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Crisis Group's Interactive Iran-U.S. Trigger List
Crisis Group's Interactive Iran-U.S. Trigger List

Crisis Group's Interactive Iran-U.S. Trigger List

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CrisisWatch Iran

Unchanged Situation

Sixth round of nuclear talks made progress while UN temporary inspections agreement into nuclear sites expired with unclear next steps; Ebrahim Raisi elected president. Following sixth round of indirect U.S.-Iran negotiations in Austrian capital Vienna held 12-20 June, Iran’s lead negotiator Abbas Araghchi 20 June announced “we are closer to an agreement than ever” while U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan same day remarked there remained “a fair distance to travel”; it remains to be seen if agreement will emerge in remaining five weeks of Rouhani administration. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi 7 June briefed board of governors, emphasising Iran’s lack of cooperation on addressing safeguards concerns at four undeclared nuclear sites. Arrangement concluded in Feb on facilitating continued IAEA monitoring of Iranian nuclear activity expired 24 June; IAEA next day called for “immediate response” on status of technical understanding, but Tehran had yet to agree on extension by end of month. Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant 21 June underwent electricity shutdown due to “technical problem”; Iranian media 23 June reported “an act of sabotage” against building owned by the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran. Regarding sanctions, U.S. Treasury 10 June blacklisted “members of smuggling network” allegedly linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards-Quds Force and Huthis in Yemen and same day removed sanctions on five individuals and entities, citing “verified change in behaviour or status”. Treasury 17 June published COVID-19-related general licenses clarifying scope of humanitarian transactions with Iran. U.S. Justice Dept 22 June announced seizure of 33 websites linked to Iranian media. Following passage of two Iranian vessels late May suspectedly bound for Venezuela, U.S. State Dept 10 June warned Tehran against transfering weapons or illicit materials to Caracas. Meanwhile, ahead of presidential election 18 June, three of seven candidates pulled out of race; electoral authorities 19 June announced victory for judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi who won 61.9% of vote, with voter turnout at 48.8% - lowest in Islamic Republic’s history; Raisi will take office as Iran’s eighth president 3 August.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

17 Jun 2021
I’m afraid if the deal is not restored by August, [...] a return to the JCPOA might become a moot question. At that point the parties would probably have to negotiate a new nuclear deal. The Hill

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
9 May 2021
[Restoring the Iran nuclear deal is] a fragile process. If a single American is killed [by Iran’s rocket attacks in Iraq], the whole process is derailed. The New York Times

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
4 May 2021
It’s very clear there is an organized onslaught by opponents of the JCPOA in Iran, against reviving the deal under the Rouhani administration. The Washington Post

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
27 Mar 2021
I think [the new Iran-China deal] will make Europe and the U.S. a little more nervous because it looks like Iran may have a way out of economic strangulation. The Wall Street Journal

Dina Esfandiary

Senior Advisor, Middle East and North Africa
26 Feb 2021
The [recent] U.S. [air strikes in Syria were] aimed at a relatively insignificant target in an area where Iran's hands are somewhat tied. AFP

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
15 Aug 2020
The fact is that everybody at the UN believes this (resolution) is just a prelude to a US effort to trigger snapback and sink the Iranian nuclear deal. The Asia Times

Richard Gowan

UN Director

Our People

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran

Naysan Rafati

Senior Analyst, Iran