Future of Iran

  • Pompeo Adds Human Rights to Twelve Demands for Iran

    Appearing at a conservative think tank in Washington in May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented a list of twelve demandsthat Iran had to meet for the Trump administration to consider new negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

    The list covered a wide range of what the US calls Iran’s “malign activities,” from its continued enrichment of uranium—allowed in limited quantities by the nuclear deal President Donald Trump discarded—to its regional interventions and ballistic missile program.

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  • Signs of a Spectacular Policy Shift in Iran

    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supported by religious conservatives, has the last word on major Iranian policy decisions, including relations with the United States. His long-standing position has been “no talks, no relations with America,” especially after US unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal in May.

    But there are signs that this hard line is softening.

    Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of parliament’s influential national security and foreign policy commission, said in a recent interview, “There is a new diplomatic atmosphere for de-escalation with America. There is room for adopting the diplomacy of talk and lobbying by Iran with the [political] current which opposes [the policies of] Trump [toward Iran]… The diplomatic channel with America should not be closed because America is not just about Trump.”

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  • Slavin Quoted in Rudaw on Jamal Khashoggi


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  • Slavin Quoted in Albawaba on MBS and Impact on Region


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  • Iran’s Natural Gas: A Gateway to US-Iran Cooperation

    The broad economic sanctions that go back into effect against Iran on November 5 will not significantly impact Iran’s limited natural gas exports. Iran’s export potential could emerge as a gateway to cooperation under an appropriate US strategy.

    Multinational negotiations have focused on ways to increase oil production to compensate for Iranian oil lost to sanctions. However, more attention should be focused on natural gas. The global demand for natural gas is increasing, a shortage is looming, and Iran owns the second largest proved natural gas reserves in the world—totaling 33.2 trillion cubic meters or approximately a 17.2 percent share. Renewed economic sanctions will significantly hinder Iran’s ability to attract foreign investment necessary to monetize its vast reserves. However, some of Iran’s natural gas trading partners may not...

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  • Slavin Quoted in USA Today on on the US-Saudi Relationship in the Wake of Khashoggi


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  • Slavin Quoted in USA Today on Jamal Khashoggi Investigation


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  • FATF Legislation Reflects Continuing Political Divide in Iran

    Enacting legislation against money laundering and terrorism financing has been a long struggle between the Iranian parliament, which is dominated by moderate conservatives and reformists, and the Guardian Council, whose members are largely appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader.

    Parliament passed several laws in time for a meeting that began October 14 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global body that monitors financial transparency and counter-terrorism financing. Over 800 officials representing 204 institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, United Nations and World Bank, attended the meeting. Fulfilling the obligations set by FATF is crucial for Iran to avoid a FATF blacklist, continue to connect with the international banking system and benefit from trade relations with European countries and China at a time when Iran’s economy is facing resumed US sanctions.

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  • Slavin Quoted in National Interest on Iran Sanctions


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  • Why the Trump Administration Needs More Balance in the Middle East

    In quitting the Iran nuclear deal and doubling down on traditional US alliances, the Trump administration has forfeited key leverage and reduced its ability to resolve conflicts in the Middle East.

    Some readjustment in US policy after the Barack Obama administration was expected and potentially useful. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia felt that the US had slighted their interests in negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which placed curbs on Iran’s nuclear program but did not address Iran’s military and political intervention in Arab states.

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