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Zarif Responds to Pompeo’s Demands

June 21, 2018
On June 21, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo for making what he called “baseless and provocative allegations” against Iran. “Pompeo, in a baseless and insulting statement, issued a number of demands of and threats against…

Part I: Iran and South Asia—Afghanistan

June 12, 2018
As neighbors with a 585-mile frontier, Iran and Afghanistan have connections spanning centuries. Relations were formally established in 1935 when both countries were ruled by monarchies. Since 1979—the year of Iran’s revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan—relations between Tehran and…

State Department: US Policy After the Nuclear Deal

June 11, 2018
On June 11, Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation Dr. Christopher Ashley Ford emphasized U.S. willingness to “negotiate a new and better deal” on Iran’s nuclear program. “Clearly, what is needed is a solution that restricts Iran’s capabilities in such a way that…

Trump: Iran is Now “Different”

June 7, 2018
Updated: June 12, 2018
On June 7, President Donald Trump said Iran “is a different place” than it was two months ago. “And we'll see what happens. And maybe, ultimately, something will happen with Iran.” He made the cryptic comment amid remarks largely about North Korea before a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister…

Europe Requests Exemptions from US Sanctions

June 6, 2018
European officials have requested exemptions from U.S. sanctions for European companies that have been doing business with Iran since the nuclear deal was implemented in January 2016. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the officials said they…

Iran Prepares to Boost Uranium Enrichment

June 6, 2018
On June 4, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directed the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to increase its uranium enrichment capacity. “The West's dream regarding the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) will not come true, and the Iranian nation and government will not tolerate…

Part 4: Iran's Influence After Iraq's Election

June 5, 2018
As Iraq shapes a government from its May 12 election, the indecisive electoral outcome again will leave Iran in a position to affect both the choice of a prime minister, and the tenor of the underlying administration. How Iran wields that influence is likely to depend on how well the European Union…

US Treasury Official on Iran’s Illicit Finances

June 5, 2018
On June 5, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker described how Iran uses “deceptive tactics including front and shell companies to exploit markets in numerous countries to fund its nefarious activities.” She also cited numerous cases in which the Central Bank of…

Khamenei: Missiles Guarantee Iran’s Security

June 4, 2018
On June 4, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iran will “strike back ten-fold” if attacked. He touted Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, saying they guarantee the country’s security. Khamenei also directed Iran’s atomic energy agency to prepare to increase its uranium…

US Sanctions Target Iran's Human Rights Abuses

May 30, 2018
On May 30, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned three Iranian entities and six individuals for committing human rights abuses and censorship activities on behalf of Iran's government. “Iran not only exports terrorism and instability across the world, it routinely violates the rights of its own…

US Report: Religious Freedom in Iran

May 29, 2018
Iran’s government continued to imprison, harass, intimidate, and discriminate against people based on religious beliefs in 2017, according to an annual State Department report on religious freedom. Some 90 percent of Iran’s population is Shiite. Religious minorities, such as Sunni Muslims and Sufis…

Pompeo VOA Interview on New Iran Policy

May 25, 2018
On May 24, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the new U.S. strategy to counter Iran following President Trump's decision to withdrawal from the nuclear deal. "With respect to the use of nuclear material in Iran, just as we have in Saudi Arabia, just as we did with the United Arab Emirates, we…

New US Sanctions Target Iran Airlines

May 24, 2018
On May 24, the Treasury Department designated nine individuals and entities that were procuring "export-controlled, U.S.-origin goods for sanctioned Iranian airlines." The sanctions also targeted procurement networks based in Turkey. "The deceptive practices these airlines employ to illegally…

Khamenei Sets Conditions for Europe to Preserve Nuclear Deal

May 23, 2018
On May 23, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued six conditions that must be met by Europe for Iran to remain in the nuclear deal. He demanded that Europe secure “a resolution against the U.S. violation” of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of…

Pompeo Testifies Before Congress on Iran

May 23, 2018
Updated: May 24, 2018
On May 23 and 24, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the State Department Budget for 2019. The hearings came days after Pompeo unveiled a new strategy to counter Iran after the U.S. withdrawal from the…

Iran to Stay in Syria Despite Russian Call to Withdraw

May 23, 2018
On May 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for foreign forces to withdraw from Syria at a press conference with Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Russia's envoy to Syria clarified Putin's comments the next day, saying they applied to Turkish, U.S., Iranian, and Hezbollah forces. The Russian…

US Sanctions Iranians for Supporting Yemen’s Houthis

May 22, 2018
On May 22, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned five Iranians for providing ballistic missile-related technical expertise or transferring weapons to the Houthis, a Zaydi Shiite movement that has been fighting Yemen’s Sunni-majority government since 2004. The five individuals were associated with…

Europe Reacts to Pompeo Demands

May 21, 2018
Updated: May 24, 2018
European leaders questioned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's reasoning for the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and his call for a new, all-encompassing Iran deal. "Secretary Pompeo’s speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA has made or will…

Iran Responds to Pompeo Demands

May 21, 2018
Updated: May 25, 2018
Iranian leaders rejected outright Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s demands for dramatic changes in Tehran’s foreign policy and nuclear program. “It is in no way acceptable that a man who had been working in a spy center for years tells Iran and other countries what to do,” President Hassan Rouhani…

Pompeo Issues Demands for New Iran Deal

May 21, 2018
Updated: May 23, 2018
On May 21, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined the Trump administration’s new strategy for dealing with Iran following the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal. He warned Iran that the United States will apply military and economic pressure, including the “strongest sanctions in history,”…

US Sanctions Hezbollah Leaders and Financing Network

May 21, 2018
On May 16, the U.S. Treasury Department partnered with seven member states of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center to designate Hezbollah senior leadership, including Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah. “Under the dictates of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF),…

Future of the Deal II: Intense Diplomacy

May 19, 2018
Updated: June 7, 2018
Since the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, the United States and Iran have engaged in rival diplomacy. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with his British, French and German counterparts during the course of several days. “The Secretary underlined that the United States and our European…

The Conflict Pitting Iran Against Israel in Syria

May 17, 2018
Since 2013, Israel has launched more than 100 airstrikes against Iran’s forces and its allies in Syria. What’s happening? Israel has long been wary of Iran’s power projection in the Levant, particularly in Syria. Ties between Tehran and Damascus have been close since the 1979 revolution, but the…

US Sanctions Iran Central Bank Chief

May 15, 2018
Updated: May 23, 2018
On May 15, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned four individuals and one bank for moving millions of dollars on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to the Lebanese militia and political movement Hizballah. One of the individuals was Valiollah Seif, Iran’s Central…

Future of the Deal I: Zarif’s Letter to the UN

May 14, 2018
On May 10, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemning the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal and reimposition of sanctions on Tehran. "These acts constitute a complete disregard for international law and the United Nations…

Poll: Iranian Attitudes on Nuclear Deal

May 10, 2018
In a poll conducted before the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, a majority of Iranians said they would support retaliation against the United States if it abrogated the accord. The IranPoll survey also showed that 92 percent of Iranians had no confidence that the United States would live up…

US Sanctions Iran Currency Exchange Network

May 10, 2018
On May 10, the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) moved to disrupt an extensive currency exchange network that helped fund Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the elite unit responsible for operations abroad. The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned nine…

Israel Hits Dozens of Iranian Targets in Syria

May 10, 2018
On May 10, Israeli jets struck some 70 Iranian targets in Syria in response to rocket fire attributed to Iran. It was Israel’s largest attack carried out in Syria since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, according to an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson. “We will not allow Iran to establish a…

Exiting the Nuclear Deal IX: Iranian Media Coverage

May 10, 2018
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the nuclear deal was the top story in Iranian newspapers on May 9. The faces of President Trump, President Hassan Rouhani and E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini were featured on most front pages. The following is roundup…

Exiting the Deal VIII: Middle East Responds

May 9, 2018
Updated: May 14, 2018
On May 8, President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. Israel and the Gulf states welcomed Trump's decision. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump's decision as an "historic move" and praised his "courageous leadership…