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.

Iran and World Powers on Renewed Diplomacy

Iran has made maximalist demands ahead of nuclear talks with the world’s six major powers scheduled for November 29. Iran expects the United States to “recognize its fault in ditching” the 2015 deal, lift all U.S. sanctions imposed after the withdrawal in one go, and guarantee that no other U.S. administration will renege on the agreement, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on November 8.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on November 22, 2021.

Iran Tests Drones and Missiles During War Game

Iran tested a wide variety of weapons, including cruise missiles, torpedoes and suicide drones, during an annual war game between November 7 and 9. The Zolfaghar-1400 exercise, named for Imam Ali’s sword, was held around four key waterways – the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean – an area totaling more than 386,000 square miles (1 million square kilometers).

Profiles: Pro-Iran Militias in Iraq

Since 2003, Iranian influence has deepened in Iraq through a wide array of Shiite militias. Several militia leaders and politicians spent years in exile in Tehran during Saddam Hussein’s reign in the 1980s and 1990s. One of Iraq’s most powerful armed groups, the Badr Organization, was formed in 1982 by Iraqi exiles to fight Hussein with the support of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).