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U.S. Helps Expand Internet Access for Iranians

September 23, 2022
On September 23, the Treasury Department authorized American companies to expand the range of internet services – which otherwise could be restricted by U.S. sanctions – available to ordinary Iranians. “Today we are issuing a General License to advance our efforts and commitments to ensure that the…

U.S. Sanctions Morality Police, Senior Officials

September 22, 2022
On September 22, the United States sanctioned Iran’s Morality Police and seven senior security officials for violence against protestors and the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old woman was detained by Morality Police in Tehran on September 13 for an “improper” hijab, or head covering. She was…

Raisi Chastises U.S. at U.N.

September 21, 2022
During his in-person debut at the U.N. General assembly, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi declared that U.S. power and influence were waning. The United States “keeps equivocating militarism with security and has pursued its interests in the world at the expense of other countries.” Washington “…

News Digest: Week of September 19

September 21, 2022
September 19 International: During a hearing, Iran told the International Court of Justice that the United States violated international law by seizing $2 billion from Iranian government bank accounts to compensate 241 victims of the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. Sports:…

Former Political Prisoners Sue Raisi in U.S. Court

September 21, 2022
On September 15, an Iranian dissident and two former political prisoners launched a civil lawsuit against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for complicity in their torture and false imprisonment. The complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, cited “severe personal injuries and other…

Protests Erupt After Death in Detention

September 19, 2022
Updated: September 25, 2022
In mid-September 2022, protests broke out across Iran after the death in detention of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman picked up for improper hijab, or head covering, hiding her hair. She collapsed in a “reeducation” center. During the first week, spontaneous demonstrations erupted in more than 50…

Poll: American Views on Iran, Nuclear Deal

September 16, 2022
Six in 10 Americans support returning to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six major world powers, according to a survey by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The remainder of those polled prefer to maintain economic sanctions on Iran and stay out of the agreement, which President…

Iran on Queen Elizabeth and Monarchy

September 14, 2022
Iran was one of the few countries that failed to officially note or express condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II. But its hardline press featured scathing editorials that reflected the Islamic Republic’s longstanding condemnation of monarchy as a system of government and its history of…

U.S. Sanctions on President Raisi

September 14, 2022
The United States sanctioned Ebrahim Raisi in November 2019, citing his complicity in human rights violations over three decades. The Treasury Department noted Raisi’s role in the so-called “death commission” that ordered the extrajudicial executions of between 4,000 and 5,000 political prisoners…

U.S. Sanctions IRGC-linked Group for Cybercrimes

September 14, 2022
On September 14, the United States sanctioned 10 Iranian men and two companies for hacking computer systems and installing ransomware, which can prevent victims from getting access to their files and data unless they pay a ransom to the hackers. “Ransomware actors and other cybercriminals target…

Year One: Raisi on the Nuclear Deal

September 14, 2022
Updated: September 21, 2022
In his first year in office, President Ebrahim Raisi backed diplomatic negotiations to restore full U.S. and Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Raisi’s goal was to lift and “neutralize” all U.S. sanctions through talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers—Britain, China, France…

Year One: Raisi on the U.S. & the West

September 14, 2022
In his first year in office, President Ebrahim Raisi blamed many of the Middle East’s problems on Western powers. Foreign intervention, notably by the United States, had produced only conflict and political discord, he argued. The “idea of hegemony, but also the project of imposing Westernized…

Year One: Raisi on the Economy

September 14, 2022
In his first year in office, President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to stabilize the economy, address people’s basic needs, fight corruption and to better manage water and gas resources. Raisi took weekly trips to the provinces after he took office in August 2021 to learn about the problems facing average…

News Digest: Week of September 12

September 13, 2022
Updated: September 14, 2022
September 12 Nuclear/Diplomacy: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran’s latest response to the E.U. draft deal on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal was “clearly a step backwards and makes the prospects for an agreement in the near term — I would say — unlikely.” He said that Tehran had…

Europeans: No More Flexibility on Iran Deal

September 12, 2022
On September 10, Britain, France and Germany warned that the intense international diplomacy—between the world’s six major powers and Iran—to revive the 2015 nuclear deal was in grave jeopardy because Tehran had abruptly backtracked from compromises in the final draft. A month earlier, the European…

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Intelligence Ministry

September 9, 2022
On September 9, the United States sanctioned Iran’s intelligence ministry and minister for cyberattacks against the United States and its allies. “Iran’s cyberattacks targeting civilian government services and critical infrastructure sectors can cause grave damage to these services and disregard…

Albania Cuts Ties with Iran Over Cyberattack

September 9, 2022
Updated: September 12, 2022
On September 6, Albania severed diplomatic ties with Iran over an alleged cyberattack on July 15. Iran had tried to “paralyze public services and hack data and electronic communications from the government systems,” Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a statement. Tehran had allegedly directed four…

Iran Seizes and Releases U.S. Sea Drones

September 9, 2022
In two provocative incidents just days apart, Iranian naval forces briefly seized three U.S. drones collecting data in the international waters of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The seizures coincided with growing tensions between the United States and Iran over militia activities in Syria and…

U.S. Sanctions Iran for Providing Drones to Russia

September 8, 2022
Updated: September 13, 2022
On September 8, the United States sanctioned four Iranian companies and a defense contractor for providing drones to Russia for use in Ukraine. The move reflects a tightening of the sanctions noose around countries facilitating Vladimir Putin’s war machine. “The Russian military is suffering from…

News Digest: Week of September 5

September 7, 2022
September 5 Human Rights: Two Iranian women, Zahra Hamadani and Elham Chubdar, were sentenced to death for their activism on behalf of the LGBTQ community. They were reportedly found guilty of “corruption on Earth,” “promoting Christianity,” and “communicating with the media opposing the Islamic…

Part 3: Iran on Its Space Program

September 7, 2022
The Iranian government has long considered the space program a source of national pride. Despite Western criticism, Tehran has claimed its program is completely peaceful and will not be used for military purposes. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly boasted that the space…

Part 2: U.S. on Iran’s Space Program

September 7, 2022
For more than a decade, the United States has warned that Iran’s space program could be adapted to advance its ballistic missile program, with implications for the entire Middle East and beyond. As of 2022, Iran already had missiles with a 2,000-kilometer (or 1,200-mile) range. The Trump…

US-Iran Tensions in Syria: Timeline

August 26, 2022
Syria has become a sporadic battlefield for Iran-backed militias, which support the Assad regime, and U.S.-led coalition forces since 2017. The following is a detailed timeline.    2017 May 18: U.S.-led coalition forces struck Iran-backed militants that were breaching the 55-kilometer (34-mile)…

US-Iran Tensions in Syria: 2022

August 26, 2022
In August, tensions flared between the United States and Iran in Syria. The United States launched airstrikes on Iran-backed militias in response to drone and rocket attacks on bases housing U.S. troops on August 15. “We've sent a very loud and clear message and a proportional message, that any…

News Digest: Week of August 15

August 17, 2022
August 15 Nuclear: Iran sent a response to the European Union’s latest draft text to restore the 2015 nuclear deal. “There are three issues that if resolved, we can reach an agreement in the coming days,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had said earlier in the day. “We have told them…

Iran Poll on Nuclear Deal

August 17, 2022
Seven years after it was negotiated, Iranian public opinion was split on the 2015 nuclear deal. Some 48 percent disapproved of the agreement while 47 percent approved of it, according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll. The deal had a…

Iran and the Rushdie Attack

August 15, 2022
On August 12, award-winning novelist Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and abdomen in an assassination attempt while lecturing at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old assailant and the son of immigrants from Lebanon, supported Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanese…

Timeline: Israeli Attacks on Iran

August 11, 2022
Since 2010, Israel has allegedly conducted at least two dozen operations – including assassinations, drone strikes and cyberattacks – on Iran. Most of the targets were connected to Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, which Israel considers an existential threat. In 2022, however, two facilities…

U.S. Charges Iranian for Bolton Murder Plot

August 10, 2022
On August 10, the Justice Department announced charges against an Iranian national for plotting to murder John Bolton, who served as national security advisor to President Donald Trump from 2018 to 2019. Shahram Poursafi, 45, planned the operation, “likely in retaliation” for the U.S. assassination…

2022: Sweeping Crackdown on Dissent

August 3, 2022
In 2022, Iran detained and imprisoned dozens of activists, artists and academics. Many were charged with propaganda against the state and collusion against national security. The crackdown coincided with a surge of protests over food prices, pensions and salaries, taxes, and corruption in Tehran…