On August 30, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran was complying with its obligations under the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It was the second quarterly report released by the watchdog since the United States withdrew from the JCPOA in May.
On September 28, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered the evacuation of diplomatic personnel from the U.S. consulate in Basrah in southern Iraq. The announcement followed rocket attacks directed toward the Basrah consulate and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier in the month. Pompeo held Iran responsible.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to chair a U.N. Security Council meeting on Iran during the General Assembly, the annual gathering of world leader. Trump will address “violations of international law and general instability Iran sows throughout the entire Middle East region,” said the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, on September 4. “There is a growing concern about Iran. Some are old things, some are new things,” she said during a press conference. Haley accused Iran of destabilizing activities and supporting terror in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Presidents Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Tehran on September 7 to discuss the final battlefront in Idlib province and Syria's political future. The summit is their third on Syria. In November 2017, they met in Sochi, Russia, and in April 2018 they met in Ankara, Turkey. Their countries have played the leading roles in the Astana peace process, a series of talks launched in 2017 to complement to those held in Geneva.
In response to the U.S. decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran, President Hassan Rouhani threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway for the transit of oil and natural gas from the Middle East to world markets. Iranian leaders also threatened to disrupt oil shipments before sanctions were imposed in 2011 and 2012.
On August 6, the E.U., French, German, and U.K. foreign ministers expressed their determination to “protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran” — despite the reimposition of U.S. sanctions. In a statement, the leaders also reiterated their support for the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security,” they said. The full text is below with reactions by other world leaders.
The Center for Human Rights in Iran, an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization working to protect and promote human rights in Iran, released the following analysis, which is republished here with permission.
Ten Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz (R-TX), sent a letter to the British, French and German ambassadors in Washington urging their countries to comply with U.S. sanctions and to deepen Transatlantic cooperation against Iran.
On July 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo compared Iran’s leaders to mafia bosses who “line their pockets” with wealth while the average person “cries out for jobs, reform, and opportunity.” In a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Pompeo criticized Iran’s government for human rights abuses, rampant corruption, and supporting extremist groups and militias abroad.
On July 22, President Hassan Rouhani warned President Donald Trump against taking hostile actions toward Iran. “Don’t play with the lion’s tail; you will regret it,” Rouhani said at a meeting of Iranian diplomats. The Islamic Republic’s “enemies must understand well that war with Iran is the mother of all wars and peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.” Rouhani emphasized that his country was not seeking a conflict but would not be intimidated. He dismissed U.S.