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CrisisWatch Iran

Unchanged Situation

President Rouhani and Turkish President Erdoğan 4 Oct met in Tehran and pledged to preserve borders in region in light of Iraqi Kurdistan’s 25 Sept independence referendum. U.S. President Trump 13 Oct failed to reissue congressionally-mandated certification of Iran’s compliance with July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA); Congress has until 14 Dec to decide whether to restore sanctions waived under JCPOA. Supreme Leader Khamenei 18 Oct said govt would remain committed to agreement until other signatories withdraw. U.S. Treasury 13 Oct blacklisted Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” organisation for supporting its expeditionary Quds Force; in response, IRGC said U.S. military bases within 2,000km missile range were at risk and that Iran would consider U.S. army “ISIS around the world”. Quds Force Commander Soleimani reportedly facilitated Iraqi govt forces’ 16 Oct takeover of Kurdish-held Kirkuk city by convincing Kurdish peshmerga commanders not to fight back (see Iraq).

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

14 Nov 2017
[Iran's abolition of death penalty for some drug crimes] is a volte-face. The government would surely welcome any measure that could counter the broad campaign by Iran's adversaries to further demonize it. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
13 Nov 2017
Hariri as [Lebanon's] Prime Minister created the impression that coexistence with Hezbollah and by extension with Iran was possible; his departure is designed to erase any doubt. New Zealand Herald

Robert Malley

Vice President for Policy
13 Nov 2017
Israel possesses far greater ability to inflict pain, but Hezbollah possesses far greater capacity to absorb it, which means that any large-scale Israeli operation runs the risk of being open-ended. The Times of Israel

Robert Malley

Vice President for Policy
11 Nov 2017
For months now, [Israel] has been sounding alarm bells about Hezbollah’s and Iran’s growing footprint in Syria, and about the Lebanese capacity to produce precision-guided missiles. Business Insider

Robert Malley

Vice President for Policy
11 Nov 2017
[It is not] plausible to assume [Lebanese Prime Minister] Hariri’s resignation would compel Hezbollah to change its ways. No government can be formed without its consent. The Guardian

Heiko Wimmen

Project Director, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon
10 Nov 2017
There are now those in the [Middle East] who would like Israel to go to war with Hezbollah and fight a Saudi war to the last Israeli. There is no interest in that here. The New York Times

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine

Latest Updates

Saving the Iran Nuclear Deal, Despite Trump's Decertification

President Trump’s decertification of the Iran nuclear deal is a blow to this multi-national accord, but need not be fatal. The U.S. Congress, Iran and the European co-signatories can still do much to save one of the great diplomatic achievements of the past decade.

Also available in فارسی

Qatar Punched Above Its Weight. Now It’s Paying the Price.

Doha has become a casualty of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ fights with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. But don’t expect a war.

Originally published in The New York Times

Also available in العربية

Hizbollah’s Syria Conundrum

Four years after plunging into Syria’s civil war, Hizbollah has achieved its core aim of preserving the Assad regime. Yet with no clear exit strategy, the Lebanese “Party of God” faces ever greater costs unless it can lower the sectarian flames, open dialogue with non-jihadist rebel groups and help pave the way for a negotiated settlement.

Also available in فارسی, العربية

Our People

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran

Naysan Rafati

Analyst, Iran