Iran Policy

October 19, 2020
On October 18, the global ban on the sale of conventional arms to Iran expired and opened the way for the Islamic Republic to import weapons, including warplanes and helicopter gunships, missiles, tanks, artillery and other weapon systems. The ban was imposed by U.N. Resolution 1929 in 2010. It was…
September 22, 2020
On September 22, President Hassan Rouhani told the 75th U.N. General Assembly that the United States could not impose negotiations or war on Iran. “Life is hard under sanctions. However, harder is life without independence,” he said in a defiant speech. “We are not a bargaining chip in U.S.…
August 18, 2020
On August 14, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met top Lebanese officials 10 days after twin explosions at the Beirut port killed more than 175 people and wounded some 6,000. Zarif accused Western countries of demanding political change in Lebanon as a precondition for billions of…
July 22, 2020
On July 22, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, in Moscow to discuss trade, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the situation in Syria and security in the Persian Gulf. During the visit, Zarif announced that Iran intended to renew a…
July 15, 2020
On July 10, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentences for three young activists who participated in protests over economic and political grievances in November 2019: Amirhossein Moradi, age 25, Mohammad Rajabi, age 25, Saeed Tamjidi, age 27 The demonstrations were sparked by the government…
July 8, 2020
In June, Iranian newspapers covered the challenges of reopening subways and other public places that get crowded. They highlighted warnings from officials to take precautions when out in public. “We Haven’t Defeated Corona: [President Hassan] Rouhani Warns Restrictions May Return,” read Ebtekar.…
July 7, 2020
Iran experienced a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases in early June following the gradual reopening of businesses, mosques, schools and government offices in April and May. On June 2, Health Minister Saeed Namaki expressed concern that Iranians had become "completely careless" with health…
July 6, 2020
On July 5, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared before Iran’s new parliament, where conservative factions have assumed the majority over reformers and centrists, to discuss foreign policy and the economic challenges triggered by U.S. sanctions. The session quickly became personal. Several…
July 1, 2020
Almost five months after the first reported COVID-19 deaths, Iran made masks mandatory at all indoor gatherings from July 5 until July 22. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged citizens to wear face coverings to stem a second wave of COVID-19 infections. He called on government officials to…
June 30, 2020
On June 30, 2020, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif clashed over the future of the U.N. conventional arms embargo on Iran, which was set to expire in October. The two officials spoke at a virtual meeting of the Security Council convened to debate whether to…