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Iran

CrisisWatch Iran

Unchanged Situation

In first Islamic State (ISIS) attack in Iran, five militants 7 June carried out two simultaneous shootings at parliament and mausoleum of former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran, killing seventeen civilians; Revolutionary Guards immediately accused U.S. and Saudi Arabia of involvement. Security forces 11 June said they had killed plot’s mastermind, while pointing to ISIS-affiliated Iranian Kurds as likely perpetrators. Revolutionary Guards 18 June launched retaliatory ballistic missile strike from Kermanshah city in west on alleged ISIS bomb-making facility in Syria’s Deir al-Zour city. U.S. Sec State Tillerson 14 June accused Iran of seeking hegemony in Middle East and expressed support for “peaceful transition” of govt. U.S. Senate 15 June passed legislation to impose additional sanctions on Iran, increasing restraints on govt’s ballistic missile program. International Atomic Energy Agency 2 June reported govt had fulfilled obligations under 2015 nuclear deal, keeping stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and heavy water below 300kg and 130 tonne limits respectively. After Saudi Arabia-led coalition severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar 5 June, Iran sent aeroplanes carrying food to Qatar and sought to expand ties with it (see Qatar). Tensions with Saudi Arabia rose after Iran accused Saudi coast guard of shooting and killing Iranian fisherman 16 June near Saudi coast. Riyadh 20 June said it had arrested three Revolutionary Guards in Saudi waters; Tehran denied Saudi claim and urged Saudi Arabia to release detainees and pay compensation for death of fisherman. Relations with Pakistan deteriorated after Pakistan air force shot Iranian drone reportedly spying inside Pakistan 19 June.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

15 Jul 2017
The Iran-Iraq war was the formative experience for all of Iran’s leaders. From [commander of the Iranian Quds Force General Qassim] Suleimani all the way down. It was their ‘never again’ moment. The New York Times

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
22 Jun 2017
If we were to witness an incident at sea between an Iranian and a U.S. vessel in the Gulf, [...] how likely is it that the confrontation would be defused rather than exacerbated? Reuters

Robert Malley

Vice President for Policy
19 Jun 2017
The strike [by Iran against ISIS in Syria] further complicates an already complex situation. If the US takes measures beyond rhetorical condemnation, tensions could escalate too far too quickly. Al-Monitor

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
7 Jun 2017
It’s the first time that ISIS has been able to strike Iran within its border, so without any doubt it’s going to have significant consequences for the country both domestically and regionally. HuffPost World

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
3 Jun 2017
[The selection of the new supreme leader in Iran is] the most pivotal moment in the history of the Islamic Republic. Los Angeles Times

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
20 May 2017
Rouhani's vote [in the Iranian presidential election], particularly in rural areas, shows that Iranian people no longer believe in economic populism and radical change. France 24

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran

Latest Updates

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

The Houthis Are Not Hezbollah

Donald Trump wants to ramp up Yemen's proxy fight against Iran. One small problem: Tehran doesn't really have a proxy there.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Also available in العربية

Trump Can’t Deal With Iran If He Doesn’t Understand It

Tweets about putting Iran "ON NOTICE" are no replacement for appreciating the sources of Iranian conduct in the Middle East.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

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Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
AliVaez