Iran Insight

  • Terrorist Attacks in Iran Could Strengthen Hardliners

    Terrorists attacked two key sites in Tehran on June 7 -- the Parliament building, a symbol of the republic, and the tomb of the Islamic Republic’s revolutionary founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a symbol of the revolution. Sixteen people died and 45 were wounded. The group that calls itself the Islamic State (ISIS) took responsibility and promised to inflict more harm on Iran.

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  • Europe Will Strive to Safeguard the Iran Nuclear Deal

    Since the conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal, member states of the European Union have unanimously affirmed their commitments to the agreement and accelerated their rapprochement with Tehran. This process has continued despite calls from President Trump for all nations of conscience to isolate Iran.

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  • The Iran Nuclear Deal Can Survive Despite Future Sanctions

    Many observers of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including both supporters and opponents, believe that new US sanctions on Iran will fatally endanger the deal and that the United States will be the one to blame.

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  • JCPOA: A New Gold Standard for Non-Proliferation Agreements

    The Trump administration arrived at a time of serious threats to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, particularly in East Asia and in the Middle East. The nuclear deal struck with Iran by the previous administration and its partners provides a way forward.

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  • Three Scenarios for the Iran Agreement

    The nuclear agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany was one of the more significant international achievements of the past few years.  It was a victory for diplomacy that prevented conflict and produced a politically acceptable outcome for each signatory related to Iran’s nuclear activities.  It was also a milestone for the global nonproliferation community, and may create opportunities for expanding and extending its provisions to other countries.  But friction between Iran and the United States, particularly since the election of President Trump, creates some lingering uncertainties about the chances of the main elements of the agreement lasting for 15 years.

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  • Building on the Iran Deal to Enhance Nuclear Security

    While implementation of the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is critical for restoring international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran can do far more to provide additional assurances that its activities meet international nuclear security standards.

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  • The Saudi ‘Alliance’ Against Iran Faces New Challenges

    An alliance of Persian Gulf Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, announced on June 5 that it severed ties and closed borders with Qatar, a fellow member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Qatar has a population of 2.6 million and is the world’s richest country per capita -- $138,480, according to the 2015 World Bank rankings. As Bloomberg put it, the move was “unprecedented … [and] designed to punish one of the region’s financial superpowers for its ties with Iran and Islamist groups in the region.”

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  • Iranians Vote for Competence over Ideology

    Iranians celebrated in the streets of their cities this weekend in the aftermath of presidential elections out of relief that the most capable candidate on offer won.

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  • Rouhani Plays Reformist to Defeat Hardliner Raisi

    In a fight for his political life in May 19 elections, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is donning a reformist mantle in an effort to attract the votes of disillusioned youth and to defeat conservatives who have coalesced around a single candidate.

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  • Iran Election Gives Rare Opening to Syria Intervention Critics

    Iran’s presidential election campaign has opened an opportunity for rare criticism of the country’s interventionist foreign policies.

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