The big picture

Biden and Netanyahu are on a collision course over Iran

Netanyahu has personally started campaigning against any return to the Iran deal

Dec 9, 2020 - World
Iran's nuclear dilemma: Ramp up now or wait for Biden

Biden's team has refused to comment on the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Dec 2, 2020 - World
How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

His election wouldn’t necessarily save it.

Oct 30, 2020 - World
Iran's proxies in the Middle East

Iran could likely use one of its many proxies to strike American military assets.

Jan 18, 2020 - World

All Iran stories

Jul 20, 2021 - World

Iran's Security Council rejects draft nuclear deal with U.S., spokesman says

Incoming president Raisi gives a speech. Photo: Mohsen Esmaeilzadeh/ISNA News Agency via Getty

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.

Jul 14, 2021 - World

U.S. prepared to lift nearly all Iran sanctions, Zarif tells parliament

Mohammad Javad Zarif on a visit to Moscow. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

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.

Jul 13, 2021 - World

N.Y. court indicts Iranians over plot to kidnap journalist, human rights activist

Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

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.

Jul 10, 2021 - World

"Cyber disruption" triggers website outage in Iranian ministry

Minister of Information and Communications Technology of Iran Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi speaks at a press conference in Tehran, Iran. Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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.

Jul 7, 2021 - World

Iran's nuclear limbo continues as presidential inauguration approaches

Raisi's opening press conference. Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

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.

Jul 7, 2021 - World

Israel's new prime minister to update Iran policy before Biden meeting

Bennett. Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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.

Jun 29, 2021 - World

U.N. investigator calls for probe into Iranian president-elect's role in 1988 killings

Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi leaves a conference hall after speaking at his first news conference in Tehran on June 21, 2021. Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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.

Jun 28, 2021 - World

Biden assures Rivlin he won't allow Iran to go nuclear

Joe Biden meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in the Oval Office on Monday, June 28, 2021. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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.

Jun 28, 2021 - World

U.S. airstrikes reignite debate over Iraq war powers

A drone facility allegedly used by Iran-backed militias on the Iraq-Syria border, moments before an airstrike. Screenshot of video via U.S. Central Command.

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.

Updated Jun 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden orders U.S. airstrikes on Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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.

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