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Iran

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

Amid ongoing U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran, tensions over implementation of 2015 nuclear deal continued while sensitive Iranian facilities suffered spate of incidents. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell 3 July announced receipt of Iranian letter triggering Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s (JCPOA) Dispute Resolution Mechanism; Iran foreign ministry same day said move was motivated by last month’s resolution from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) submitted by France, Germany and UK (E3) urging Iranian cooperation on agency access requests and E3’s “continued non-abidance” with their JCPOA commitments; Borrell 17 July announced extension of resolution mechanism timeline. Meanwhile, IAEA director general 15 July underscored “absolute necessity” for Iran to cooperate on agency access to two sites of concern; discussions with Tehran ongoing. Washington continued diplomatic efforts to garner support for Security Council resolution extending UN arms embargo on Iran due to expire in Oct 2020. Following late June explosions in “public area” of Parchin and at medical centre in Tehran that killed 19, Iran suffered spate of further incidents, including 2 July blast at Natanz nuclear facility, 15 July combustion of more than six ships at Bushehr shipyard and 19 July explosion at Isfahan power plant. Iranian officials confirmed Natanz incident caused “significant damage” and warned of response if foreign govt responsible, while Israel’s defence minister Benny Gantz 5 July said Israel was not “necessarily” behind every incident in Iran; while unconfirmed, incidents at sensitive sites hint at possibility of new, covert phase of “maximum pressure” campaign by U.S. and/or its regional allies. U.S. military 23 July reported “visual inspection” of Iranian airliner over Syria; Iranian officials described incident as “illegal and dangerous”. Iran continued to struggle with COVID-19 pandemic: authorities 28 July reported deadliest day to date with 235 deaths; economically, rial currency continued to lose value through most of month.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

29 Apr 2020
Depriving Tehran from having access to the arms market will compel Iran to double down on its support for proxies and its ballistic missiles program. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
15 Apr 2020
The Iranians are keen on demonstrating to the U.S. that the COVID crisis has neither debilitated them nor has altered their strategic calculus. Time

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
1 Apr 2020
[The Trump administration] think[s] that the timeline for bringing Iran to its knees has shortened because of the coronavirus. New York Times

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
18 Mar 2020
[The sanctions] are a testament to this administration's doctrinal belief in the effectiveness of sanctions to bring Iran to its knees. Middle East Eye

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
12 Mar 2020
The Iranian leadership knows that if it curbs the [International Atomic Energy Agency’s] inspections, it will lose the support of all the remaining parties to the JCPOA. Bloomberg

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
5 Mar 2020
The coronavirus has basically done what the Trump administration’s sanctions failed to do: effectively completely isolated Iran. South China Morning Post

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran

Latest Updates

The Coronavirus Crisis is a Diplomatic Opportunity for the United States and Iran

Washington and Tehran could use the public health emergency to show goodwill, dial down tensions while saving face, and avoid a dangerous confrontation.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

U.S. “Maximum Pressure” on Iran Hurts the Women It Claims to Help

To help justify its coercive measures against the Islamic Republic, Washington often evokes Iranian women’s struggles for inclusion and equality. But evidence from today’s Iran shows that U.S. policies are instead contributing to holding women back.

A Way Out of the U.S.-Iranian Impasse

U.S.-Iranian clashes have pushed the JCPOA to the brink of collapse. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to use their economic and diplomatic power to keep Iran in compliance with the JCPOA and prevent Iraq from being sucked further into the conflict.

The Iran Nuclear Deal at Four: A Requiem?

Prospects for the 2015 nuclear deal’s survival are dimming, as Washington tightens its sanctions, Tehran loosens its compliance, U.S.-Iranian clashes pick up in intensity and European powers crack down on agreement breaches. Third-party mediation is likely required to stave off the accord’s demise.

Also available in العربية, فارسی

Iran Sanctions under the Trump Administration

Since 1979, Iran has been subjected to a steady stream of sanctions. Under the Trump administration, their depth and breadth have dramatically increased in the U.S. campaign of "maximum pressure". This interactive infographic illustrates all the major unilateral U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran since 2017 by year, type and location.

Our People

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
AliVaez

Naysan Rafati

Senior Analyst, Iran