Jan 15, 2020

Iran's president says European soldiers in Middle East "could be in danger"

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Iranian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iran's president warned today that European soldiers in the Middle East "could be in danger" after three nations — Britain, France and Germany — challenged Tehran over breaking the limits of its nuclear deal, the AP reports.

Why it matters: President Hassan Rouhani's remarks in a televised Cabinet meeting represent the first direct threat he's made to Europe.

Tehran's top diplomat, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, acknowledged that Iranians "were lied to" after the shootdown of a Ukrainian jet:

  • "In the last few nights, we’ve had people in the streets of Tehran demonstrating against the fact that they were lied to for a couple of days."
  • But he blamed U.S. "ignorance" and "arrogance" for "fueling mayhem" in the Middle East.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

What we know: Ukrainian Boeing 737 crashes in Tehran

Search and rescue teams at the site of the plane crash near Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran, Jan. 8. Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Boeing 737-800 Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed in Tehran shortly after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on Jan. 8, killing all 167 passengers and nine crew members.

The latest: The Iranian government has agreed to send the black boxes from the downed jetliner to Ukraine, suggesting it cannot be read in Iran and providing little further detail, according to an unnamed Iranian official per AP. American, French and Canadian experts will help analyze the data in Ukraine.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 18, 2020

Iran's supreme leader blasts "clown" Trump in rare public sermon

Photo: Iranian Supreme Leader Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei told a crowd of his supporters the U.S. is an "arrogant power" and that God had allowed Iran to "slap the face" of the U.S., The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Khamenei gave the rare public sermon on Friday to present a unified image of Iran to the rest of the world after recent escalations with the U.S. and an Iranian military accidentally shot down a civilian plane. The killing of all 176 passengers — including 82 Iranians — sparked protests across the country.

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020

Iran's former crown prince rallies support for regime change

Inside Iran's Green Palace, with a painting of Reza Shah Pahlav. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iran's former crown prince entered the Hudson Institute, a conservative Washington think tank, to a standing ovation on Wednesday before calling on the U.S. to support the will of the Iranian people — to bring down their government.

Between the lines: Some might question Reza Pahlavi's status as a spokesperson for the Iranian people. He hasn't stepped foot in Iran since his father, the shah, fled the country in 1979.

Go deeperArrowJan 16, 2020