Iran Policy

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. “…
April 13, 2020
In early April, Iran began to reopen after shutting down most of the country for nearly two months after the COVID-19 virus was first reported in Qom on February 19. On April 5, President Rouhani announced that low-risk economic activities would resume in most parts of the country on April 11 and…
April 1, 2020
On March 31, the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, published the following story about the Iranian government's decree suspending the publication and delivery of newspapers due to COVID-19.    The Committee to Protect Journalists…
March 31, 2020
President Hassan Rouhani’s position on the COVID-19 pandemic gradually evolved as the crisis expanded and the death toll mounted. The first official report of deaths from the new virus was on February 19. Rouhani initially downplayed the threat of the disease. On February 23, he compared the impact…