Insider news & Analysis in Iran
Trump Administration’s Public Statements May Conceal Unspoken Policy

On Tuesday, the Washington Post quoted White House National Security Advisor John Bolton as saying that the Trump administration is “very serious” about fully implementing new and re-imposed sanctions following US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but is not pursuing a policy of regime change in the Islamic Republic.

As Rouhani Plays Politics With Protesters, the Scope of Tehran’s Repression Expands

An article published on Wednesday focuses attention upon Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recurring use of the concept of public referendum as a political tool for responding to familiar grievances and safeguarding his spurious reputation as a moderate, without taking practical action to address those grievances.

On Monday, Iran Human Rights Monitor published its monthly report for July 2018, detailing a variety of specific incidents involving executions, prisoner abuse, politically motivated arrests, and more. The report also called attention to the fact that the month of July marked the continuation of protests that have been more or less constant since the outbreak of a nationwide uprising at the end of last year. The report focused on protests in southwestern provinces that were brought on by water shortages, but it pointed out that these quickly morphed into “radical anti-government protests which overshadowed all other issues” and gave rise to predictable but intense attempts at repression by security forces.

Despite Trump’s Offer, Dialogue Between the Us and Iran Grows More Unlikely

On Monday, US President Donald Trump floated the virtually unprecedented idea of a direct meeting between himself and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. The offer to meet with Iran’s leadership “whenever they want” was seen by many as a dramatic reversal following his tweet, one week earlier, in which he addressed Rouhani in all capital letters and promised “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before” if he ever threatened the United States. The warning came after the Iranian president advised the US government to understand that “peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

As the Rial Declines, Iran’s Efforts to Shore up Its Economy Prove Dubious, Ineffectual

On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spoke to a gathering of Iranian business leaders and diplomats in an attempt to salvage some confidence in the country’s economy as it faces down the threat of renewed US sanctions and the persistence of an economic crisis that has seen the value of the national currency fall to record lows. Following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal this past May, sanctions are scheduled to snap back into place on Iran after the first week of August. Additionally, secondary sanctions targeting entities throughout the world that do business with Iran will be fully re-imposed on November 4.

But Trump followed up that tweet by declaring that he was ready to negotiate with the Iranians and make a new deal that would presumably replace the nuclear

On Wednesday, a press release from the National Iranian-American Council pointed out that the latest congressional defense policy bill will include articles specifically stating that President Donald Trump does not have authorization to initiate war with Iran and that Congress is not aware of any current justification for doing so. For some critics of the White House, such assurances seem necessary in the wake of provocative gestures such as Trump’s all-caps tweet that identified his Iranian counterpart by name on Sunday and promised severe consequences for anti-American rhetoric and threats against the US.

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