• 2020-06-23

    Iran’s actions regularly capture global attention, but there remains too little understanding of the country’s internal priorities and politics. This includes Western governments seeking to negotiate directly with Iran. The words and actions of would-be negotiators – especially those in the United States and Europe – resonate loudly in Iran. After the long-haul diplomacy that led to the nuclear deal in 2015, the Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran has pushed the mainstream of Iranian politics away from support for engaging with the West. Meanwhile, arguments put forward by political forces inside Iran that present themselves as protectors of the 1979 revolution have gained traction. If European capitals wish to advance their Iran policy, especially in light of the upcoming US presidential election, they should seek deeper insights into what influences decision-makers in Tehran.

  • 2020-06-22

    In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Rabbi Yehuda Garami, chief rabbi of the Jewish community in Iran, explains about their daily lives and why he paid a condolence visit to the family of assassinated Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

  • 2020-06-19

    Facing declining oil prices and rigid sanctions by the United States, the Iranian government needs to find new ways to fund its public spending. The solutions might prove unpopular both with the public and the powerful elites. ... The new legislators admit that the infrastructure for the successful implementation of new taxes is lacking, but they cannot wait. Fearing that such fees would impact capital markets and saving patterns across Iran, pushing Iranians to invest in the highly volatile Tehran Stock Exchange, many economists are warning the parliament to study their potential consequences carefully. The government is searching for new ways of selling its holding in various companies via new privatization programs or directly via the Tehran Stock Exchange. Some officials propose to impose taxes on religious foundations and their associated conglomerates, something which has never happened in the past.

  • 2020-06-15

    How does the weakening of the moderate establishment impact Iranian foreign policy, particularly relations with Washington? It’s tempting to presume that the rise of Iranian hardliners will intensify U.S.-Iran tensions, as “voices against the deal in Iran will strengthen, and those who favor a more confrontational policy toward Washington will once again have the wind in their sails.” However, this assumes that the nuclear deal — a major diplomatic breakthrough that pulled the relationship back from the brink of war — was driven to a significant degree by Iran’s moderates. That’s a superficial read of Iranian internal dynamics; in fact, in many instances Tehran’s factional differences serve a utilitarian purpose in foreign policy. As an outgoing moderate member of parliament recently acknowledged, hardliners’ harsh protests against Rouhani’s détente policy were deployed to assist Tehran in obtaining greater concessions under the deal. And it should not be forgotten that Iran and the U.S. started secret negotiations in Oman in November 2011, precisely when hardliners controlled both the presidency and parliament. The bottom line is that the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy is not determined by its president, particularly in the context of U.S.-Iran relations. Echoing this point, Ali Motahari, a self-described nonpartisan and longtime member of parliament who was not permitted to run in the recent election, admitted that “Iran is under unprecedented pressure” and argued that “hardliners, by taking power, probably will agree with relations with the United States.” 

  • 2020-06-15

    For those seeking pathways to stable economic growth in the Middle East, developments in Iran may serve as a model – Iran represents the first major oil producer in the Middle East to transition to overall dependence on non-oil exports.

  • 2020-06-10

    Iran has recently unearthed a rare Bronze Age culture, related settlements and relics following to rounds of excavation in a plain near the north-central city of Qom.

  • 2020-06-06

    The next litmus test for Iranian-Chinese partnership is expected to come in October or maybe September. The U.S. has already announced its intention to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran and menaced to trigger the snapback mechanism enshrined in the UNSC resolution 2231 if other Security Council members refuse to support its initiative and let the embargo expire in October. China’s mission at the U.N. has stressed that Washington, which unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA before reimposing sanctions, has no right to extend the arms embargo or activate the snapback mechanism against Tehran.

  • 2020-06-04

    The two sides signed the agreement during a visit to Baghdad by Iran’s Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian, stressing their determination to broaden cooperation in the energy sector, despite American pressure on the Iraqi government to reduce economic ties with its neighbor. Ardakanian in an interview highlighted the achievements of his one-day visit to Baghdad, where he signed the contract with the Iraqi Electricity Ministry.

  • 2020-06-01

    The economy minister noted, “The first offering of the shares of state-owned enterprises in the stock exchange was announced today and the worth of offering is 165 trillion rials (about $3.9 billion), and two more offerings will be held in near future.” “Along with such government-owned companies, we also saw non-governmental organizations such as Shasta, whose initial public offering took place [on April 15], and the rest have announced both their readiness and their plans,” he added. 

  • 2020-06-01

    The head of an Iranian parliamentary committee has said 230 people were killed during the November protests triggered by a spike in petrol prices - the first time an official has given an overall death toll for the unrest. "During these events 230 people were killed, six of whom were official agents and security forces," Mojtaba Zolnour, head of the parliament's national security and foreign affairs committee, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA on Monday. "Twenty percent of them were forces keeping order and peace," he said, adding that they included "the police, security and intelligence forces, and the Basij" militia, some of which are not under government control and considered unofficial.

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