Interviews

Explainer: Raisi's First Year in Power

August 2, 2022
The U.S. Institute of Peace interviewed Dr. Kenneth Katzman, a former CIA analyst, who is now an Iran expert at the Congressional Research Service (CRS). His responses are made in his personal capacity, not for CRS or the Library of Congress.   Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner, has now been in power for…

Sanctions 1: Impact on Iran's Oil Exports

February 10, 2021
Henry Rome is a senior analyst on Iran, Israel and global macro issues at Eurasia Group. Follow him on Twitter @hrome2. Related Material: Sanctions 2: What Iran Wants Lifted Sanctions 3: Iran's Economy in 2020 Sanctions 4: The "Chilling Effect" of U.S. Sanctions on Iran Sanctions 5: Trump's "…

Revolution at 42: U.S.-Iran Relations

February 5, 2021
Iran celebrates the anniversary of its 1979 revolution and the so-called “10 Days of Dawn” between February 1 and 11, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile. John Ghazvinian is the author of the new book “America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present.” Born in Iran, Ghazvinian is…

Antony Blinken on Iran

January 21, 2021
On January 19, 2021, Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State-designate, pledged that the Biden administration would reenter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if Tehran first rolls back its recent violations, but would then “seek a longer and stronger agreement” in collaboration with the other five major…

Sanctions 4: The "Chilling Effect" of U.S. Sanctions on Iran

October 11, 2020
Richard Nephew, author of The Art of Sanctions, is a senior research scholar at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy. He was director for Iran policy at the National Security Staff from 2011 to 2013, during the expansion of U.S. sanctions on Iran. He coordinated sanctions policy at the…

Zarif on Nuclear Deal, U.S.-Iran Tensions

September 21, 2020
At the Council on Foreign Relations on September 21, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed broad new U.S. sanctions and stipulated that Washington would have to provide financial compensation “for damages incurred” by Iran if it wanted to reengage in the 2015 nuclear deal. “It’s nothing…

What You Need to Know about Iran’s Coronavirus Crisis

April 22, 2020
Iran’s outbreak has been the worst in the Middle East by far and there are concerns that the pandemic’s spread is significantly worse than reported by Iranian authorities. The virus hit at a particularly bad time for Iran with the economy already suffering from the impact of U.S. sanctions. USIP’s…

Iran's Political Future After 2020 Election

February 26, 2020
On February 26, four experts discussed the sweeping victory by conservative factions in Iran’s parliamentary elections. Speakers included: •    Robin Wright (moderator) – Distinguished Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center  •    Ali Vaez – Iran Project Director,…

Secret Nuclear Warehouse Explained

December 16, 2019
By Kelsey Davenport   In November 2019, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog urged Iran to explain uranium traces found at an undeclared site. Reuters reported that the site was a warehouse in Tehran’s Turquzabad district. What is known about the site?  In his 2018 address to the U.N. General…

Unprecedented Crackdown After Protests

December 11, 2019
By Hadi Ghaemi   What is the state of human rights in Iran in 2019? Have any new patterns emerged? Has the regime targeted any new groups or notable people? The Iranian government continued its assault on basic rights and freedoms including freedom of speech, assembly and expression in 2019. To…

Rouhani at the U.N.

September 24, 2019
On September 23, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in New York City to attend the U.N. General Assembly. In his address to world leaders, Rouhani accused the United States of “economic terrorism.” He said Tehran would not enter talks on its nuclear program or other issues unless the United…

Zarif in New York: On U.S. and Regional Tensions

September 23, 2019
On September 20, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in New York City ahead of the U.N. General Assembly opening. Zarif discussed U.S. tensions, the Saudi oil attacks and other issues in interviews with several news outlets and television networks. The following are excerpts from…

Zarif on “All-Out-War”

September 19, 2019
On September 19, Iranian Foreign Minister warned that Tehran could respond to a U.S. or Saudi military strike with “all-out war.” He questioned Saudi resolve and told CNN that the kingdom was prepared to fight "to the last American soldier." Zarif said Tehran hoped to avoid conflict but added, “We…

Zarif in New York: On War and U.S. Talks

July 16, 2019
Foreign Minister Zarif attended U.N. meetings in New York from July 15-19. During which he did interviews with several journalists and television networks. The following are excerpts from three television interviews. He also did a separate interview with print correspondents available at this link…

Impact of U.S. Sanctions on Iran Oil

April 23, 2019
On April 22, the Trump Administration announced that it will stop providing sanctions exemptions to countries that import Iranian oil as of May 2. What impact will this move have on Iran?  The United States will let sanctions exemptions on the purchase of Iranian oil lapse on May 2. Any company…

Revolution at 40: Experts Reflect

February 5, 2019
The original co-authors of "The Iran Primer" book reflect on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Iran’s revolution. Their comments cover the diversity of analysis.  Photo by Bokopix via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow and Director of The Intelligence Project, The Brookings…

Zarif in New York: On the U.S., Syria, Israel

October 3, 2018
Robin Wright had two interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his week-long trip to the United Nations in New York. One was one-on-one, and the second was with a group of journalists. The following are excerpts arranged by issues.    U.S. Policy and Potential for…

Part 1: Iran and South Asia—Afghanistan

June 12, 2018
As neighbors with a 585-mile frontier, Iran and Afghanistan have connections spanning centuries. Relations were formally established in 1935 when both countries were ruled by monarchies. Since 1979—the year of Iran’s revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan—relations between Tehran and…

Part 3: Iran’s Growing Influence in Iraq

May 3, 2018
Two Middle East experts from the U.S. Institute of Peace, Elie Abouaoun and Sarhang Hamasaeed, discuss Iran’s evolving role in Iraq with Garrett Nada.   What are the major phases that Iraq has gone through since the 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime? What has Iran’s involvement been during…

Rouhani in New York on Nuclear Deal, Syria

September 19, 2017
On September 18, President Hassan Rouhani discussed the nuclear deal, regional conflicts, human rights, and other issues at an event with American foreign policy analysts and journalists. He was in New York City to attend the opening of the U.N. General Assembly. The following are excerpts as…

The Zarif Interviews: On Gulf Tensions

July 20, 2017
This is part three of a series based on interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a one-on-one interview with Robin Wright and another with a group of American journalists (including Wright) on July 18 in New York City. The following are excerpted remarks on tensions in the…

The Zarif Interviews: On Syria, Chemical Weapons

July 20, 2017
This is part two of a series based on interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a one-on-one interview with Robin Wright and another with a group of American journalists (including Wright) on July 18 in New York City. The following are excerpted remarks on the conflict in Syria…

The Zarif Interviews: On the Nuclear Deal, US

July 19, 2017
This is part one of a series based on two interviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a one-on-one interview with Robin Wright and another with a group of American journalists (including Wright) on July 18 in New York City. The following are excerpted remarks on the nuclear deal…

CIA Chief Warns Trump Against Ending Iran Deal

November 30, 2016
CIA Director John Brennan warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that tearing up the nuclear deal would be “the height of folly.” In an interview with the BBC, Brennan said that backing out of an agreement made by a previous administration would be unprecedented. During the U.S. presidential…

US, EU Encourage Investment in Iran

May 20, 2016
On May 19, Britain, France, Germany, the European Union and the United States released a joint statement encouraging European banks and businesses to invest in Iran. “We will not stand in the way of permitted business activity with Iran,” they said. As part of the nuclear deal that was implemented…