New Articles

U.S. Sanctions Iran Envoy and University

December 8, 2020
On December 8, the United States imposed sanctions on two men and one university: Ambassador Hasan Irlu, Iran’s diplomatic envoy to the Houthis in Yemen Yousef Ali Muraj, a Pakistani operative with alleged ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Al Mustafa International University, a Qom-based…

Part 3: Iranian Laws on Women

December 8, 2020
Logo of Iran's JudiciaryWomen have long faced legal, political, economic and social challenges in Iran. Iran's 1906 constitution, written by its first parliament, promised “equal rights before the law” for all Iranians, but it said nothing specific about women. Between 1967 and 1975, women gained…

New Iran Law Accelerating Enrichment

December 7, 2020
On December 1, Iran’s parliament, which is dominated by conservatives and hardliners, passed a bill requiring the government to take two steps: First, resume enriching uranium to 20 percent immediately. And second, to produce 120 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent annually. Since July 2019…

Zarif on Nuclear Deal, Prisoner Exchanges

December 3, 2020
On December 3, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran would return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal if the United States formally rejoined the historic accord that President Trump abandoned in May 2018. But Iran will never renegotiate the deal, he said. “The United States…

Part 2: Profiles of Women Politicians, Activists

December 3, 2020
Updated: March 8, 2021
Women have played a major role in Iranian politics before, during and after the 1979 revolution. They were given the vote and right to run for office in 1963 during the monarchy; in 1978, they held 22 seats in parliament. During the four decades after the revolution, dozens of women from across the…

U.S. Sanctions Iran Firm for Chemical Weapons Research

December 3, 2020
On December 3, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned an Iranian firm, Shahid Meisami Group, and its director for chemical weapons research. The group was responsible for projects worth millions of dollars that included testing and producing chemical agents. The shop was a subsidiary of the Iranian…

Part 6: Timeline and Fallout from a Scientist’s Assassination

December 2, 2020
Updated: December 8, 2020
The assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27 generated significant fallout in the wider Middle East and in the West. It heightened fears of retaliation and kinetic tensions in the region. The United States pulled back its diplomatic presence in Iraq. And the Iranian…

News Digest: Week of November 30

December 2, 2020
November 30 Nuclear: Iran held a funeral for nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated 40 miles from Tehran on November 27. Fakhrizadeh's body was taken to several Shiite shrines, including that of Ayatollah Khomeini, before being buried at a cemetery near the Imamazadeh Salah…

Part 5: Assassinations of Iran Nuclear Scientists

December 2, 2020
On November 27, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prominent nuclear scientist, was assassinated in a roadside attack about 40 miles east of Tehran. He was the fifth nuclear scientist killed since 2010. Iran usually blamed Israel, sometimes invoking the United States and often their local agents. Historically,…

Part 4: Iran Media on Scientist's Assassination

December 1, 2020
The Iranian media expressed outraged at the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading nuclear scientist. Newspapers from across the political spectrum – reformist, centrist, conservative and hardline – published front-page photos of his bullet-riddled car and funeral casket.     Conservative…

Part 3: World on Nuclear Scientist’s Assassination

December 1, 2020
Updated: December 7, 2020
Many major powers around the world and in the Middle East denounced the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading Iranian nuclear scientist on November 27. Five of the six world powers that brokered the 2015 nuclear deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – rebuked the murder and…

Profiles: Iran’s Jailed Human Rights Activists

December 1, 2020
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has detained or imprisoned tens of thousands of human rights activists, including peaceful protestors, dissidents, union members, civil society organizers, feminists, students, journalists, lawyers and the unemployed. It notoriously cracked down when millions took to…

Part 2: Iran on Nuclear Scientist’s Assassination

November 30, 2020
Updated: December 15, 2020
Iran vowed retaliation for the killing of a prominent nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was shot to death near Tehran on November 27. Senior national security officials blamed Israel and Iranian opposition groups for orchestrating the alleged assassination. They labelled the killing as…

Part 1: Leading Iran Nuclear Scientist Killed

November 30, 2020
Updated: December 1, 2020
On November 27, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prominent nuclear scientist, was assassinated in a roadside attack about 40 miles east of Tehran. Western and Israeli intelligence had long suspected that Fakhrizadeh was the father of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program. He was often compared to J. Robert…

US Sanctions Firms for Supporting Iran Missile Program

November 25, 2020
On November 25, the United States sanctioned two firms in China and two in Russia for supporting Iran’s missile program. The following is a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, the United States sanctioned four entities…

Biden Foreign Policy Team on Iran

November 24, 2020
Updated: January 21, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden’s top foreign policy appointments – Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman as Deputy Secretary of State, and Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor – all supported reentering the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration in 2015 and…

News Digest: Week of November 15

November 18, 2020
November 15 Human Rights: Iran, the United States and human rights groups marked the one-year anniversary of massive anti-government protests sparked by an overnight gas price hike. The regime did not officially comment, but five days before the anniversary, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei…

U.S. Sanctions Intelligence Minister and Most Powerful Foundation

November 18, 2020
On November 18, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi and a patronage network controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Alavi was designated for complicity in human rights abuses, including the violent crackdown on protestors in November 2019. Security…

Iran's Growing Stockpiles of Enriched Uranium

November 18, 2020
Updated: December 7, 2020
As of November 2020, Iran had amassed 12 times the amount of enriched uranium – the fuel for a nuclear bomb – that was permitted by the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the world’s six major powers. The deal stipulated that Tehran was limited to producing a maximum of 203 kg (or 447 pounds) of low-…

Part V: 1979 Hostage Crisis – Covert Ops

November 17, 2020
On November 17, the Office of the State Department Historian released its records on the hostage affair. Students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 to protest the Carter administration’s decision to take in the ailing former shah for medical treatment. Student leaders later said…

Part IV: 1979 Hostage Crisis – Rescue Mission

November 17, 2020
On November 17, the Office of the State Department Historian released its records on the hostage affair. Students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 to protest the Carter administration’s decision to take in the ailing former shah for medical treatment. Student leaders later said…

Part II: 1979 Hostage Crisis – Options

November 17, 2020
On November 17, the Office of the State Department Historian released its records on the hostage affair. Students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 to protest the Carter administration’s decision to take in the ailing former shah for medical treatment. Student leaders later said…

Part I: 1979 Hostage Crisis – First Responses

November 17, 2020
On November 17, the Office of the State Department Historian released its records on the hostage affair. Students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 to protest the Carter administration’s decision to take in the ailing former shah for medical treatment. Student leaders later said…

Part III: 1979 Hostage Crisis – Negotiations

November 17, 2020
On November 17, the Office of the State Department Historian released its records on the hostage affair. Students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 to protest the Carter administration’s decision to take in the ailing former shah for medical treatment. Student leaders later said…

Iran and Venezuela: Odd Bedfellows

November 16, 2020
Benjamin Gedan is deputy director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. He is a former South America director on the National Security Council and also served at the State Department and the…

Iran and U.S. Mark Anniversary of Massive Protests

November 16, 2020
Updated: November 18, 2020
On November 15, Iran marked the one-year anniversary of the deadliest political unrest since the Green Movement demonstrations after the disputed 2009 presidential election. The regime did not officially comment, but five days before the anniversary, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pardoned…

News Digest: Week of November 8

November 10, 2020
November 8 Health: Daily COVID deaths reached a record high of 459.  Diplomacy: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called for a diplomatic dialogue with Gulf Arab neighbors. "Betting on foreigners does not bring security, and disappoints," he tweeted in Arabic.  FM @JZarif sat down with…

US Sanctions Network for Supplying Iran Military

November 10, 2020
Updated: November 11, 2020
On November 10, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned six companies, two men and two women for supplying electronic components to an Iranian military firm. The United States and the European Union had sanctioned the firm – Iranian Communications Industries (ICI) – in 2008 and 2010, respectively. ICI was…

Iranian Media on Election Week

November 10, 2020
The Iranian media was transfixed by the U.S. election, with more than a dozen newspapers covering the race largely from their own ideological perspective – reformist, centrist, conservative or hardline.  Conservative and hardline papers focused on the confusion surrounding the result. "Tensions…

Iranian Media on U.S. Election Results

November 9, 2020
Iranian newspapers from across the political spectrum – reformist, centrist, conservative and hardline – closely tracked the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The papers differed in their coverage based on their ideological leaning. Reformist and centrist outlets covered former Vice…