With 14 days left before the June 14, 2013, presidential election in Iran, the US-based research company IPSOS released a tracking poll of the eight candidates approved to run by the government.
The FBI says it has a dedicated team seeking the return of Robert Levinson, a former agent who went missing in Iran a decade ago. The announcement, included in a statement released Thursday on the 10th anniversary of Levinson’s disappearance, is unusual. Over the years, the State Department and the White House have noted the anniversary, but the FBI has not weighed in.
Diplomatic tensions between Iran and Turkey will not result in an actual confrontation due to the vast economic ties between the regional rivals, Turkish analysts say. As both regional rivals compete for a greater share of influence in the region, the Syrian government's victory in Aleppo, coupled with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group's diminishing presence in Iraq, has brought tensions between them to the boil.
Back in September, I testified before the House Financial Services Committee on the allegation that the Obama administration had paid Iran a ransom—at the time it was believed to be $400 million, but it was later revealed that the figure was more than three times that amount—in cash for the release of American hostages held by Iran.
Ahead of an election, critics slammed the president’s pro-diplomacy approach to global affairs. “Let’s help neighboring cultures, not build walls between nations,” the moderate leader posted on Twitter. “Let’s not forget what happened to the #BerlinWall.” The comment, typical of Rouhani’s soft diplomacy, became fodder for critics ahead of his reelection bid this spring. President Trump will not understand the references to walls, the conservative Ezzatollah Zarghami, a potential challenger to Rouhani, fired back. You should “speak to [Trump] the same way you speak to your critics,” Zarghami said.
For Iranians with connections in the United States, these are worrying times.Of the seven majority Muslim countries named in President Trump's January travel ban (frozen pending a legal review), Iran is the one with the largest US-based diaspora, the most overseas students and the highest number of people travelling on visitor visas.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s refusal of an offer to achieve “national reconciliation” in Iran by ending the six-year extrajudicial house arrests of three opposition leaders has crushed hopes that the state’s crackdown on dissidents, which intensified in response to the nationwide protests against the results of the disputed 2009 election, would finally end.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are waging a struggle for dominance that has turned much of the Middle East into their battlefield. Rather than fighting directly, they wield and in that way worsen the region’s direst problems: dictatorship, militia violence and religious extremism.
A prominent Iranian political analyst has criticized President Hassan Rouhani for reneging on his pledge to free political prisoners and opposition leaders. “Hassan Rouhani gets an F for not carrying out his promise,” Zibakalam told Tarikh (History) Online on November 13, 2016. “Rouhani did not have the power to free political prisoners or end the house arrests, but he didn’t even pretend that he wanted to do something.”
Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, the advisor to the Iranian foreign affairs minister, said Iranian missiles are not only manufactured in Syria but in other countries in the region as well. He said Iran expanded its missiles’ production outside its borders due to the “increasing Israeli threats in the region.”
US President-elect Donald Trump will give priority to new sanctions and pressure on Iran, while considering whether and how his administration might seek to renegotiate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The trend in Europe and Asia, however, is heading in the other direction, where the emphasis is on breaking down, rather than erecting, barriers to business and engagement with Iran. It is difficult to envision a global retreat from Iran, absent an Iranian breach in its commitments to the JCPOA.
On November 11, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reports that their Judiciary Commission held an online conference on November 8, regarding the performance of Ali Khamenei, the Iranian regime Supreme Leader, entitled “Corruption has rotted the very fabric of the mullahs’ regime.” In the conference, Chair of the NCRI Judiciary Commission, Dr. Sanabargh Zahedi, said, “Khamenei is responsible for various aspects of financial and moral corruption. He has made some of his forces scapegoat to cover up endemic corruptions in the regime’s structure.”
The biggest challenge facing the Middle East is the “potential domination of the region by an Iran that is both imperial and jihadist,” former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said at a New York City gathering on Thursday.
Lebanon has been without a head of state since May 2014. Lebanon's lawmakers elected Michel Aoun, an lran-backed politician and former general, as president Monday, ending more than two years the country has gone without a leader.Aoun, 81, is an ally of Hezbollah, the Shiite militia and political party backed by Iran that has helped Syrian President Bashar Assad survive a five-year civil war on Lebanon’s border.
Iran has deployed a Russian-made S-300 air defense system around its underground Fordo nuclear facility, state TV reported. Video footage posted late Sunday on state TV's website showed trucks arriving at the site and missile launchers being aimed skyward. It did not say whether the system was fully operational.
Iran has long relied on Latin America to evade Western sanctions, including, critically, on ballistic missiles technology. Now sanctions are gone and Iran's missile activity no longer banned, but Tehran continues to use America's backyard to develop long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Iran has announced it has completed the first phase of its plan to operate a "national internet". An inauguration ceremony was held on Sunday by the country's communications and information technology minister, Mahmoud Vaezi. The state news agency Irna said the initiative would offer "high quality, high speed" connections at "low costs". But critics suggest the true aim is to tighten the authorities' control over citizens' use of the net.
Dangerous confrontations between Iranian and American warships in the Persian Gulf are up more than 50 percent in 2016 compared with this time last year, according to a U.S. defense official - despite the highly touted nuclear accord, as well as a recent $1.7 billion U.S. payment to Tehran.
But things got a just a bit more dangerous for some in Iran this past week, as the country has announced it is cracking down on its citizens for actions against Islam and for infractions of fashion on display on several social media services. It seems some portion of the Revolutionary Guard has quite literally become the Fashion Police.
An Iranian nuclear scientist detained since 2010 has been executed, his family has told the BBC. Shahram Amiri's mother said the body of her son had been returned to their hometown with rope marks around his neck, showing that he had been hanged. Mr Amiri, who was born in 1977, went missing after taking a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2009. He surfaced in the US a year later saying he had been kidnapped and put under "intense psychological pressure to reveal sensitive information" by the CIA.
Jafar Azimzadeh has reportedly been on hunger strike since April 30, 2016. Azimzadeh and labor activist Esmail Abdi both launched hunger strikes on the same day to: demand an end to the Iranian authorities treatment of peaceful social protests as security issues, and demand the Iranian authorities remove the charge of "gathering and colluding against national security" from the open case files of all protesting workers, teachers, and unionists. Esmail Abdi was released from prison last month on bail while Jafar Azimzadeh continues his hunger strike.
Tehran s recent ultimatum to Apple, the US tech giant, to open up an office in Iran or face a ban on Apple products in the country, was presented as a bid to end the loss of tax revenue from millions of iPhones smuggled into Iran, but its real goal is to break through the wall of US sanctions still blocking investment in Iran.
It has been a year since Iran signed its nuclear deal with major world powers - a reduction in its atomic capabilities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani promised economic prosperity, more jobs, more choice, lower prices and greater opportunities, but one year on, he is under pressure to deliver. On paper, it has worked. The International Monetary Fund is predicting 4.0-5.5 percent growth for Iran this year - a big increase on its pre-deal estimate of 1.5 percent. But actual progress has been slow. Much was made of Iran's return to the oil market, but with oil prices so low, the returns haven't been great.
Led by Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, the Democrats are asking Obama to use the federal government to push the International Atomic Energy Agency to publish details about Iran's nuclear program to ensure independent verification that they are following the terms of the deal, which relaxed sanctions on Iran in return for a drawdown of its nuclear arms program.
Iran has indicted three dual citizens and a foreigner held in the country on unknown charges, part of a series of crackdowns in the wake of last year's nuclear deal with world powers. Siamak Namazi, an Iranian-American businessman who has advocated for closer ties between the two countries, was also charged. Namazi's father is also held in Tehran.
The first news report, to a nation usually kept in the dark about military matters, was shocking: 13 Iranian soldiers, all with links to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, had been killed in an ambush near the Syrian city of Aleppo. What followed this spring may have been even more surprising. Details about the soldiers appeared extensively in the Iranian news media, which not only gave the names of the dead but lionized them with sweeping life stories. Poster-size portraits were plastered all over their hometowns.
The chief executives of four public banks in Iran have been sacked amid widespread criticism of their salaries, the state-run Irna news agency reports. An official was quoted as saying the economy minister had replaced the heads of Mehr Iran, Mellat, Refah and Saderat at President Hassan Rouhani's request. The scandal erupted two months ago when the payslips of top officials at state-owned companies surfaced online.
Ayoub Asadi, a Kurdish political prisoner, is reportedly on the 20th day of hunger strike in Kashmar Prison (in the Razavi Khorasan province, northeastern Iran) in protest to the violation of his basic rights.
Moshe Yalon, Israel's last foreign minister under Netanyahu recently parted ways acrimoniously with the government. and gave this speech - "At this time and in the foreseeable future, there is not an existential threat to Israel. Israel is the strongest state in the region and there is an enormous gap between it and every country and organization around it. Therefore, it is appropriate for the leadership in Israel to stop scaring the citizens and to stop telling them that we are on the verge of a second Holocaust." - Ya alon didn t stop there. He went on to more-or-less endorse the Iran nuclear deal.
Large technology firms are failing to provide sophisticated and country-specific user security measures, and as a result, are helping Iran s state agencies target Iranian citizens online, an investigation by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has found. By not upgrading their security protocols and denying Iranian users access to the latest technology tools and services to protect themselves, tech giants including Google and Facebook are inadvertently allowing Iranians to fall victim to attacks by government hackers.
The directive by Iran s Supreme Cyberspace Council to require social messaging apps to start storing user data in Iran within a year was the result of a majority vote by people directly appointed to the body by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Iranian officials have previously made several unsuccessful attempts to convince the owners of social messaging apps to move their servers to Iran, but the Council s directive is the first instance of a government agency trying to force the demand.
Iran has angrily reacted to its renewed blacklisting by Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism, and said that the US and Saudi Arabia are they real culprits. Iran's foreign ministry issued a strongly-worded rebuke of accusations of terrorism links, accusing the US' regional allies of supporting extremist militants such as the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
Iran's foreign minister on Wednesday said that Tehran had no intention of leaving Iraq in response to comments made by the Saudi foreign minister earlier in the week. "We will leave Iraq whenever Iraq asks us to. And we will help Iraq to confront terrorism, as long as Iraq wants us to," Mohammad Javad Zarif said at a press conference in Stockholm during a European tour to attract investors. Zarif also described Saudi accusations that his country is stoking sectarian violence as "arrogant".
American commandos are on the front lines in Syria in a new push toward the Islamic State s de facto capital in Raqqa, but in Iraq it is an entirely different story: Iran, not the United States, has become the face of an operation to retake the jihadist stronghold of Falluja from the militant group. The battle over Falluja has evolved into yet another example of how United States and Iranian interests seemingly converge and clash at the same time in Iraq. Both want to defeat the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. But the United States has long believed that Iran s role, which relies on militias accused of sectarian abuses, can make matters worse by angering Sunnis and making them more sympathetic to the militants.
More than 30 college students were arrested, interrogated and within 24 hours were each given 99 lashes for attending a graduation party that included men and women, Iran s judiciary has announced. The punishments, which were believed to be part of a wider crackdown by a judiciary dominated by hard-liners, were meted out in Qazvin, about 90 miles northwest of the capital, and were carried out in record time, Mizan, a news agency affiliated with the judiciary, reported on Thursday, citing the city s prosecutor.
Iran's general has arrived on the eastern outskirts of the Islamic State group [IS] bastion of Fallujah in Iraq, as government forces advanced on the city from the south in a bid to recapture it from militants, a local military source has said. Major General Qassem Soleimani of the Revolutionary Guard's al-Quds Force arrived in Fallujah on Tuesday to supervise the ongoing push to retake the city. Soleimani - known as the "Shadow Commander" - was reported critically injured in Syria late last year, he is in charge of Tehran's "overseas operations" in Syria and Iraq.
The removal of Omid Kokabi s kidney following his diagnosis of kidney cancer has focused attentions once again on sick prisoners: prisoners such as Zeinab Jalalian, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, Issa Saharkhiz and Abdolfattah Soltani, who are in need of immediate medical care. The Human Rights Defenders Centres says in a report that according to Prison Rules and Regulations: "Any delay in the treatment of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience has serious consequences for the judicial system, and in case of a prison death, prison authorities could be accused of manslaughter."
The imprisoned spokesman of the Iranian Teachers Trade Association, Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi, was hospitalized on May 8, 2016 after falling seriously ill from a 17-day hunger strike. Beheshti Langroudi was sentenced to five years in prison in June 2013 for colluding against national security and propaganda against the state by Judge Abolqasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. He was also issued a four-year suspended prison sentence.
eeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power has come with a deadly price tag for Iran, which has lost more troops in the war-torn country in the past six months than in the previous two years. More than 280 Iranian troops have been killed in Syria since September of last year, according to an analysis by the Levantine Group of casualties reported by Iranian media.
In a long-established practice of targeting the family members of Iranian journalists who live outside Iran, the Revolutionary Guards have sentenced the brother of a journalist to five years in prison, on trumped up national security charges. The Guards have long harassed the relatives of Iranian journalists living abroad, in an effort to intimidate foreign-based reporters and silence critical media coverage of the Islamic Republic.
Four Iranian journalists have been given prison sentences of between five and 10 years on charges of acting against Iran's national security. Lawyers for the journalists announced the sentences to Iranian state media on April 26.
Chances for a more constructive U.S.-Iran relationship in the aftermath of a landmark nuclear deal are eroding with new disputes over missiles, Iran's access to its assets in foreign banks and now a Supreme Court judgment allowing distribution of $2 billion in Iranian government money to relatives of U.S. victims of alleged Iran-backed terrorism. In the past, American terrorism victims who have successfully won judgments against Iran were paid out of U.S. taxpayer funds. This was done to avoid violating a basic principle of international law known as sovereign immunity, under which foreign governments are not supposed to be subject to private lawsuits for fear that U.S. assets abroad could also be seized and distributed.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani have agreed to strengthen economic ties and cooperate in the fight against "terrorism". Energy-hungry Turkey imports large amounts of natural gas from Iran and the two countries are looking to boost banking and trade ties, with the goal of tripling bilateral trade to $30bn annually in the coming years following the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran in January.
The Obama administration warned of dire consequences Tuesday should the next occupant of the Oval Office scrap the Iran nuclear deal. The accord to curb Tehran's program in exchange for sanctions relief has become a popular punching bag on the GOP presidential campaign trail, with one candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, threatening to tear it up on Day One of his administration.
Iran s government admits that the country will face a serious water crisis this summer, putting 37 million people at risk of dehydration over the summer. The water issues are already harming stability, as Iranian farmers began protesting over water rights earlier this month, according to the Iranian branch of the American-funded Radio Liberty.
President Obama on Friday criticized Iranian leaders for undermining the "spirit" of last years historic nuclear agreement, even as they stick to the "letter" of the pact. In comments following the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Obama denied speculation that the United States would ease rules preventing dollars from being used in financial transactions with Iran, in order to boost the country's engagement with the rest of the world.
Iran's supreme leader declared the Islamic Republic must advance its missile capabilities while pursuing diplomacy to gain leverage in dealing with world powers - giving a nod to both hardline and moderate factions in the country. Khamenei said the situation calls for "both missile and talk" and the country "must use all means" to advance its interests.
In the women s ward of Evin prison where many prisoners are mothers, the authorities still do not provide phone calls for prisoners, prison visits are limited and there are many environmental problems in this place. This report gives a general overview of the conditions and the names of 25 women political prisoners.
The US has charged seven Iranians for allegedly hacking nearly 50 financial companies and a New York dam. The attacks, occurring from 2011 to 2013, are believed to have been co-ordinated from Iranian companies. The US Department of Justice revealed an indictment against the seven, believed to be working for their government from inside Iran.
Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, imprisoned journalist and human rights activist in Ward 350 of Evin prison, is reported to be in critical health condition. Despite the lack of adequate medical facilities at the prison the prison authorities refused to send him to the hospital.
Navid Kamran, a former political prisoner, has been sentenced to one year in prison without any new evidence supporting the charge against him of “propaganda against the state,” he told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
An Iranian court has sentenced a well-known tycoon to death for corruption linked to oil sales during the rule of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the judiciary spokesman said Sunday. Babak Zanjani and two of his associates were sentenced to death for "money laundering," among other charges, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi said in brief remarks broadcast on state TV. He did not identify the two associates. Previous state media reports have said the three were charged with forgery and fraud.
The United Nations Children's Fund on March 3 expressed concern about the health of an elderly former staff member who was jailed in Iran last week. Baquer Namazi was arrested on February 22 and taken to Tehran's Evin Prison, where his son Siamak has been jailed since October. Both Namazis are dual U.S.-Iranian citizens.
Three music distributors have each been sentenced to three years in prison and fined 200 million rials (approximately $6,600 USD) for "insulting the sacred" and "propaganda against the state" by a Tehran appeals court. Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi were under intense pressure to make televised "confessions," the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned.
With reformist-backed candidates securing a sweeping victory in Tehran, and moderates leading in provinces, a record number of women are set to enter the next Iranian parliament. Eight of the women elected this time were on a reformist-backed list of 30 candidates standing in the Tehran constituency known as "the list of hope".
Hardliners in Iran have been dealt a humiliating blow after reformist-backed candidates in Friday s hard-fought elections appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Tehran, with a combination of moderates and independents sympathetic to President Hassan Rouhani leading in provinces. Results may not be finalised until Tuesday but if they tally with the initial figures there will be a palpable change in the Iranian political landscape with moderates dominating the scene and hardliners being pushed back to the fringes.
The imprisoned political journalist Issa Saharkhiz has resumed his hunger strike after being placed in solitary confinement on February 21, 2016 despite having lost an alarming amount of weight. He has also not been allowed to meet with his lawyer, according to his son.
The 80-year-old father of an Iranian-American detained in Iran since last fall has himself been arrested in Tehran, his family said on Wednesday. Baquer Namazi, a former United Nations Children s Fund official and the father of Siamak Namazi, was taken into custody on Monday, his wife, Effie Namazi, announced in a Facebook post. Ms. Namazi said she believed her husband, also an American citizen, had been taken to Tehran s infamous Evin Prison, where their son has been in custody since October.
In the months leading to the Iranian 2016 elections, authorities have cracked down heavily on Iran's fragile civil society. On Sunday February 21 Branch 54 of Tehran's Appeals Court reportedly confirmed prison sentences for four civil rights activists: Arash Sadeghi, 15 years in prison; Golrokh Irayee, six years in prison; Navid Kamran, one year in prison; and Behnam Mousivand, one year in prison.
An American businessman jailed in Iran since October has broken his hunger strike, his mother wrote on social media on Monday. Siamak Namazi, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was detained in Iran in October while visiting family. Iranian authorities have not yet announced any charges against him.
They clapped and cheered, and many shouted for the release of their political leaders under house arrest for the past five years. Some held up pictures of a popular former president, Mohammad Khatami. Pictures of his hands, to be exact, because displaying his portrait is illegal. A decade of relentless pressure from the judiciary, the Revolutionary Guards and clerical councils dominated by hard-liners has confined Iran s reformists. The reformists were a force during the presidential contest of 2009, but the movement was decapitated after its political leaders voiced support for the millions of people who took to the streets to challenge the fairness of the vote.
The pursuit of peace in Syria may require the United States and Iran to break new ground in their increasingly comfortable diplomatic relationship, propelled by last year's nuclear accord and their more recent prisoner swap. Another taboo could be shattered soon: Military discussions. Iran may be just one of 17 countries invited to the first gathering Friday of a task force the U.S. and Russia are leading to forge a temporary truce in Syria's civil war. But for the Obama administration, Iran is like no other country at the table.
As the world applauds the release of prisoners by Iran, political dissidents within the country continue to suffer unjust persecution, repression and death. The truth surrounding their charges, arrests and the breadth of their continued struggle continues to be lost in the mainstream narrative on Iran. This past week, Iranian blogger and activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was forced to return to Tehran's Evin Prison to resume serving his 13-year sentence. Maleki, who was out on medical leave, provides a compelling example of Iran's defiant dissidents who remain forgotten in the discourse surrounding Iran.
As a matter of arithmetic, Iran is flat broke at the prevailing price of hydrocarbons. Under the P5+1 nuclear deal, Iran will recoup somewhere between $55 and $150 billion of frozen assets, depending on whether one believes the Secretary of the US Treasury or one s own eyes. The windfall is barely enough to tide Iran over for the next two years.
With three Americans long held in Iran flying to Europe on Sunday, President Obama urged young Iranians to 'pursue a new path' with the West as he imposed modest new sanctions on the country for banned missile tests. Mr. Obama also announced the resolution of another argument between Tehran and Washington that dates to the Iranian revolution, this one over $400 million in payments for military equipment that the United States sold to the shah of Iran and never delivered when he was overthrown. The Iranians got their money back, with $1.3 billion in interest that had accumulated over 37 years.
The United States and European nations lifted oil and financial sanctions on Iran and released roughly $100 billion of its assets after international inspectors concluded that the country had followed through on promises to dismantle large sections of its nuclear program. "Iran has undertaken significant steps that many people - and I do mean many - doubted would ever come to pass,: Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.
Iran freed four Americans including a Washington Post reporter on Saturday in a prisoner swap, as diplomats gathered to announce the lifting of international sanctions and bring the country of 80 million people back to the global economic stage. A fifth American was also released separately. The four held in Iran include Washington Post bureau chief Jason Rezaian, held since 2014 and convicted in Iran of espionage. His case in particular has been a notable obstacle to a thaw in Iranian-U.S. relations.
Iran's release of 10 United States Navy sailors on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after they were detained on the Persian Gulf, is being hailed in both countries as a sign that their relations have evolved since the signing of the nuclear accord last summer. Secretary of State John Kerry thanked the Iranians "for their cooperation in swiftly resolving this matter" and suggested in a statement that the quick resolution of the issue was a product of the nearly daily back-and-forth that now takes place between Washington and Tehran, after three decades of hostility and stony silence.
The crews of two small United States Navy patrol boats in the Persian Gulf were being held by the Iranian authorities on Tuesday and accused of spying. The Pentagon said the boats had been on a routine training mission, but the waters where they were stopped are a frequent location for intelligence collection by the United States, Iran and many Gulf countries. An official said that the boats appeared to have drifted into Iranian territorial waters after one of them experienced mechanical problems.
An Iranian nuclear official on Tuesday denied a report that technicians had removed the core of the country s only heavy-water reactor and poured concrete into the cavity, a final step toward the completion of the historic nuclear agreement in July and the lifting of sanctions on Iran. The official, Ali Asghar Zarean, Iran s deputy nuclear chief, told state television that a report about the Arak reactor by the semiofficial Fars News Agency on Monday was baseless. He added that Iran planned to sign an agreement next week with China to modify the reactor, which is capable of producing the plutonium needed to build an atomic weapon.
Iran accused Saudi Arabia on Thursday of an aerial attack on its embassy in Sana, the capital of Yemen, escalating a conflict between the rivals that has put the region on edge, although witnesses said the building was not hit. But guards at the Iranian Embassy and witnesses said the mission itself had not been bombed. Witnesses said the airstrike hit a home across the street from the embassy, a residence that was said to belong to a son of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president who was overthrown in 2012.
Iran on Monday accused Saudi Arabia of using an attack on its embassy in Tehran as a pretext to fuel regional tensions, as Iranian diplomats faced a 48-hour deadline to leave Riyadh and as Saudi Arabia announced the cancellation of all flights to and from Iran. "Iran... is committed to provide diplomatic security based on international conventions. But Saudi Arabia, which thrives on tensions, has used this incident as an excuse to fuel the tensions," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said in televised remarks.
Iranian protesters ransacked and set fire to part of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran on Saturday after Saudi Arabia executed an outspoken Shiite cleric who had criticized the kingdom's treatment of its Shiite minority. The protest against the execution of the cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, turned violent after participants began throwing Molotov cocktails at the embassy and then broke into the compound.
Iran's president denounced the United States on Thursday for suggesting the possibility of new sanctions over Iranian missiles, and he ordered his Defense Ministry to respond by swiftly building more of them. Hours after circulating a draft of proposed sanctions on Wednesday, however, the White House did not provide a timetable or even say that they would be put into effect.
fter two recent Iranian ballistic missile tests made clear that Tehran had no intention of obeying a United Nations prohibition on such launches, Obama administration officials on Wednesday handed Congress a draft list of fresh sanctions they are preparing against Tehran - to be imposed even as separate nuclear-related sanctions are lifted in coming weeks. The new sanctions are designed, administration officials say, to make clear that the United States remains committed to containing Iran s regional ambitions, which have so rattled its Arab neighbors.
For Iran, Bashar al-Assad has been a valuable ally but not an indispensable one. His coming to power in 2000, followed by the Iraq war in 2003 and Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005, freed Iran s hand in the Levant. Hezbollah under Bashar al-Assad has received weaponry and political backing unthinkable in his father s time, including long-range Scud missiles and a 2010 Damascus visit by the party s chief Hassan Nasrallah. But while Tehran has worked since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011 to prolong Assad s hold on power, it has also planned from the very early stages of the conflict for the day after, should its ally fall or should the regime lose Damascus.
Two football matches in Iran s top league were postponed on Sunday as air pollution of more than twice the acceptable level persisted in the capital. The games in Tehran were rescheduled for Tuesday after the city s environment authority recommended refraining from all sport activities, the Fars news agency said.
It appears that Big Oil has no qualms with working with the regime in Tehran as long as the investment terms are favorable. It also appears that the regime in Tehran, which continues to execute its own citizens at a record pace, and uses the state to enrich the ruling class, has no problem mortgaging the wealth of the Iranian people for its short term political interests.
The protests that Iran s hardliners, conservative ideologues and even the minister of intelligence of Hassan Rouhani s administration have launched over talk about a council to replace the supreme leader is based on changes that have gradually been imposed in recent years. Over the years, step by step measures through changes in laws, the constitution and interpretations of it have contained and restricted elected offices and legal oversight over rulers, especially the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Secretary of State John Kerry answered criticism by those who fear that a new law pertaining to travel visas could undermine the recent Iran nuclear agreement. "Recent changes in visa requirements passed in Congress, which the administration has the authority to waive, will not in any way prevent us from meeting our JPCOA requirements," Kerry wrote Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in reference to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.
Iran has withdrawn most of the Revolutionary Guards fighters it deployed to Syria three months ago, Israeli security officials told The Times of Israel. The decision to withdraw the forces was likely made due to the rising number of casualties among Iranian soldiers fighting in Syria and the subsequent growing public outcry back home
Iran violated a United Nations Security Council resolution in October by test-firing a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, a team of sanctions monitors said, leading to calls in the United States for more sanctions on Tehran. The White House said it would not rule out additional steps against Iran over the test of the medium-range Emad rocket, on the same day that the global nuclear watchdog concluded its 12-year investigation into Iran's nuclear activities.
Iranian officials have reportedly seized thousands of cars from women who were deemed to be driving without their hair properly covered. Rules which made headlines around the world a few months ago require women to wear headscarves at all times while driving, or risk being pulled over. According to the AFP News Agency, more than 40,000 "cases of bad hijab" since March.
The nations controlling the world's nuclear inspection agency voted on Tuesday to close its decade-long investigation into the work it suspected Iran of conducting to design a nuclear weapon, and instead to move ahead with fulfilling the deal signed in July to limit Iran's production of atomic material for at least 15 years. The unanimous vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors ends the agency's long-running, and largely unsuccessful, effort to get Iran to fully answer a series of questions about suspected activities.
A group of Iranian clerics is examining potential candidates to be the next Supreme Leader, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said, breaking a taboo of talking publicly about succession in the Islamic republic. Moderate president Hassan Rouhani and his allies are hoping to cash in on the popularity they have gained by striking a nuclear deal with world powers that could see sanctions lifted to win the majority of seats in the assembly and a parliamentary election that will be held on the same day.
Every so often Iran's political factions change shape, and there are signs that a realignment is currently underway. July's agreement with world powers, including the United States, has driven a wedge in the political class that is dominating the run-in to February's elections for parliament and Majles-e Khobregan ('Assembly of Experts'), the body that elects the supreme leader. Factional politics in Iran can be bitter and complex. What can make them baffling is the absence of effective political parties. Even before the 1979 Revolution, the revolutionaries were suspicious of parties, which they associated with the left and feared could undermine a "unity" focused on the charismatic leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Argentina's new government will not try to revive a voided pact with Iran to jointly investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here, Justice Minister Germ n Garavano said Friday night. Mr. Garavano said the Justice Ministry would not appeal a court's decision last year that declared the pact, signed in 2013 by the previous government, unconstitutional in a signal that it wants to put an end to the matter.
The possibility that the future chosen leader may not be as hardline as the ultraconservative Khamenei has intensified the ruling faction s sense of insecurity. Given the ultimate power and authority that the supreme leader has in Iran, hardline factions are trying to ensure that their current majority in the Assembly of Experts will be preserved in the upcoming elections to the body, and that they will thus be able to control the election of Iran s next supreme leader.
"How can a young man who worked hard for Rouhani's presidential campaign, 'wage propaganda' and 'act against the state'?" That is the question Mina Dena has been repeating to Judge Moghisseh at his office every week since October 10, 2015, when he sentenced her son, Majid Azarpey, to six and a half years in prison for "propaganda against the state" and "colluding against national security." Majid Azarpey was a campaign worker for candidates in the past two presidential elections for the reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi in 2009, and for President Hassan Rouhani during his election campaign in 2013. Hardliners in Iran have been instituting an unrelenting crackdown on reformists, activists, journalists, and cultural figures, which has intensified as the country approaches critical Parliamentary elections in February 2016.