Iran Policy

March 14, 2019
On March 11, President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Iraq for a three-day visit. It was his first official visit to Iran’s western neighbor. Iran and Iraq are Shiite-majority countries that share centuries-deep cultural and religious ties — and a 900-mile border. The Islamic Republic has used these…
March 13, 2019
On March 11, 2019, Iran’s most prominent human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for nine charges. She received 12 years for allegedly encouraging “corruption and prostitution,” according to her husband, Reza Khandan. The charge is likely connected…
March 8, 2019
On March 7, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Ebrahim Raisi as judiciary chief. Raisi was not a well-known figure until he entered the 2017 presidential race. The hardline cleric garnered 38 percent of the vote but lost to incumbent Hassan Rouhani, who got 57 percent. Raisi replaces…
February 26, 2019
Syrian President Bashar Assad made a surprise trip to Tehran on February 25, the first since the Syrian war began in 2011. The visit comes as Assad has consolidated his hold on all major Syrian cities and as Iran, Russia, and Turkey are working on a post-war peace process. Assad met with Iranian…
February 25, 2019
On February 25, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced his resignation in an Instagram post. “With good wishes on the occasion of the blessed birth of Her Holiness Fatima Zahra, may the peace of Allah be upon her, the day of mothers and the day of women, I am very thankful for the…
February 21, 2019
On February 17, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of “exporting insecurity” to the Middle East and trying to foment regime change in his country. In a defiant address at the Munich Security Forum, he condemned Washington for reimposing sanctions and withdrawing…
February 4, 2019
President Hassan Rouhani Iranian leaders have given defiant speeches, condemning U.S. sanctions and touting the country’s resilience, in the run-up to the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. “The biggest economic pressure in the past 40 years on the Iranian nation has been plotted [by the…
February 2, 2019
Iran unveiled two new missiles and an underground missile factory during celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. On February 2, Defense Minister Amir Hatami presented the Hoveizeh surface-to-surface missile, an addition to the Soumar family of cruise missiles with a…
December 3, 2018
On December 1, the United States condemned Iran’s test of a medium range ballistic missile reportedly capable of striking parts of Europe and anywhere in the Middle East. “This test violates U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 that bans Iran from undertaking ‘any activity related to ballistic…
November 28, 2018
On November 22, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) alleged that Iran failed to declare all its chemical weapons to the group. “The United States is also concerned that Iran is pursuing Central Nervous System-Acting Chemicals for offensive purposes…