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State Department on Human Rights in Iran

April 20, 2018
On April 20, the U.S. State Department released its annual country reports on human rights practices. The following are excerpts from the report on Iran, which covers 2017.   Executive Summary The most significant human rights issues included a high number of executions for crimes not meeting…

Zarif in New York: On the Nuclear Deal

April 20, 2018
On April 19, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in New York City to attend a high-level U.N. meeting on peacebuilding. Zarif told reporters that he would propose ideas for establishing dialogue and sustainable security in the Persian Gulf region. Zarif was also slated to give a…

Report: Iran’s Priorities in a Turbulent Middle East

April 20, 2018
Iran’s enemies see it as an expansionist threat to the region, but Tehran’s strategists “see an embattled state redressing historical wrongs,” according to a new report by the International Crisis Group. The following is an excerpt from the executive summary. How do Iranian policymakers from…

Part 3: Iran in Syria, Reaction to US-led Airstrikes

April 13, 2018
Updated: April 16, 2018
On April 13, the United States, Britain and France launched strikes in response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons in the rebel enclave of Douma. U.S. aircraft, including B-1 bombers, and at least three warships participated in the attack on three sites related to the regime’s chemical…

Part 2: Iran in Syria Timeline

April 10, 2018
Updated: April 12, 2018
Iran has aided and abetted the Assad dynasty since the 1979 revolution. The following is a timeline of its intervention in Syria's civil war since 2011. For a separate rundown of Iran’s military involvement and Israel’s response, click here.   2011 March 2011: Turkish authorities seized weapons…

Part I: Iran in Syria

April 10, 2018
Updated: April 12, 2018
Since mid-2011, Iran’s military intervention in Syria has grown steadily. By 2015, at least eight Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) generals had been killed in Syria. As of February 2018, Iranian forces and their proxies were deployed in nearly 40 facilities—including headquarters,…

Report: Legality of Withdrawing from Nuclear Deal

April 5, 2018
President Donald Trump has warned that he would withdraw from the nuclear deal if the United States and European partners cannot agree on ways to fix its alleged flaws. The administration is aiming to sign a supplemental agreement that deals with the sunset clauses and Iran’s missile program. Trump…

National Security Veterans: 10 Reasons to Keep the Iran Deal

March 27, 2018
A bipartisan group of more than 100 national security experts, known as the National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon, has urged President Donald Trump to maintain the U.S. commitment to the nuclear deal. “Ditching it would serve no national security purpose,” they argued in a…

US Sanctions Iranian Hacking Network

March 23, 2018
On March 23, the United States issued sanctions and criminal indictments against an Iranian hacker network that targeted hundreds of U.S. and foreign universities, dozens of U.S. companies and government agencies and the United Nations. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets…

John Bolton on Iran

March 22, 2018
On March 22, President Donald Trump announced that John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will replace National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster. Bolton served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. An outspoken critic of the nuclear…

US Treasury Supports Iranians’ Freedom of Expression

March 20, 2018
On March 19, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a press release highlighting existing guidance “to underscore the U.S. Government’s ongoing commitment to ensure that the Iranian people can exercise their universal right to freedom of expression and can freely access information via the Internet…

Khamenei, Rouhani Speeches on Nowruz

March 20, 2018
On March 20, Iran’s top leaders marked Nowruz, the Persian New Year and the first day of spring, with televised addresses to the nation. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei acknowledged that the past year featured “a mixture of peaks and troughs, sweet and bitter events, just like other stages of…

Trump’s Big Decision on Nuclear Deal in May

March 20, 2018
Updated: April 12, 2018
President Donald Trump has warned that he would withdraw from the nuclear deal if the United States and European partners cannot agree on changes to the agreement. Since he issued his ultimatum on January 12, diplomats have been working to find common ground. In early March, the State Department’s…

President Trump on Nowruz

March 20, 2018
On March 19, President Donald Trump issued a statement ahead of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. He used the occasion to condemn Iran’s leaders and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is Iran’s most powerful security and military organization. It is also the most powerful economic…

UN Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran

March 14, 2018
The U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran has observed a “worrying” trend since her last report in August 2017. “Despite assurances from the Government, improvements are either not forthcoming or are being implemented very slowly and in piecemeal,” according to an advance…

BBC Appeals to UN Over Harassment of Staff

March 14, 2018
On March 12, the BBC said its journalists will appeal directly to the United Nations over alleged “persecution and harassment” by Iran of its Persian Service staff. The BBC has said that staff in London and/or their families in Iran have been targets of threats, arrests and travel bans. More than…

President Trump Renews National Emergency Regarding Iran

March 13, 2018
On March 12, President Donald Trump, like his predecessors, renewed the national emergency with respect to Iran. The following is the full text of the White House press release and Trump’s letter to Congress.       CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO IRAN On March 15, 1995,…

Iranian Embassy in London Stormed

March 12, 2018
On March 9, four followers of Grand Ayatollah Sadegh Hossein Shirazi, an outspoken critic of Iran’s clerical leadership, climbed onto the first-floor balcony of Iran’s embassy in London and took down the flag. They waived blue-and-white flags of a U.K.-based Shiite group called Khodam al Mahdi,…

Zarif, Lavrov Call for Gulf Security Dialogue

March 6, 2018
On February 19, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif renewed his call for a new framework for security in the Persian Gulf region. For years, he has proposed a dialogue forum that would include the primarily Sunni Gulf states, Iraq and Shiite Iran to reduce tensions. He recently outlined…

Votel: Iran is Major Threat to US Interests in Region

March 5, 2018
Updated: March 14, 2018
On February 27, General Joseph Votel, told the House Committee on Armed Services that Iran remains “the major threat to U.S. interests and partnerships in the Central Region,” which extends from Egypt to Pakistan and from Kazakhstan to Yemen. He warned that the competition between Iran and Saudi…

Report: Assessing Iran’s Missiles

February 28, 2018
Iran’s ballistic missile program is a key point of contention between Western powers and Tehran. The United States and other countries have argued that Iran’s missile testing is contrary to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to…

Kerry Campaigns to Save Nuclear Deal

February 19, 2018
On February 18, former Secretary of State John Kerry pushed back against critics of the Iran nuclear deal, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the Munich Security Conference, Netanyahu warned that Iran would be on its way to having a nuclear arsenal in 10 years. During a later…

Tillerson on Iran During Middle East Trip

February 16, 2018
From February 11-16, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with officials in Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey during a tour of the Middle East. Iran's rising influence in the region, the nuclear agreement, and the latest incident between Israel and Iran in Syria, were topics of discussion…

US Statement on House Arrest of Opposition Leaders

February 15, 2018
On February 15, the State Department issued a statement on the seven-year anniversary of the house arrest of three Iranian opposition leaders. “The United States calls on Iran to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals in Iran consistent with its international…

Call for a Referendum in Iran

February 14, 2018
On February 11, President Hassan Rouhani proposed a referendum to heal political divisions during his speech marking the 39th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. “If we have differences, we must refer to Article 59 of the constitution ... which says, in certain cases of passing laws or…

US Intelligence Community on Iran

February 13, 2018
On February 13, Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats released the annual "Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community." At a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Coats and his counterparts from the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Defense…

Israel Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria, Loses Jet

February 13, 2018
On February 10, tensions between two regional rivals escalated after an Israeli combat helicopter reportedly intercepted an Iranian drone that crossed the Syria-Israel border. IDF spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus told CNN that Israel tracked the unmanned craft from its launch from the Iranian T-4…

Revolution Anniversary 2: Rallies in Pictures

February 12, 2018
On February 11, Iranians celebrated the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The popular uprising, led by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, led to the ouster of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi and ended centuries of dynastic rule. Each year, Iranians hold mass rallies across the country and…

Revolution Anniversary 1: Rouhani and Khamenei Speeches

February 12, 2018
President Hassan Rouhani issued a call for unity as Iranians celebrated the Islamic revolution’s 39th anniversary. “Today, we need everyone, including principlists, reformists, moderates, and everyone who recognizes the constitution, for the country’s development and progress,” he told thousands…

US Nuclear Posture Review on Iran

February 5, 2018
On February 2, the U.S. Defense Department released a Nuclear Posture Review at the direction of the Trump administration. The document, a product of a year’s worth of analysis and deliberations across government agencies, describes the roles nuclear weapons play in U.S. national security strategy…