Iran in 2021: Timeline

For Iran, 2021 was a tumultuous year that included the election of a new president, chronic inflation, tensions with the West over its controversial nuclear program, two deadly waves of COVID-19 infections, protests over water shortages, and more. The following is timeline of major events. 

Iran in 2021: U.S. Sanctions

In 2021, the United States imposed sanctions on Iran for issues ranging from election interference to drone proliferation and oil smuggling. In January, during the last weeks of the Trump administration, the United States expanded sanctions on Iran’s defense, shipping, and metals industries. It also designated two major foundations controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

News Digest: Week of December 13

December 13

Regional: Iran condemned Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s landmark visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh warned that such moves would strengthen Israel’s “destructive and seditious presence” in the Middle East. Bennett met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the UAE.

Part 3: Europeans, Russia, & China on Nuclear Talks

European diplomats expressed frustration and concern that Iran backtracked on its earlier proposals in the diplomacy to get Tehran and Washington into full compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord. “Tehran is walking back almost all of the difficult compromises crafted after many months of hard work,” British, French and German diplomats said on December 3.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on December 8, 2021.

U.S. Sanctions for Human Rights Abuses

On December 7, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 15 individuals and entities in Iran, Syria and Uganda for repressing peaceful protestors, political opponents and innocent civilians. “Ahead of this week’s Summit for Democracy, Treasury is targeting over a dozen government officials across three countries in connection with serious human rights abuse that undermines democracy,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki.

Part 1: U.S. on Nuclear Talks

U.S. officials expressed frustration that Iran returned to nuclear diplomacy by rolling back compromises previously floated and demanding more concessions on U.S. sanctions. After a hiatus of five months, the world’s six major powers reconvened in Vienna to negotiate a return to the historic 2015 nuclear deal by both Iran and the United States. The seventh round was held from November 29 to December 3, but Iran still refused to negotiate directly with U.S. envoy Rob Malley or his team.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on December 6, 2021.