Iran Policy

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…
June 5, 2020
President Donald Trump urged Iranian leaders to negotiate a new nuclear deal before the November presidential election. “Don’t wait until after U.S. Election to make the Big deal. I’m going to win. You’ll make a better deal now!” Trump tweeted on June 4.  Iran had just released Navy veteran Michael…
May 29, 2020
On May 28, Iran’s new parliament elected Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a political hardliner and a former Revolutionary Guard, as its new speaker. The former mayor of Tehran, who also ran for the presidency three times, received 230 votes from the 264 lawmakers who attended the session. Qalibaf vowed to …
May 27, 2020
Iran and Venezuela have formed a strategic partnership to circumvent punitive U.S. sanctions imposed on both countries by the Trump administration. In October 2019, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani commended Venezuela’s “praiseworthy” resistance to U.S. pressure. “All their [U.S.] conspiracies…
May 11, 2020
Two years after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo marked the anniversary by comparing the Islamic Republic to Nazi Germany and calling on the international community “stop the world’s leading state sponsor of anti-Semitism.” In a statement, Pompeo said…
May 5, 2020
On April 17, Iran celebrated National Army Day in a parade showcasing medical equipment used in the fight against COVID-19 instead of the tanks, missiles and warplanes usually put on display. The parade—dubbed “Defenders of the Homeland, Helpers of Health”—featured troops dressed in hazmat gear,…
May 5, 2020
On May 1, Iran opened a drive-in movie theater for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The pop-up cinema was set up in the parking lot of Tehran’s iconic Milad Tower. Tickets were sold online for 40,000 tomans each, equivalent to about $10. Only two people were allowed in each car,…
April 14, 2020
Iran began to slowly reopen government offices and businesses in early April following a two-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 virus, which was first reported in Qom on February 19. In early April, President Hassan Rouhani reported that the number of new cases and deaths had begun to decrease. “…