Iran Policy

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…
December 17, 2019
By Garrett Nada and Alex Yacoubian As an oil-hungry island nation, Japan’s position on Iran has been fraught with inherent tensions. It has had to balance an existential thirst for oil—to fuel industries, cars and homes—against a moral abhorrence of nuclear weapons, especially as the only country…
December 7, 2019
On December 7, the United States and Iran conducted a rare prisoner swap. An American graduate student, Xiyue Wang, was released in Switzerland in exchange for Massoud Soleimani, an Iranian national held in an Atlanta prison for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions.  President Donald Trump,…
December 5, 2019
1979 Islamic Revolution Killed: Estimates range from 2,000 to more than 3,000 Detained: Thousands Flashpoint: Social Injustice, Political Repression, Corruption, and Religious Motives Location and Scope: Protests spread to nearly all major cities and included millions of participants Major…
December 4, 2019
Protests spread across Iran in response to increased fuel prices and rationing. The government’s move, announced overnight on November 15, triggered an angry reaction. "Have shame [President] Rouhani, Leave the country alone!" and "Have shame dictator, Leave the country alone!” protestors…
October 22, 2019
On October 20, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that it released $700 million in frozen funds to Iran—a sign of thawing relations between the two Gulf countries. On October 14, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said there have been “some contacts between Iran and the United Arab Emirates in…
October 16, 2019
On October 1, more than 1,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Baghdad to protest corruption, unemployment and a lack of basic services. The protests also targeted growing Iranian influence in Iraq. Some protestors chanted anti-Iranian slogans, while others displayed posters of Iraq’s former…
October 16, 2019
On October 16, Hossein Fereydoun, the brother of President Hassan Rouhani and a senior negotiator in nuclear talks with the United States, began a five-year prison term in Tehran’s Evin prison. He was arrested in 2017 and initially sentenced to seven years in prison; an appeals court reduced the…
October 10, 2019
By Andrew Hanna Iran marked a historic milestone in October 2019, as thousands of women attended a soccer match for the first time in nearly four decades. The match drew some 4,000 women to Azadi stadium in Tehran for a World Cup qualifier match against Cambodia. Between 1981 and 2019, Iranian…