News Digest: Week of June 13

June 13

Defense: Two men involved in Iran’s aerospace industry were “martyred” in separate incidents while on duty, according to local media. Ali Kamani, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, was killed in a “driving accident.” He was stationed in Khomein in central Markazi province. And Mohammad Abdous, who worked for the defense ministry, died in northern Semnan province.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on June 13, 2022.

U.S. Intelligence Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program

In April 2022, the annual U.S. assessment of arms control reported that Iran had not yet taken the steps necessary to produce a nuclear weapon even as it “continued to expand its uranium enrichment activities” far beyond the limits stipulated in the 2015 nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The report also expressed “serious concerns” about possible undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran. Tehran has failed to fully cooperate with the U.N.

U.S. Officials on Nowruz

On March 20, President Joe Biden and top officials wished a happy Nowruz, the Persian New year, to Iranians and others celebrating the ancient holiday around the world. Biden, unlike his predecessors, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, did not use the occasion to comment on the state of U.S.-Iran relations or criticize the Islamic Republic’s government. 

Iran Launches Missiles on Iraq

Early on March 13, Iran launched a dozen ballistic missiles into neighboring Iraq. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed that it targeted Israeli “strategic centers” in the northern city of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region. Iraqi and U.S. officials said that the attack was unjustified.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on March 15, 2022.

Khamenei on Nuclear Program, Talks

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei welcomed efforts by Iranian diplomats to get U.S. sanctions lifted as part of talks on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. Negotiators are “working to lift the sanctions and persuade the other side, which is good,” he said on February 17 in a speech marking the anniversary of an uprising against the monarchy in 1978.

News Digest: Week of February 7

February 7

Regional: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett claimed that the United States endorsed Israel's right to act, kinetically or otherwise, against Iran. He cited a U.S. readout on his conversation with President Joe Biden The readout published on February 6 noted Biden’s “unwavering support for Israel’s security and freedom of action,” though not specifically in relation to Iran.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on February 8, 2022.

U.S. & Iran on Eighth Round of Nuclear Talks

U.S. officials acknowledged modest progress in the eighth round of nuclear talks with Iran and the world’s major powers. The “negotiations in January were among the most intensive that we’ve had to date,” a senior State Department official said on January 31. “And we made progress narrowing down the list of differences to just the key priorities on all sides.” The diplomat, however, said that Iran needed to “decide whether it’s prepared to make those decisions necessary for a mutual return to compliance” with the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Some of the information in this article was originally published on February 1, 2022.