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Report: Iran Nuke May Not Trigger Arms Race

February 20, 2013
            Saudi Arabia would probably not rush to acquire a nuclear weapon if Iran builds one, according to a new report by the Center for a New American Security. It is widely assumed that Riyadh would rush to develop its own bomb or acquire weapons from Pakistan. But the report argues that “…

Zarif in New York: On the U.S., Syria, Israel

October 3, 2018
Robin Wright had two interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his week-long trip to the United Nations in New York. One was one-on-one, and the second was with a group of journalists. The following are excerpts arranged by issues.    U.S. Policy and Potential for…

Report: Iran Seventh Most Censored Country

April 30, 2015
Iran is the world’s seventh most censored country, according to a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists. The ranking is based on Iran’s detention of journalists, censorship laws, and internet restrictions compared to other countries. The following are the report’s main findings on…

Obama: Iran Over A Year Away From Nuke

March 14, 2013
            On March 13, President Obama said “it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon,” in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television. “But obviously we don’t want to cut it too close.” Obama noted that the United States “obviously has significant…

Rouhani, Netanyahu and Pompeo on New Tensions

November 27, 2018
On November 24, President Hassan Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumor” and a “fake regime” established by Western powers. At the annual Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, Rouhani also called on the world’s Muslims to unite against the Jewish state and the United States. Other Iranian leaders…

Nuke Deal Could Benefit Iran's Youth

June 8, 2015
Iran is well positioned to reap the economic benefits of a potential nuclear deal, especially since its young working age population is expanding. According to Farzaneh Roudi, the prospect of removing sanctions under a deal could “help Iran transform its economy to accommodate its large and…

Report: Sunni-Shiite Divide Deepens

April 12, 2013
            The Arab uprisings have deepened ethnic and religious tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East, according to a new report by The Brookings Institution. The rise of sectarianism is being drive by three main factors:      •Sunni Islamist ascendancy in Tunisia and Egypt…

Twitter Craze: #NeverThreatenAnIranian

July 8, 2015
Talks became heated as foreign ministers from Iran and the world's six major powers met in Vienna to push towards a final nuclear deal. After E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that talks should end if Iran does not want a deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif…

Latest on the Race: Jalili, Ideologue on Twitter

May 15, 2013
Garrett Nada             Saeed Jalili has never held elective office, yet he may have an important edge in the presidential race because of his close ties with Iran’s supreme leader. He is an insider’s insider. At the same time, Jalili is not a charismatic figure. He unsuccessfully ran for…

Obama Tries to Sell Nuclear Deal

July 27, 2015
In July and August, President Barack Obama defended the Iran nuclear deal in his public remarks. “There’s a reason why 99 percent of the world thinks that this is a good deal,” he said on July 27. “It’s because it’s a good deal.” Congress has until September 18 to either allow the agreement to…

Latest on the Race: Debate on Culture, Women

June 6, 2013
Garrett Nada                       Iran’s eight presidential candidates clashed on issues of culture, personal freedoms and women’s rights at the June 5 debate. Hassan Rouhani and Mohammed Reza Aref repeatedly criticized government censorship of the internet, press and academia. They argued that…

Iran’s Nuclear Chess: After the Deal

September 8, 2015
The following is the executive summary from a newly updated monograph by Robert Litwak, vice president for scholars at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former director for nonproliferation on the National Security Council staff in the first Clinton administration.…

Iran: The Week in Review

July 10, 2013
Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani            The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers the latest news on Iran, based on a selection of Iranian news sources. It is a weekly summary of up-to-date information with links to news in both English and Farsi.July 5:…

Rouhani on Economy, Parliament Vote

October 13, 2015
In a live television interview, President Hassan Rouhani applauded parliament's approval of the nuclear deal. On October 13, the parliament passed a bill to support implementing the deal, with a vote of 161-59. Rouhani discussed the agreement and its implications for Iran's economy in the interview…

Zarif Outlines New Foreign Policy

August 19, 2013
            In several interviews and speeches, Iran’s new foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has offered new insight on how foreign policy would take new directions under President Hassan Rouhani. The following are excerpts from public remarks, translated from Farsi, and an interview in English…

Rouhani Press Conference at the U.N.

September 27, 2019
In a press conference at the end of his visit to New York, President Hassan Rouhani reiterated that Iran is open to talks with the United States — if it lifts sanctions. “Cease this policy of maximum pressure and pursue a policy of dialogue and logic and reason, and to seek that which benefits the…

Congress Reacts to New UN Report

December 4, 2015
Democrats and Republicans in Congress were disturbed, but not surprised, to find out that Iran had worked on activities relevant to nuclear weapons development. A long-awaited U.N. watchdog assessment said that the most “coordinated” work was done before 2003, but that Tehran continued some…

Iran Frees Top Human Rights Activist, Others

September 18, 2013
Garrett Nada             In the first big move on human rights since President Hassan Rouhani took office, Iran released noted activist Nasrin Sotoudeh on September 18. The government did not make a formal announcement, but Rouhani’s office retweeted reports claiming that seven other female…

Report: Internet Censorship in Iran

November 5, 2019
In 2018 and 2019, internet freedom in Iran remained highly restricted, according to a new report by Freedom House. Authorities “handed down harsh prison sentences to online journalists and other users, and continued to block access to independent news sites and a number of social media and…

Video: Iran Test-Fires Rockets Near US Ships

January 10, 2016
On January 9, the U.S. military released a video showing what it says is an Iranian military vessel firing several unguided rockets near the U.S. aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, U.S. destroyer Bulkeley, a French frigate, and commercial craft. No vessels were hit during the December 26 incident,…

Part I: Opposition to a Deal - The Gulf

November 14, 2013
Robin Wright and Garrett Nada            The new diplomacy between Iran and the world’s six major powers faces growing opposition from key players in the Middle East, including the oil-rich and influential Gulf states. The Sunni sheikhdoms are nervous the Shiite theocracy will do a deal on its…

U.S. Targets Iran’s Steel Industry

December 16, 2019
On December 16, the U.S. State Department warned against transferring two materials to Iran that are essential for steel production. The advisory specified that producers and exporters of graphite electrodes and needle coke, as well as shippers and port operators, could face U.S. sanctions for…

Economic Trends: January 2016

February 1, 2016
Cameron GlennThe most significant development in January was the implementation of the nuclear deal, which awarded Iran partial relief from U.S., U.N., and E.U. sanctions. European and Asian companies quickly took steps to establish a foothold in the Middle East’s second largest economy.  Days…

US Polls on Iran Nuclear Deal

November 20, 2013
            Nearly two-thirds of Americans support an agreement with Iran that would lift sanctions in return for Tehran restricting its nuclear program, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Some 72 percent of Democrats surveyed support such a deal compared with 57 percent of…

US on Anniversary of Robert Levinson's Disappearance

March 9, 2016
March 9 marked nine years since Robert Levinson went missing in Iran. Levinson, a former FBI agent, disappeared on March 9, 2007, during a visit to Kish Island. Initial reports indicated that he was researching a cigarette smuggling case as a private investigator. In late 2013, his family…