New Articles

U.S. Envoy on Iran Nuclear Talks

October 27, 2021
On October 25, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, warned that Tehran’s reasons for delaying nuclear talks were “wearing very thin.” He also said the United States and its partners were increasingly concerned “over the “pace and direction of Iran’s nuclear progress.” He added that Iran’…

U.S. Blames Iran for Strike on Base in Syria

October 26, 2021
On October 20, the U.S. base at al Tanf in southern Syria was hit by drones and rockets in a “deliberate and coordinated attack,” Central Command announced. Iran appeared to be responsible for the attack, which included up to five drones carrying explosives, U.S. officials told the Associated Press…

Khamenei Condemns Arab Ties with Israel

October 25, 2021
Supreme Leader KhameneiOn October 24, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced countries that had established diplomatic ties with Israel. “They sinned by normalizing relations with the usurping, despotic Zionist regime,” he said in a speech marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.…

News Digest: Week of October 18

October 20, 2021
October 18 The Venezuelan and Iranian foreign ministers Diplomacy: Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia met with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, as well as President Ebrahim Raisi, in Tehran. During a joint press conference, Abdollahian announced that the two countries…

Poll: Iranians on Foreign and Defense Policy

October 20, 2021
As of September 2021, almost 60 percent of Iranians had positive views—in equal degrees—of China and Russia. In contrast, 85 percent reported negative views of the United States and 67 percent viewed the Biden administration’s views on Iran as “hostile.” Some 60 percent reported viewing France…

Poll: Iranians on Nuclear Program, Talks

October 20, 2021
Six years after it was negotiated, Iranian public opinion was split on the 2015 nuclear deal. Some 47 percent disapproved of the agreement while 48 percent approve of it, according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll.com. The deal had…

Poll: Iranians on Raisi, Domestic Politics

October 20, 2021
A large majority of Iranians, 78 percent, had favorable views of President Ebrahim Raisi, according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll.com. Many Iranians, however, were critical of how the June 2021 election was conducted. Some 44…

Poll: Iranians on COVID-19

October 20, 2021
Eighteen months after the COVID-19 outbreak, Iranians were significantly more concerned about the government’s response to the pandemic. Some 42 percent of Iranians, up from 25 percent a year earlier, said that Iran’s response has been less effective than the actions by similar countries, according…

Poll: Iranians on the Economy

October 20, 2021
In September 2021, 74 percent of Iranians said that the overall economic situation was "somewhat bad" or "very bad," according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll.com. More than 60 percent of Iranians were most concerned about…

Internet Freedom in Iran and New "Protection" Bill

October 14, 2021
Mahsa Alimardani is a researcher at ARTICLE19, an international human rights organization focused on freedom of expression and information. She is also a doctoral student at the University of Oxford’s Oxford Internet Institute.   Since the beginning of the Internet in the mid-1990s, how has Iran…

Robert Malley on State of Nuclear Diplomacy

October 14, 2021
On October 13, Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, said that the United States and its allies were considering alternative ways to constrain Tehran’s nuclear should diplomacy fail. “Every day they [Iranians] are not coming back to the table … is telling us that this is a team that may…

News Digest: Week of October 11

October 14, 2021
October 11 Trade: Adani Ports, the largest port operator in India, announced that it would cease - as of November 15 - to handle cargo from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It did not provide a reason, but the announcement followed a seizure of heroin from Afghanistan worth some $2.65 billion at a…

How the World Aids Iran on COVID-19

October 13, 2021
Between early February and mid-October 2021, the international community provided Iran with 92.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. China, Iran’s top trading partner, provided the largest amount, about 90 percent of the doses imported by Iran. Iran gained access to foreign vaccines mostly through…

Facebook Removes IRGC-linked Network

October 12, 2021
Iran's 31 provincesOn October 11, Facebook announced that it had removed a network linked to the Revolutionary Guards that praised the military and criticized opposition groups. Facebook took down 93 accounts, 14 pages, 15 groups and 194 Instagram accounts that targeted primarily domestic audiences…

Iran-linked Hackers Targeted American, Israeli Defense Companies

October 11, 2021
On October 11, Microsoft announced that a hacking group linked to Iran attempted to gain access to more than 250 accounts “with a focus on U.S. and Israeli defense technology companies, Persian Gulf ports of entry, or global maritime transportation companies with business presence in the Middle…

News Digest: Week of October 4

October 6, 2021
Politics: In his first public speech after 10 years under house arrest, opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi urged major reforms to eliminate the “flaws and shortcomings” in the Islamic Republic. Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament who ran for the presidency in 2009, was allowed to give a brief…

Khamenei on U.S. and Foreign Intervention

October 6, 2021
In a wide-ranging speech, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the United States for interfering in its neighboring regions, notably Afghanistan. The Americans “stayed in that country for 20 years killing people, committing crimes, occupying, promoting addictive drugs, and destroying the…

Reformist Speaks After 10 Years of House Arrest

October 6, 2021
Mehdi KarroubiIn his first public speech after 10 years under house arrest, opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi urged major reforms to eliminate the “flaws and shortcomings” in the Islamic Republic. Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament who ran for the presidency in 2009, was allowed to give a…

Explainer: Iran’s Nuclear Progress

October 6, 2021
Kelsey Davenport is the Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association.   After the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the father of Iran's nuclear program, Parliament passed a new law in December 2020 requiring the government to accelerate its nuclear program. What are…

Raisi, the Presidency and Iran's Foreign Policy

October 4, 2021
Reza H. Akbari is a MENA Program Manager at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and a doctoral student at American University, where he focuses on the history of the modern Middle East. Follow him on Twitter @rezahakbari.   Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, has had little experience in…

News Digest: Week of September 27

September 29, 2021
September 27 Diplomacy: Iraqi officials said that Baghdad had hosted Iranian and Saudi officials for a fourth round of bilateral talks – the first round since President Ebrahim Raisi took office in August. The regional rivals severed diplomatic relations in 2016 after Saudi Arabia executed Nimr al…

Iran and Israel Spar at U.N.

September 29, 2021
On September 27, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East and working towards a nuclear weapon. “Iran's nuclear program has hit a watershed moment, and so has our tolerance. Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning,” he warned in his debut address to…

Raisi Fights Fifth Wave of COVID-19

September 29, 2021
In the early days of his presidency, Ebrahim Raisi’s top priority was fighting Iran’s fifth and deadliest wave of COVID-19. More than 38,000 new cases and 400 deaths were reported on August 5, the day that he took office. Three days later, Raisi set an example by publicly receiving his first dose…

Iran Ships Fuel to Hezbollah, Defies U.S. Sanctions

September 29, 2021
In August, Iran began shipping badly needed fuel to Lebanon through Hezbollah, the Lebanese political movement and militia. The move demonstrated Tehran’s unwavering support for the group and defiance of U.S. sanctions. Hezbollah used the shipments to bolster its image amid Lebanon’s economic…

Arrest of Iran Rapper Stirs Outrage

September 28, 2021
Toomaj SalehiOn September 13, Toomaj Salehi, a popular young rapper, was arrested at his home in Isfahan and charged with propaganda against the regime. Salehi gained popularity for his songs—such as “Normal Life,” released in June 2021—that spotlighted poverty, corruption and repression in Iran.…

Abdollahian in New York on Foreign Policy

September 27, 2021
On September 24, new Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Western reporters during the opening week of the U.N. General Assembly. In one session, only his opening remarks were on the record. In another interview with MSNBC, he provided more detailed comments on Tehran’s…

Raisi’s First Moves on Foreign Policy

September 23, 2021
Updated: October 3, 2021
In the early days of his presidency, Ebrahim Raisi outlined two main priorities in Iranian foreign policy: improving relations with neighbors, and expanding ties with Asian powers, including China and Russia. “I extend a hand of friendship and brotherhood to all countries in the region, especially…

News Digest: Week of September 20

September 22, 2021
September 20 Sports: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei congratulated the national volleyball team for winning the 2021 Asian Championship title.  In the Name of the Most High The brilliant victory of the National #Volleyball Team is very sweet for the Iranian nation. I sincerely thank you…

At UN, Raisi Blasts US, Backs Nuclear Talks

September 21, 2021
On September 21, President Ebrahim Raisi expressed support for diplomatic negotiations to restore full U.S. and Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. “We want nothing more than what is rightfully ours. We demand the implementation of international rules,” he said during his debut address…

Sanctions on Hezbollah and IRGC Networks

September 17, 2021
On September 17, the Treasury Department announced sanctions, authorized under Executive Order 13224, on a network of facilitators and front companies in the Middle East and Far East that helped fund Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards elite Quds Force. Treasury designated 11 individuals in…