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Iran Politics & Policy News: Foreign Relations, Current Affairs, & Issues

Take a deeper look at Iranian politics, foreign policy, international relations, diplomacy, and the current issues affecting the country at large, including the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and oil exports.

Men in military dress kneel around a coffin decorated with the Iranian flag.
Men in military dress kneel around a coffin decorated with the Iranian flag.

Why Does Israel Keep Assassinating Iranian Officials? Because It Works.

Targeting senior leaders critical to an enemy program makes strategic sense from Israel’s perspective.

American and Iranian flags, with a man removing the Iranian one
American and Iranian flags, with a man removing the Iranian one

America’s Iran Follies

How two decades of misjudgments by Washington helped lead Tehran to the nuclear brink.

Young men wearing headphones sit in front of computer screens showing a scene from an online game.
Young men wearing headphones sit in front of computer screens showing a scene from an online game.

Iran’s Leaders Are Scared of the Internet

They should be more scared of shutting it off.

People in jackets hold up posters with a face that read "FREE Ahamad Reza Jalali."
People in jackets hold up posters with a face that read "FREE Ahamad Reza Jalali."

‘A Pawn in a Cruel Political Game’

Iran is threatening to execute an Iranian Swedish doctor—and human rights activists say the West isn’t doing enough.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, on May 14.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, on May 14.

Trump’s Poison Pills Are Still Toxic

Whether it’s Iran, China, Cuba, or immigration, U.S. President Joe Biden often finds himself stymied by his predecessor’s foreign policy.

The families of American hostages detained abroad hold a rally in front of the White House.
The families of American hostages detained abroad hold a rally in front of the White House.

Families of American Hostages Abroad Find Power—and Solace—in Numbers

Biden faces pressure to secure release of Americans wrongfully detained abroad.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomes his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomes his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Sanctioning Russia Won’t Stop Putin. Just Look at Iran.

Iran is a cautionary tale that stubborn autocracies can’t be disciplined with sanctions.

An Iranian flag flies next to a ground-to-ground Sejjil missile at an undisclosed location in Iran.
An Iranian flag flies next to a ground-to-ground Sejjil missile at an undisclosed location in Iran.

The Little Iran Nuclear Deal That Couldn’t

A revived nuclear pact could benefit Washington and Tehran but is proving a hard sell.

Iranian protocol soldiers stand guard during a ceremony to mark the 27th anniversary of the Islamic revolution at the mausoleum of Iran's late founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran on Feb. 1, 2006.
Iranian protocol soldiers stand guard during a ceremony to mark the 27th anniversary of the Islamic revolution at the mausoleum of Iran's late founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran on Feb. 1, 2006.

It’s Time to Give the Revolutionary Guards a Concession

An Iranian nuclear deal is more important than the symbolism of a terrorist list.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, speaks to the press in front of  the Palais Coburg in Vienna on Dec. 27, 2021.
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, speaks to the press in front of the Palais Coburg in Vienna on Dec. 27, 2021.

The United States’ Clueless Diplomacy Won’t Stop a Nuclear Iran

A new nuclear deal will strengthen the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps without derailing the regime’s long-term ambitions.

A woman walks past a mural showing Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tehran on March 9.
A woman walks past a mural showing Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tehran on March 9.

Iran Needs a Cushion, and Europe Needs Gas

Politics in Tehran may finally fall into sync with the commercial logic of expanding energy markets.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomes his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomes his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Russia’s ‘Eleventh-Hour’ Interference in the Iran Deal

Moscow is seeking to use the Iran deal to shield itself from the full effect of Western sanctions.

Pro-Ukraine protesters in Iran.
Pro-Ukraine protesters in Iran.

In Backing Russia on Ukraine, Iran Is on the Wrong Side of History

The self-proclaimed champion of anti-imperialism is now sugarcoating an imperial war.

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires on Nov. 30, 2018.
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires on Nov. 30, 2018.
An Iranian flag flies next to a ground-to-ground Sejjil missile at an undisclosed location in Iran.
An Iranian flag flies next to a ground-to-ground Sejjil missile at an undisclosed location in Iran.

A New Iran Deal Means Old Chaos

Rekindling the nuclear deal with Tehran will solve one regional problem—and cause others.

A small number of Iranians walk past shuttered shops on a mostly empty sidewalk.
A small number of Iranians walk past shuttered shops on a mostly empty sidewalk.

Raisi’s Hollow Ploy to Stem Iran’s Brain Drain

Without real reform at home, Iranians will continue to seek opportunities elsewhere.

A Saudi soldier takes part in a military parade January 15, 2005 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi soldier takes part in a military parade January 15, 2005 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Is Ratcheting Up the Middle East’s Arms Race

It’s only a matter of time until Saudi military advancements force Iran to respond in kind.

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