Netanyahu has personally started campaigning against any return to the Iran dealDec 9, 2020 - World
Biden's team has refused to comment on the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.Dec 2, 2020 - World
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has rejected a draft agreement negotiated indirectly with the U.S. over the past three months in Vienna, a government spokesman said Thursday. However, another spokesman later denied that there was any "agreement" to reject in the first place.
Why it matters: Either way, the statements seem to indicate that incoming president Ebrahim Raisi will seek to renegotiate the understandings reached in Vienna to seek a better deal for Iran. They also confirm that no deal on Iran's nuclear program will be reached before Raisi, a hardliner, takes office next month.
Outgoing Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a report to parliament that the Biden administration has agreed to lift almost all U.S. sanctions on Iran to secure a mutual return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
Why it matters: The report includes details that hadn't been made public before now and is the most official and comprehensive Iranian account of the status of the indirect talks with the U.S.
A New York court unveiled indictments against four Iranians and one California resident over a conspiracy to kidnap a Brooklyn journalist and human rights activist who criticized the Iranian regime, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Why it matters: The DOJ said the conspirators intended to kidnap the victim by luring them out of the U.S. before sending them to Iran for rendition and imprisonment.
A "cyber disruption" caused websites of Iran's transport and urbanization ministry to lose service on Saturday, according to AP.
The big picture: This is the second abnormality in computer systems related to the ministry, per AP.
With Iran crossing another threshold toward a potential nuclear weapon, the U.S. is still waiting for Tehran's response to proposals made in Vienna to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, U.S. and European officials say.
Why it matters: Big gaps remain after six rounds of nuclear talks. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed on Tuesday that Iran has taken the unprecedented step of beginning to produce enriched uranium metal — a vital step toward developing nuclear weapons.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has launched an Iran policy review to be concluded before his first meeting with President Biden, which is likely to take place in late July, Israeli officials tell me.
Why it matters: Bennett is in the process of shifting Israeli foreign policy on several fronts, with a particular focus on the Iran file. While Bennett and his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu are both Iran hawks, Bennett is considering taking Israeli policy in a new direction.
The U.N.'s human rights investigator in Iran on Monday told Reuters he supports an independent probe into alleged state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, and President-elect Ebrahim Raisi's role as Tehran deputy prosecutor.
The big picture: Javaid Rehman, a U.N. investigator, said that his office has received testimonies and evidence over the years relating to the mass executions that took place under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
President Biden assured Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during talks at the White House Monday evening that he won't allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon during his time in office.
Why it matters: The United States' already struggling effort to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was made more complicated by last week's election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency.
The U.S. launched airstrikes Sunday night against three facilities on the Iraq-Syria border, which the Pentagon says Iran-backed militias have been using to carry out drone attacks on U.S. personnel.
Why it matters: The Washington Post reported last month that U.S. officials were growing increasingly alarmed by the use of small, low-flying drones — rather than traditional rocket fire — to covertly strike U.S. targets in Iraq.
President Biden directed airstrikes on Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region in response to unmanned aerial vehicle attacks, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement Sunday.
Details: U.S. military forces conducted the "defensive precision airstrikes" against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the region on Sunday evening, said Kirby, who stressed the U.S. strikes were legal and in self-defense.