Iran Policy

December 8, 2020
Top Iranian officials have outlined the prospects of new diplomacy with Joe Biden. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator, has known Biden for decades. He expressed optimism about both countries returning to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, known…
December 7, 2020
On December 1, Iran’s parliament, which is dominated by conservatives and hardliners, passed a bill requiring the government to take two steps: First, resume enriching uranium to 20 percent immediately. And second, to produce 120 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent annually. Since July 2019…
December 3, 2020
On December 3, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran would return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal if the United States formally rejoined the historic accord that President Trump abandoned in May 2018. But Iran will never renegotiate the deal, he said. “The United States…
September 22, 2020
On September 22, President Hassan Rouhani told the 75th U.N. General Assembly that the United States could not impose negotiations or war on Iran. “Life is hard under sanctions. However, harder is life without independence,” he said in a defiant speech. “We are not a bargaining chip in U.S.…
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…
August 18, 2020
On August 14, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met top Lebanese officials 10 days after twin explosions at the Beirut port killed more than 175 people and wounded some 6,000. Zarif accused Western countries of demanding political change in Lebanon as a precondition for billions of…
July 22, 2020
On July 22, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, in Moscow to discuss trade, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the situation in Syria and security in the Persian Gulf. During the visit, Zarif announced that Iran intended to renew a…
July 15, 2020
On July 10, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentences for three young activists who participated in protests over economic and political grievances in November 2019: Amirhossein Moradi, age 25, Mohammad Rajabi, age 25, Saeed Tamjidi, age 27 The demonstrations were sparked by the government…
July 8, 2020
In June, Iranian newspapers covered the challenges of reopening subways and other public places that get crowded. They highlighted warnings from officials to take precautions when out in public. “We Haven’t Defeated Corona: [President Hassan] Rouhani Warns Restrictions May Return,” read Ebtekar.…
July 7, 2020
Iran experienced a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases in early June following the gradual reopening of businesses, mosques, schools and government offices in April and May. On June 2, Health Minister Saeed Namaki expressed concern that Iranians had become "completely careless" with health…