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

Sep 14, 2021 - World

Iran's nuclear negotiator replaced by hardliner

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty

Iran's outgoing nuclear negotiator has been replaced as deputy foreign minister for political affairs by an ultra-hardliner, potentially further complicating efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The state of play: It's not yet clear whether the new deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri, will play as central a role in nuclear negotiations as his predecessor, Abbas Araghchi. Araghchi was Iran's chief nuclear negotiator since 2013, played a key role in reaching the 2015 deal and comes from the more moderate camp.

Sep 7, 2021 - World

UN watchdog: Iran continues to exceed cap on uranium stockpile

President Ebrahim Raisi. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

A UN atomic watchdog said Tuesday that Iran continues to bolster its stockpile of highly enriched uranium despite exceeding the cap set under a 2015 accord meant to restrict the government's nuclear arsenal, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then-President Trump. The Iranian government has countered by violating the limits placed on its nuclear program.

Sep 5, 2021 - World

What the Taliban victory means for Afghanistan's neighbors

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's political leader. Photo: Li Ran/Xinhua via Getty Images

The Taliban’s total victory has major implications for Afghanistan's neighbors and the broader region, with countries vying for influence while preparing for potential instability, refugee flows and the threat of a terrorist safe haven.

The big picture: It’s largely a strategic victory for Pakistan, which has assisted the Taliban and harbored its leaders, and a defeat for India, which invested heavily in an Afghan state that has now collapsed.

Sep 3, 2021 - World

U.S. sanctions Iranian operatives over alleged plot to silence dissident

Photo: Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

The U.S. has sanctioned four Iranian intelligence operatives for their role in an alleged campaign to silence critics of the Iranian government, the Treasury Department said Friday.

Driving the news: The four operatives planned to abduct Masih Alinejad, a New York City-based Iranian-American activist, according to the Treasury Department. They have also targeted other Iranian dissidents in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

Sep 1, 2021 - World

New Iranian foreign minister hints at nuclear deal approach

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Photo: Enes Kanli/Anadolu Agency/Getty

In his first remarks about the nuclear standoff since assuming office, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian indicated that Iran wants to negotiate with the West, but is in no rush.

Why it matters: Four weeks after the inauguration of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, it remains unclear if and when the Vienna nuclear talks could resume.

Aug 27, 2021 - World

Israeli PM presented Biden with "death by a thousand cuts" Iran strategy

Bennett and Biden. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney-Pool/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett presented President Biden in their meeting today with what Israeli officials described as “a death by a thousand cuts” strategy against Iran.

Why it matters: Besides striking up a personal relationship, Bennett's primary goal in his first meeting with Biden was to express his sense of urgency about the significant progress Iran was making in its nuclear program, and Israel's new government conducted an Iran policy review prior to the visit.

Aug 25, 2021 - World

U.S. has options if Iran talks fail, officials say ahead of Israeli PM's visit

Biden in the Oval Office. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty

If diplomacy fails, the U.S. will consider using other means to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, senior Biden administration officials said in a briefing ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's visit to the White House.

Why it matters: Iran is the main agenda item for Bennett's visit, and he is expected to push for a "Plan B" now that nuclear talks have stalled. The U.S. officials didn't say what exactly the administration would consider but are clearly trying to reassure the Israelis that they are willing to pressure Iran.

Aug 23, 2021 - World

Israeli PM will press Biden to prioritize Iran in White House visit

Naftali Bennett Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will introduce a new Iran policy when he meets with President Biden on Thursday.

Why it matters: With nuclear talks stalled and the White House consumed by the crisis in Afghanistan, Israeli officials worry that Iran will continue to develop its nuclear program without any pressure from the U.S. or its European allies.

Aug 17, 2021 - World

Iran continues to produce uranium metal, UN atomic watchdog finds

The groundbreaking ceremony of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, held in Bushehr, Iran, on Nov. 10, 2019. Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iran continues to produce uranium metal, which can be used in the creation of nuclear bombs, the United Nation’s atomic watchdog said Tuesday, AP reports.

Why it matters: The continued production of uranium metal further complicates any possible revival of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, AP notes.

Aug 12, 2021 - World

Israel seeks to coordinate "Plan B" with U.S. on Iran if nuclear talks fail

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told CIA Director Bill Burns in a meeting on Wednesday that the U.S. and Israel should start working on a joint strategy for a scenario in which Iran elects not to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, Israeli officials told me.

Why it matters: The Israeli intelligence community, foreign ministry and other national security agencies think the likelihood of Iran deciding to return to the deal has waned in recent weeks after the election of new hardline President Ebrahim Raisi.

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