Iran Policy

March 4, 2020
On March 3, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the mobilization of the military to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities said that 300,000 troops from the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its Basij paramilitary force would deploy to help sanitize public places, direct traffic,…
February 12, 2020
In January 2020, Iran introduced a new form that discriminates against religious minorities not protected under the constitution. The new form removed the option to select “other religion” in national identity cards. The card is a basic necessity to access government services and conduct banking…
January 17, 2020
By Haleh Esfandiari For the first time in eight years, Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, personally delivered the Friday prayer sermon in Tehran this week, at a moment of rising discontent and protests at home, and confrontation with the United States and fraying relations with…
January 14, 2020
Iranian newspapers widely covered the revelation that the Revolutionary Guards accidentally shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, killing all 176 people on board. Some of the headlines were mournful while others expressed anger at the government, which denied responsibility for three…
January 13, 2020
After three days of denying responsibility, Iran acknowledged on January 11 that it had shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. The incident occurred early on January 8, hours after Iran launched missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S.…
January 8, 2020
Iranian leaders hailed their country’s strike on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. On January 8, Iran fired at least a dozen missiles at the al Asad air base in Iraq’s western Anbar province and another facility in Irbil in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the…
January 7, 2020
Across Iraq, political and militia leaders uniformly condemned the U.S. drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the Quds Force commander, and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the founder of Kataib Hezbollah and deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).  They charged that the U.S.…
January 6, 2020
On January 5, Iran announced its fifth step away from its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Tehran said it would not abide by restrictions on uranium enrichment capacity, percentage of enrichment, stockpile size of enriched material,…
January 6, 2020
Iranians leaders from across the political spectrum condemned the United States for killing Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike on January 2. Hardliners promised retaliation. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had a personal relationship with Qods Force commander, declared three days of…
December 19, 2019
By Andrew Hanna In late 2019, President Hassan Rouhani faced calls to leave office from both hardliners and moderates. The demands followed the largest protests since the 1979 revolution; they were triggered by the Rouhani government’s surprise hike in the price of fuel—by 50 percent—and the…