Israel-Hamas War: U.S. and Europe on Iran Role

Hamas, a Palestinian movement armed, trained and funded by Iran, launched a multi-prong military operation on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. It included rocket attacks on southern and central Israel, balaclava-clad fighters dropping from paragliders, and the murderous slaughter of civilians in their homes, on city streets and at a music festival. It was the boldest and most sophisticated operation by the Palestinian extremist movement, which emerged in 1988 and has since evolved as one of the two biggest security threats to Israel.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on October 10, 2023.

Female Protests in Iran: One Year Later

What is the status of the protest movement as Iran nears Sept. 16, 2023, the one-year anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody? 

Street protests largely subsided by early 2023. As people returned to their everyday lives, a degree of surface normalcy was restored. But as the anniversary loomed, the country was still reeling from the aftershocks of the protest movement, which began as a response to Mahsa Amini’s death after she was detained and then allegedly beaten for wearing “improper” hijab.

Female Protests in Iran: Tools of Resistance

Many Iranian women have opposed the Islamic dress code since it was made mandatory in 1981. Why did the issue reach an inflection point in 2022?  

The killing of Mahsa Jina Amini while in state custody in September 2022 reverberated throughout Iran. At age 22, the young woman embodied the nation's future—a future stifled by a government that exercises its power through suppression and unchecked authority.

Iran & China: A Trade Lifeline

Since the early 21st century, the centerpiece of relations between Tehran and Beijing has been economic, largely based on trade in oil and consumer goods. China bought Iran’s oil to fuel industrialization, while it sold machinery, electronics, and appliances to Iran to expand its global marketplace. The relationship, however, has been lopsided.  

Some of the information in this article was originally published on June 28, 2023.

Iran & Russia: Burgeoning Military Ties

Military cooperation between Iran and Russia has gyrated from virtually nothing after the 1979 revolution to a strategic partnership, bolstered by important arms transfers, by 2023. Overall, Moscow accounted for about a third of Tehran’s arms imports during the four decades after the revolution, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). And the Islamic Republic was exporting Iranian arms to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on May 18, 2023.

Iran Struggles with COVID-19 in 2020

Iran reported its first deaths from the new COVID-19 virus on February 19, 2020. It soon became one of the world’s early epicenters. The Health Ministry claimed that the disease had been spread by travelers between Iran’s holy city of Qom and China’s industrial center at Wuhan, where the coronavirus first broke out. The government initially rejected quarantines, which the Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said "belong to pre-WWI — to the plague, cholera, stuff like that."

Part 1: Leading Iran Nuclear Scientist Killed

On November 27, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prominent nuclear scientist, was assassinated in a roadside attack about 40 miles east of Tehran. Western and Israeli intelligence had long suspected that Fakhrizadeh was the father of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program. He was often compared to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the American atomic bomb. He kept a low profile for most of his career.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on November 30, 2020.

Part 1: The Tanker Crisis in the Gulf

Tensions between Iran and the outside world have escalated since an attack on four tankers on May 12 near the Strait of Hormuz, which was followed by an attack on two more tankers on June 13. Both attacks occurred in the Gulf of Oman. The Persian Gulf flows through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf of Oman. On July 4, the British Royal Navy seized an Iranian tanker carrying oil to Syria. In what seemed like a response, Iranian vessels harassed a British tanker while entering the Strait of Hormuz on July 11.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on June 13, 2019.