5, 2021
On November 29, the world’s major powers and Iran opened the seventh round of talks on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. From April to June 2021, Iran and the major powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – held six rounds of talks. The goal has been to draft a roadmap…

Iran Stonewalls IAEA

December 1, 2021
On the eve of resumed nuclear diplomacy, Iran refused to cooperate with the U.N. watchdog agency responsible for monitoring its nuclear program. At the quarterly meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), held from November 24 to 26, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told the 35-…

Explainer: Problems for IAEA Monitoring in Iran

November 29, 2021
Davenport is the Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association (ACA), and Masterson is a research associate at ACA.  What does the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitor in Iran? IAEA Director General Rafael GrossiThe IAEA inspections and monitoring regime for…

The Elders Call for Compromises in JCPOA Talks

November 24, 2021
On November 24, the independent group of global leaders called The Elders urged Iran and the world’s six major powers to “show courageous leadership and a willingness to compromise” in talks on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. The following is the full text of the press release.   The Elders call…