• Historical Traumas Underline Iranian Reliance on Missiles

    As the United States increases its pressure campaign against Iran, the country’s missile program has emerged as a major source of contention. However, Iran is unlikely to heed US demands to halt its development of ballistic missiles, which comprise the backbone of its defense doctrine. 

    In order to better analyze Iran’s defense strategies, it is important to note that for Iran, the line between security concerns and national pride is blurred. Iran’s traumatic historical experiences play a critical role in shaping its approach to defense and in particular, to missiles.  

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  • Thanks to US Sanctions, Iranians Are Turning to Bitcoin Mining

    Ali Hosseini is a 26-year-old with a normal nine-to-five job in Tehran. He has a bachelor’s degree in information technology and mostly works in social media and public relations. Two months ago, he bought a Bitcoin mining device with his cousin and has been mining since.

    Hosseini had no prior knowledge of blockchains and distributed ledger technologies prior to purchasing the device. Hosseini had only heard in passing about cryptocurrencies five years ago, but forgot all about them until last year when they became all the rage globally.

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  • Son of the Shah Says He Has Not Met Trump Administration Officials

    History, it is said, does not repeat but it can rhyme.

    An appearance by the son of the deposed Shah of Iran at a prominent Washington think tank on Dec. 14 was reminiscent in some ways of speeches by the late Iraqi opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi in the run-up to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

    Reza Pahlavi, like Chalabi, insisted that the current government of his homeland is on the verge of collapse because of its destructive domestic and foreign policies. A new democratic secular Iran, Pahlavi also said, would “transform the Middle East,” including by no longer threatening Israel with destruction.

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  • Q&A: Nader Uskowi on the IRGC’s ‘Temperature Rising’

    Nonresident senior fellow Nader Uskowi talks about his new book, Temperature Rising: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Wars in the Middle East. Uskowi discusses with IranSource the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) inside Iran and the Middle East, what the West is getting wrong about the elite force, and the challenges the IRGC is facing today.

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  • Can Brazil’s Relationship With Iran Survive a New Administration?

    The trade and economic partnership between Iran and Brazil has expanded in recent years and was slated to grow even further after the completion of the Iran nuclear dealin 2015. But questions are being raised about this relationship after the victory of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

    Brazil is Iran’s seventh-largest trade partner and by far its most important economic interlocutor in South America. On November 15, a Brazilian vessel arrived at Chabahar, Iran’s only ocean port, carrying 72,000 tons of bulk corn from Brazil.  A year ago, a Brazilian ship, the Living, ...

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  • Iran Leans on UN Security Council Legitimacy to Blunt US Pressure

    Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used to denigrate United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions as “worthless paper.” That is not the case anymore.

    In the aftermath of the US unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal codified by UNSC resolution 2231, Iranian diplomats are embracing this element of international legality to accuse the Trump administration of wrongdoing.

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  • New Tehran Mayor Takes Office After Controversy

    Pirouz Hanachi was narrowly elected mayor of Tehran last month by the capital’s city council, besting former roads and urban development minister Amir-Abbas Akhoundi by one vote—eleven to ten.

    Hanachi replaces Mohammad Ali Afshani as the third mayor of the capital in the council’s current term. However, the Interior Ministry delayed accepting his election and officially ratifying it. This was due to the fact that the Intelligence Ministry did not swiftly approve Hanachi’s clearance for reasons that have not been disclosed. 

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  • Iran’s Ballistic Missile Inventory

    The Trump administration had major qualms with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) prompting the US withdrawal in May. These included the sunset provisions, which provide expiration dates for certain restrictions, and its narrow targeting of Iran’s nuclear program without addressing the continued enhancement of its ballistic missile arsenal, which enables the regime’s “malign activity” in the region.

    Iran has in fact made advancements in the precision and strategic military value of its ballistic missile arsenal, expanding upon its use as a deterrent to include more advanced offensive capabilities that threaten foreign military infrastructure.

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  • After Iraq, Iran Chemical Weapons Allegation Met With Skepticism

    If there were any doubts that the United States under President Donald Trump was trying to pick a fight with Iran over anythingthat Washington had no real agenda with its belligerent anti-Iran rhetoric and moves other than just flicking mud at the country and its rulers in hopes that something would stickthey were dispelled on November 22.

    That’s when Kenneth Ward, the US envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), used his slot during the group’s annual meeting to accuse Iran of violating international treaty obligations by maintaining a toxic arms program.

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  • Impeaching the Foreign Minister Won’t Solve Iran’s Woes

    Iran’s US-educated Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has always had enemies within the Iranian establishment.

    When Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was imprisoned during the 2009 post-election protests known as the Green Movement, his interrogators demanded not only that he admit to being a CIA agent but that Zarif—who had been sidelined by then hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after serving as Iran’s UN ambassador—had ties “to Western intelligence agencies.” By formally accusing Zarif of espionage, hardliners could have ended his career once and for all.

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