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Trump and Iran in 2017

December 21, 2017
Donald Trump’s election produced dramatic change in U.S. policy in 2017. As a candidate, he had blasted the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers as “the worst deal ever negotiated.” If elected, Trump said his number-one priority would be to dismantle the deal. Since taking…

Report: Implications of Iran’s Changing Demographics

December 18, 2017
The Carnegie Endowment has published a new study on Iran’s shifting demographics by Richard Cincotta, a global fellow with the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, and Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace focusing on Iran and U.S…

Trump National Security Strategy on Iran

December 18, 2017
Updated: December 19, 2017
On December 18, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited National Security Strategy. “For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region. Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations…

Haley Presents Evidence of Iran-Houthi Ties

December 14, 2017
Updated: January 30, 2018
On December 14, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, presented what she referred to as "undeniable" evidence of Iran’s transfer of arms to Houthi rebels in Yemen. “It’s hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over…

Zarif Urges Europe to Work with Iran

December 11, 2017
On December 10, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged Europe to work with Iran and not follow in “lock step” behind the United States. In an op-ed published in The New York Times, he argued that the United States has proven unreliable on foreign policy since President Donald Trump…

Trump Jerusalem Announcement: Tehran Reacts

December 7, 2017
Updated: December 13, 2017
On December 6, U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and committed to moving the U.S. Embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv. "My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," President…

Tillerson and Mogherini on Nuclear Deal

December 7, 2017
On December 5, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to exchange views on recent developments in the Middle East and the Balkans. In remarks to the press, Mogherini reiterated that “continued implementation of the Iran nuclear deal is a key strategic…

Poll: American Attitudes Toward Iran

December 5, 2017
Americans are divided on their opinion of the Iran nuclear deal and President Donald Trump’s decision to not certify Tehran’s compliance, according to a new survey conducted by Shibley Telhami and Stella Rouse at the University of Maryland. The following are key results from the poll carried out…

Pompeo Writes Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

December 4, 2017
On December 2, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said that he sent a letter to the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Qods Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani, warning that Iran would be held responsible for attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq. Soleimani, once a shadowy figure…

Mike Pompeo on Iran

November 30, 2017
Updated: September 21, 2018
On March 13, President Donald Trump announced that he was replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo. Pompeo has been outspoken on Iran both as a Republican congressman from Kansas (2011-2017) and as CIA director. The Senate confirmed Pompeo on…

Russia, Iran and Turkey Hold Syria Summit

November 22, 2017
In November, regional and world powers renewed efforts to end the six-year conflict in Syria and discussed ways to combat ISIS and other terrorist organizations. A flurry of meetings and phone calls came just days after ISIS lost its last stronghold in Syria, Abu Kamal. The following is a rundown…

US Sanctions Iranian Counterfeiting Ring

November 21, 2017
On November 20, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned a wide network of individuals of entities that were helping Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force “counterfeit currency to support its destabilizing activities.” The U.S. government has accused the Qods Force of meddling in the…

Iran Declares End of ISIS

November 21, 2017
Updated: November 22, 2017
On November 21, President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. “Today with God’s guidance and the resistance of people in the region we can say that this evil has either been lifted from the head of the people or has been reduced,” he said in a…

IAEA Director General on Iran Nuclear Deal

November 14, 2017
On November 14, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano said that Iran is abiding by the nuclear deal’s restrictions and that his agency’s verification measures are strong. “IAEA inspectors now spend around 3,000 days in the field in Iran each year, twice as…

Lebanese Prime Minister Resigns, Blames Iran

November 8, 2017
Updated: November 22, 2017
On November 4, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned, blaming Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah for destabilizing the region. The Arab world would "cut off the hands that wickedly extend to it [Iran]," he warned. Hariri, leader of the Future Movement Party, is the leader of Lebanon’s…

Saudi Arabia Blames Iran for Attacks from Yemen

November 7, 2017
Updated: December 19, 2017
On November 4, Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. Saudi forces said they intercepted the missile but the Houthis hailed the launch as a success. A Houthi spokesman told Al Jazeera that the Burkan 2-H, a type of Scud missile, traveled more…

Khamenei: US is Iran’s Main Enemy

November 3, 2017
On November 1, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the United States is Iran’s top enemy and that “resistance” is the only way to counter it. Citing President Donald Trump’s recent characterization of the Islamic Republic as a “terrorist nation like few others,” Khamenei argued that…

Trump Asked for Rouhani Meeting

November 3, 2017
President Donald Trump reportedly asked French President Emmanuel Macron to broker a conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to several administration and foreign officials who spoke with The Washington Post. The three leaders were all in New York City in September for the U.N…

Putin Visits Tehran

November 3, 2017
On November 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Iran for the first time since 2015. In a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Putin voiced support for the nuclear deal and said that Russia objects to “any uniliteral change” to it. “We oppose linking Iran’s nuclear program…

Iran and North Korea: Marriage of Convenience

November 2, 2017
The Trump administration has cited North Korea’s attainment of nuclear weapons and increasingly advanced missiles as a key reason for reexamining the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. “What we're saying now with Iran is don't let it become the next North Korea,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on…

Rouhani: Iran Will Keep Producing Missiles

October 31, 2017
On October 29, President Hassan Rouhani pledged to continue producing missiles and any kind of weapon Iran needs to defend itself. In a televised address from Parliament, he emphasized that Iran’s missile program “does not contradict any international laws,” including U.N. Security Council…

Iranian Leaders on Kurdish Referendum

October 18, 2017
On September 25, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq held a referendum on independence. Nearly 93 percent of 4.5 million voters supported turning the KRG and some disputed areas into an independent state. Iranian leaders were largely critical of the KRG’s decision to hold the vote, saying…

Trump Speech on Iran: Khamenei Responds

October 18, 2017
On October 18, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned President Trump’s policy towards Iran and the nuclear deal as “nonsense.” But he emphasized that Iran will not be the first one to tear up the agreement. Khamenei also expressed frustration with European powers. He urged them to oppose…

Trump Speech on Iran: US Officials Defend Policy

October 16, 2017
Updated: October 23, 2017
U.S. officials have defended President Trump’s new Iran policy since his October 13 speech, in which he decertified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. The following are excerpted remarks.   Secretary of State Rex Tillerson QUESTION: You said recently that Iran is in technical compliance…

Trump Speech on Iran: Tehran Reacts

October 16, 2017
Updated: October 18, 2017
Iranian officials have reacted angrily to President Trump’s speech on the nuclear deal. The following are excerpted remarks by top leaders.   President Hassan Rouhani In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful Hello and good night to the great, understanding Iranian nation. I…

Former US Officials on Trump's Iran Strategy

October 13, 2017
On October 13, former U.S. officials involved with negotiations, development and implementation of the Iran nuclear deal held a press call to discuss President Trump’s impending decision to decertify the agreement. The officials included Wendy Sherman, former Undersecretary of State for Political…

Trump Speech on Iran: World Reacts

October 13, 2017
Updated: October 19, 2017
In response to President Trump’s speech on October 13, the other signatories to the nuclear deal made the following statements.   Declaration by the Heads of State and Government of France, Germany and the United Kingdom We, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of…

Trump Speech on Iran: The Speech

October 13, 2017
Updated: December 12, 2017
On October 13, President Donald Trump outlined a new strategy on Iran following a months-long interagency review. The following is a transcript of his remarks. Thank you very much. My fellow Americans: As President of the United States, my highest obligation is to ensure the safety and security…

US Treasury Sanctions Revolutionary Guards

October 13, 2017
On October 13, President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Treasury to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for its role in supporting terror as well as Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. "It has hijacked large portions of Iran's economy and seized massive religious…

Trump Speech on Iran: Congress Reacts

October 13, 2017
Updated: December 12, 2017
On October 13, President Donald Trump announced that he would not recertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. Members of Congress weighed in during the runup to and after President Trump’s speech. Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran, which would be a…