6. Why should the U.S. care about who Iran would aid or who would aid Iran?

More FAQs in:

Many of Iran’s alliances are reported to be anti-U.S., and as such, could thwart U.S. attempts to deter Iran’s nuclear proliferation efforts. Some sources suggest that North Korea “has been the principal supplier to the Iranian missile program.” There have been reports intimating that Iran sponsored terrorism against the United States and its allies. Some claim it is still happening today.

Venezuela specifically has “threatened to suspend crude oil exports to the United States if it attacks Iran, and has offered to supply Iran with F-16 fighter jets.” (Source: The Iran Primer). Chavez and Ahmadinejad have also made threats against the United States, including joking about an “atomic bomb.” Venezuela has assisted Iran in circumventing U.S. economic sanctions by providing uranium supplies, a key resource needed to build a nuclear weapon.

Adding to concern over a strong Iranian-Venezuelan alliance are reports of drug trafficking and weapons sales connections. Iran has reportedly invested in Venezuelan business, including banking, mining and oil, while Venezuela has provided import access points for drug traffickers. Some argue that these investments potentially enable Iran to fund terrorist organizations and also sell weapons to various Latin American terror groups.

Library Topic
Library Topic: America and Iran

More About This Topic...

Click thumbnails below to view links

Quote Page

Commentary or Blog Post

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez lavished each other with praise on Monday, mocked U.S. disapproval and joked about having an atomic bomb at their disposal."

"The narrow Strait of Hormuz is considered one of the most, if not the most strategic strait of water on the planet.

Through its waters, in giant ocean-going tankers, passes much of the oil from Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates."

"On Saturday, Iran's Navy launched the massive 10-day 'Velayat 90' naval exercise. The drill covers an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

Iran's decision to close the Strait of Hormuz can fundamentally threaten the prospects of global oil exports, the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta said on Tuesday....

"A website with close ties to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has outlined why it would be acceptable to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel."

"Iran’s economic freedom score is 42.1, making its economy the 171st freest in the 2011 Index. Its score has decreased by 1.3 points from last year, driven by lower scores in freedom from corruption, trade freedom, and labor freedom. Iran is ranked 16th out of 17 countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, and its overall score is well below the world and regional averages.

Heavy...

"We look over this wall of marching people to see what our friends in the United States are saying about us. We cannot help it — 30 years of struggle against the Enemy has had the curious effect of making us intrigued. To our great dismay, what we find is that in important sectors of the American press a disturbing counternarrative is emerging: That perhaps this election wasn’t a fraud after...

"One woman who has first hand experience of injustice and repression in the Middle East is former NPR Journalist Roxana Saberi. Two years ago, the West was riveted by the story of this young women who was arrested, tried and convicted of espionage in Iran. Her experiences in prison and her insights into the struggle for freedom are detailed in her new book 'Between Two Worlds.'"

"The Obama administration is seeking to compel a writer to testify about his confidential sources for a 2006 book about the Central Intelligence Agency, a rare step that was authorized by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

The author, James Risen, who is a reporter for The New York Times, received a subpoena on Monday requiring him to provide documents and to testify May 4 before a...

"Coup 53 of Iran is the CIA's (Central Intelligence Agency) first successful overthrow of a foreign government.

But a copy of the agency's secret history of the coup has surfaced, revealing the inner workings of a plot that set the stage for the Islamic revolution in 1979, and for a generation of anti-American hatred in one of the Middle East's most powerful countries. The document,...

"Pakistan's nuclear weapons program is a source of extreme national pride, and, as its father, A.Q. Khan -- who headed Pakistan's nuclear program for some 25 years -- is considered a national hero. Though his full name is Abdul Qadeer Khan, he is commonly referred to as A.Q. Khan. Born in Bhopal, Dr. A.Q. Khan is a German-educated metallurgist who, from May 1972 to December 1975 was employed...

"Iran has been targeted by a second computer virus in a 'cyber war' waged by its enemies, its commander of civil defense said on Monday.

Gholamreza Jalali told the semi-official Mehr news agency that the new virus, called 'Stars,' was being investigated by experts. Last year, Iran revealed that its computers were attacked by the Stuxnet worm, which attack the Bushehr nuclear reactor."...

"Now that Iran says it will soon free two American hikers jailed since 2009 for spying and illegally entering Iran, the major unanswered question is: Why now?

With Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about to undertake his annual charm offensive to the United Nations General Assembly session in New York next week, some Iran observers believe the country’s leadership was keen to offer...

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that his country has 'been able to control' the U.S. drone that Iran claims it recently brought down, Venezuelan state TV reported.

'There are people here who have been able to control this spy plane,' Ahmadinejad told VTV. 'Those who have been in control of this spy plane surely will analyze the plane's system. Furthermore, the...

"The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is being sidelined by religious fundamentalists, and it’s bad news for American officials seeking to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

The same Iranian leader who dabbled in Holocaust denial and messianic fantasies was, paradoxically, also the theocracy’s most ardent advocate of direct nuclear negotiations with Washington. As Mr. Ahmadinejad falls...

"Say what you will about the death penalty, this is a pretty embarrassing list to be on.

Amnesty's 2010 Death Penalty Report named China as the top executor with thousands of executions. Iran came in second with 252 executions, followed by North Korea at 60, Yemen at 52, USA at 46, Saudi Arabia at 27, Libya at 18 and Syria at 17."

"As oil prices ticked above $115 per barrel last week, a White House leak revealed that President Barack Obama may dip into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the United States' 695 million barrel stockpile of emergency fuel supplies. The leak might have been a signal that Washington wants Gulf countries to take action to lower oil prices. It might also have been an attempt to wring the...

"Obviously, America's relationship with Iran has been extremely hostile over the past several decades. From the perspective of most Americans, the seminal event of US-Iranian relations was the siege of the US embassy in Tehran and the subsequent holding of its staff as hostages back in the 1970s.

Although that hostage-taking was brutal and unjustified, many Americans lack a more global...

"When Iranians took U.S. officials hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, Americans were mystified and angry, not being able to comprehend how Iranians could be so hateful toward U.S. officials, especially since the U.S. government had been so supportive of the shah of Iran for some 25 years. What the American people failed to realize is that the deep anger and hatred that the Iranian...

"IRAN is a rum country, especially in the minds of Americans who remember how its revolutionaries seized their embassy in 1979 and held its staff hostage for 444 days. But even Americans were startled by this week’s exposure of a plot, allegedly hatched by elements in the Iranian government, to assassinate Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador..., by planting a bomb in his favourite...

"Let’s just say Iran makes good on its recent threats to shut down the Strait of Hormuz. And let’s say that with one-fifth of the world’s oil supply bottled up, the price of a barrel of oil then almost doubles, as some analysts predict, to more than $200.

What can the world do to bring prices down before a still- woozy global economy gets pushed back into recession?"

"Worries of Israel striking Iran might or might not be overblown but across the region the largely hidden 'cold war' between Tehran and its enemies is escalating fast, bringing with it wider risk of conflict."

"While much of the world focuses on the effects of hurricane Sandy in the eastern United States, the proxy war between Israel and Iran continues to flare up, this time in Africa."

"Iranian officials decried the assassination of a scientist involved in Iran's nuclear program in Tehran today, claiming that Israel was behind the latest strike as part of a broader covert war waged by the US, Israel, and the West to slow Iran's nuclear efforts.

The attack – reported by witnesses to be carried out by two men on a motorcycle, who affixed a magnetic bomb to the target...

"It is time -- well past time, in my view -- for the United States to cease its Cold War-style reliance on nuclear weapons as a foreign-policy tool. At the risk of appearing simplistic and provocative, I would characterize current U.S. nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, and dreadfully dangerous. The risk of an accidental or inadvertent nuclear launch is...

"As everyone here knows, President Obama has set forth a bold arms control and nonproliferation agenda.

And, for good reason, and because so many of us have made such an effort to speak out about the Prague agenda, it has garnered a lot of support, attention and media coverage.

I know that conventional arms have gotten much less attention even though they kill more people every...

"Listen to the presidential candidates and it sounds like war with Iran is around the corner. And not just the Republicans. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared: 'If we get intelligence they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon, then we will take whatever steps necessary to deal with it.'

The consequences of any war with Iran would be extraordinary. Probably far worse than...

"A British diplomat, annoyed at President Theodore Roosevelt's egotism, observed that TR was so determined always to be the center of attention that 'when he attended a wedding he wanted to be the bride, and when he attended a funeral he wanted to be the deceased.' All too often, the United States acts in much the same way in its conduct of foreign policy."

"He was an unpromising youth who gained power by accident. Today he's the Arab world's most notorious dictator. But who really is this man?"

"No one in the Obama White House believes that, by themselves, the newest rounds of sanctions against Iran’s military-run businesses, its shipping lines and its financial institutions will force Tehran to halt its 20-year-long drive for a nuclear capability.  So what, exactly, does President Obama plan to do if, as everyone expects, these sanctions fail, just...

"It was the summer of 1941. Food shortages and inflation were the most pressing concerns for the average citizen in Iran. The war in Europe, which had begun in 1939 when Nazi Germany and its ally, the Soviet Union, invaded Poland; had spread west across the continent and south, to North Africa and the Middle East.

In May of 1941 the British had taken control of Iraq to safeguard their...

"Britain could send military reinforcements to the Gulf if the dispute with Iran escalates, the Defence Secretary has revealed.

Philip Hammond said the decision to send HMS Argyll as part of an international flotilla of warships through the sensitive Strait of Hormuz on Sunday sent a 'clear signal' to Tehran. And he warned that reinforcements will be available if needed.

Iran has...

"THERE are not many places in the world these days where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can count on red-carpet treatment. So his five-day visit this week to Latin America was an opportunity to show that Iran still has some allies, even as Europe and the United States prepare to tighten sanctions against the Islamic Republic.... He called on his longstanding friend, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, and joined...

"The last time Iran tried to close the Strait of Hormuz, the trade artery linking the oil-rich Gulf states to the outside world, the Revolutionary Guards had only a few rubber dinghies and primitive mines to achieve their goals. Next time, they will be far better prepared."

"Face wrapped in a thick scarf against clouds of blinding dust, the electrician gazed at a maze of pipes and pumps teeming with 15,000 workers and said his work was like building the Tower of Babel.

He was speaking casually. But for the oil industry Kashagan, the world's biggest discovery since 1968 with reserves locked amid lethal, high-pressure gases beneath the north Caspian Sea, is...

This page is a timeline of key events surrounding the relationship between the IAEA and Iran.

"Iran's navy chief boasts that closing the Strait of Hormuz to oil traffic would be 'easier than drinking a glass of water.' Hardly, U.S. analysts say.

Iran's navy does not have the size for a sustained physical blockade of the Strait, but does have mine-laying and missile capability to wreak some havoc, analysts said.

'It wouldn't be a cakewalk' for Iran, said Caitlin Talmadge,...

"Why would the Iranian clerical regime, which has clandestinely spent hundreds of millions, if not a few billion, dollars over twenty years on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, give up its quest for the bomb—especially when it is an issue that unites, not divides, the ruling clerical elite?"

  • "Since the 1979 revolution, containment has been the default policy of the United States toward Iran. It has never been a policy eagerly embraced by any U.S. administration.
  • Containment has had some successes. It has been effective in partially isolating Iran. It has hamstrung Tehran’s efforts to develop a capable military. It has limited Iran’s ability to play an influential...

"The Washington Monthly wins the award for most pungent description of the argument that an Iran with nuclear weapons would be highly dangerous: 'Strip away the bellicosity and political rhetoric, and what one finds is not rigorous analysis but a mixture of fear, fanciful speculation, and crude stereotyping.'

This sentence is from 'We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran,' an important...

"A day after the Pentagon acknowledged that an unmanned American reconnaissance drone went missing while on an operation in western Afghanistan late last week, Defense officials still smarting from the incident have come forward to dismiss Iranian claims that the drone was brought down by hostile activity. And American cyber experts similarly expressed skepticism over Iranian contentions that...

"Ever since the discovery of the Stuxnet cyber attack on Iran's nuclear enrichment program and the assignation of Iran's chief Stuxnet Investigator, Iran has been hell-bent on developing offensive and defensive cyber capabilities.

Over this past year or so numerous comments about the cyber domain that have come out of Tehran and recently the leader of Iran's Cyber Defense Organization...

"Iran has threatened that it will retaliate against the Obama administration's proposed new economic sanctions on Iran's oil exports by blocking the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. 'If sanctions are adopted against Iranian oil,' said Iran's Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, 'not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz,' the narrow waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf,...

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Israel of 'inhuman policies' in the Palestinian territories and of dominating world political and economic affairs in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad assailed Israel for what he said was a barbaric attack on the Gaza Strip last winter. He also accused the West of hypocrisy, saying it preached democracy, but...

"There's time for stricter sanctions to get Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic republic is much closer to such weapons than previously believed and a military strike may be necessary, foreign policy experts say.

'With each time we have used sanctions, they've had more impact, but ultimately if Iran wants to pay the cost, it can get nuclear weapons,' says...

This map and data explains the distance between Tehran, Iran and Washington D.C.

"A consensus is gradually emerging in the United States that Washington and its allies must take whatever action is necessary to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Various options are advocated, from U.N.-mandated economic sanctions to airstrikes on suspected nuclear installations to active subversion of the mullah-controlled regime in Tehran.

All of these options are based on...

"The Obama administration has thus far managed to successfully tighten the economic screws on Iran and now they've apparently convinced the Europeans to do the same. Now, based on the chart above via the Wall Street Journal, it's clear that this is a move that will deal another major blow to the Iranian economy."

"In search of new insights into the nuclear dangers posed by Iran, the press and pundits have latched onto a single sentence found in the Pentagon's April 2010 congressionally-mandated assessment of Iran's military power: 'With sufficient foreign assistance, Iran could probably develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States by 2015.'

...

"Belarus is the latest country that Western powers suspect of helping Iran skirt U.N. sanctions aimed at preventing it from expanding its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, Western diplomats told Reuters."

"Israel is upgrading its Arrow II ballistic missile shield in a U.S.-backed 'race' against Iran, Syria and other regional enemies, a senior Israeli defense official said on Sunday."

"The family of former U.S. Marine and accused spy Amir Hekmati said that as Hekmati soon could face the death penalty at the hands of an Iranian court, the Iranian government has not given him a fair trial and has refused to respond to repeated, desperate pleas for answers."

"Iran's state TV broadcast a video on Sunday of 28-year-old Amir Mirzaei Hekmati allegedly confessing to spying on Iran for the USA.

Hekmati claimed he was a CIA spy who sought to infiltrate Iran's secret services. The TV station said he had received special training and served at US military bases before heading to Iran.

But his father, Ali Hekmati, told The Associated Press...

"Americans who beat the war drums by suggesting military strikes and regime change risk dragging this country into a new military calamity in the Middle East, write two former US hostages in Iran, L. Bruce Laingen and John Limbert.

Nine years ago, in the case of Iraq, a similar flood of rhetoric, fear mongering, and distortion overwhelmed good judgment, and led America on a course that...

"The reform movement in Iran has clearly hit a new level, but the future is uncertain. The key issue is whether spontaneous protests crystallize into sustained dissent that involves the middle class. There are no cracks yet in the Iranian government's domestic security forces -- a common criterion for successful, bottom-up challenges to totalitarian regimes. But...

"An escalation of rhetoric between the U.S. and Iran over its nuclear program is rattling oil markets—casting a dark cloud on the newborn 2012.

Yet, behind the headlines, the high-voltage engagement is global diplomacy’s own version of a Lindy Hop dance—fast paced, acrobatic and, for now, a bit overplayed."

"As NASA retreats from an ambitious human spaceflight program for the foreseeable future, foreign countries are moving ahead with their own multibillion-dollar plans to go to the moon, build space stations and even take the long voyage to Mars.

Although most of the world still lags far behind the United States in space technology and engineering know-how, other nations are engaging in a...

"Ann Curry: Mr. President, we saw with our own eyes the exhausting schedule you keep every day. What goal, more than any other, drives you as President of Iran?

President Ahmadinejad: Well, let me say hello first of all to you, your colleagues and to all those who are now watching this program. I wish good luck for all nations and for all human beings in the world. I don't think that...

"She had probably done this a dozen times before. Modern digital technology had made clandestine communications with overseas agents seem routine. Back in the cold war, contacting a secret agent in Moscow or Beijing was a dangerous, labour-intensive process that could take days or even weeks. But by 2004, it was possible to send high-speed, encrypted messages directly and instantaneously from...

"The latest warning by Iran, that a U.S. aircraft carrier that recently transited through the Strait of Hormuz should not do so again, is a sign to the West that should be well-observed. It tells us the regime in Tehran is ready for a fight.

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. are so high, a conflagration could be tripped off without either country intending it. This latest spiral of...

"So from EU and American perspectives, China’s position on Iran has been neither as unhelpful nor as principled as feared. With the Communist Party’s ten-yearly leadership transition looming in the autumn, its leaders’ preoccupations lie at home. They do not want to find China caught in the middle of a huge international crisis. They have a genuine interest in maintaining peace, and will not...

"Israeli military leaders have conducted a war game simulating a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, three days after the US Presidential elections. They concluded such an operation could be pulled off without plunging the whole region into war. Iranian experts disagree. David Patrikarakos reports."

"The American policy of imposing sanctions on Iran may have run into a problem: Instead of becoming more accommodating, Iran seems to be upping the ante. But if sanctions are not intimidating Iran's leaders, there is one challenge they fear: the brain drain to foreign — especially American — universities."

"International condemnation has greeted comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Nazi Holocaust was 'a myth'.

Mr Ahmadinejad said he did not believe six million Jews had died at the hands of the Nazis last century.

Germany said his comments could harm attempts to restart nuclear talks.

A White House spokesman said the comments showed the need to 'keep...

"Before the United States goes to war with Iran, as many Americans seem anxious to do, we should first understand how Iran became our implacable enemy. U.S. presidents from Eisenhower to Carter viewed Iran as our friend. The CIA didn't see this coming, and neither did our State Department.

The story goes back to the early days of World War II."

This article details the power of Stuxnet, showing how the worm damaged the Iranian nuclear facilities. Iranian engineers were baffled over the failure of countless numbers of uranium enrichment centrifuges, significantly setting back their progress. Little did they know at the time, but their largest nuclear plant at Nantanz had been infiltrated by this extremely destructive new computer...

"Carney's assertion raises a question: Do sanctions actually convince countries to change their behavior?"

"Mohan says Indians watching how the U.S. presidential race shapes up show a growing appreciation of 'how political developments within the United States can affect Indian interests.'"

"Tensions have heightened between Tehran and Washington in the strategic Strait of Hormuz following increased sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. Iran test-fired missiles and has threatened to close the strait. This is to signal to the United States and its neighbors in the region that Iran has a deterrent capacity, says Michael Elleman, a leading expert on Iran's missile development. The...

"In the wake of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program, Democrats and others are criticizing President Bush for again having 'hyped' a nuclear weapons threat. This criticism, while deserved, does not address the critical policy question: What do we do now?"

"Bush's disastrous foreign policy--especially the Iraq fiasco--has led many to conclude that diplomatic 'engagement' is our best hope for stopping Iran's nuclear program. But while Bush's policy is a failure, engagement is not the solution.

Bush's 'moralistic' approach, we're told, entails denouncing nations as evil, refusing negotiations, and isolating and punishing hostile regimes....

"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month provided the most extensive details to date regarding suspicions that Iran has engaged in activities to develop a nuclear warhead. The details in the Nov. 8 report suggest that Iran pursued a range of activities relevant to nuclear weapons development as part of a structured program prior to the fall of 2003 and has resumed some...

"Imagine, for a moment, that you are an Iranian mullah. Sitting crosslegged on your Persian rug in Tehran, sipping a cup of chai, you glance up at the map of the Middle East on the wall. It is a disturbing image: your country, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is surrounded on all sides by virulent enemies and regional rivals, both...

"Iran has been a non-nuclear weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) since 1970, and has possessed a nuclear program for more than fifty years, ostensibly for peaceful purposes. The nuclear program has advanced significantly in the past decade with Iran's decision to enrich its own uranium. Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment and its...

"Iran declared on Wednesday that it can destroy nearby US military bases and strike Israel within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic, reflecting tensions over Iran's suspect nuclear programme."

"A cyberspace security expert says he received a series of emails from an Iranian nuclear scientist complaining that computers at two plants bizarrely began playing a heavy metal anthem over the weekend."

"Iran has the ability to block the Strait of Hormuz 'for a period of time,' and the U.S. would take action to reopen it, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey said.

'They’ve invested in capabilities that could, in fact, for a period of time block the Strait of Hormuz,' Dempsey said in an interview aired yesterday on the CBS 'Face the Nation' program. 'We’ve invested in...

"Mehdi Bazargan became the first prime minister of the revolutionary regime in February 1979. Bazargan, however, headed a government that controlled neither the country nor even its own bureaucratic apparatus. Central authority had broken down. Hundreds of semi-independent revolutionary committees, not answerable to central authority, were performing a variety of functions in major cities and...

"The 1979 revolution unseated the last dynasty to rule Iran from the Peacock Throne. But it also represented a revolution within Shiism, which had traditionally shunned direct clerical involvement in politics. Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini introduced the idea of clerical supervision of a modern republican state that has all three standard branches of government—the executive...

"The International Peace Institute has recently released the results of its public opinion survey of a large random sample of Iranians, which was conducted in early September 2010. Among a host of questions posed to Iranian respondents on various political and economic issues, one question particularly stands out in light of the current stand-off between Iran and the U.S. over its nuclear...

"We are not prepared for an electromagnetic pulse attack. Iran is almost prepared to launch one."

"Iran started trial session of Amir Mirza Hekmati Tuesday, a CIA spy arrested inside the country on espionage allegations.

The 28-year-old suspect had lived in Michigan State, U.S, and was captured by Iranian Intelligence following allegations on working with CIA."

"Iran's president boasted Thursday that his nation had the capacity to make weapons-grade nuclear fuel if it chose to, in a speech intended to rally the nation as it marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

The president's remarks, combined with the government's apparently successful effort to prevent the opposition from once again hijacking a national holiday, seemed...

"Iran has confirmed that the Flame virus attacked the computers of high-ranking officials causing a 'massive' data loss."

"Iran has accused the European Union of waging 'psychological warfare' after the bloc banned imports of Iranian oil over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

The oil ban, which was approved at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, along with sanctions against Iran's central bank and other measures, came as Western powers stepped up pressure on Iran to return to negotiations amid...

"Iran's embassy in Turkey has issued a formal statement denying reports Tehran was shipping weapons through Turkey to Syria.

'We deny such claims and we would like to state that the Islamic Republic of Iran sees people's demands to be paid attention to as a way of providing domestic security and stability and believes that dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition is the...

"Tehran has embarked on an ambitious plan to boost its offensive and defensive cyber-warfare capabilities and is investing $1 billion in developing new technology and hiring new computer experts.

Iran has been the victim of a number of cyber attacks in recent years, some attributed to Israel. The most famous attack was by a virus called Stuxnet which is believed, at its prime, to have...

"An Iranian official says the country has transferred the location of most of its government websites from foreign-based hosting agencies to new computer facilities inside the country to avert potential cyber attacks. The country’s deputy minister for communications and information technology, Ali Hakim Javadi, Reuters reports that more than 90 percent of all the Iranian government’s websites...

"Iran is gearing up for a cyberwar campaign after being hit with coordinated, sophisticated cyberattacks last year that reportedly crippled its Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.

The Islamic Republic plans 'to fight our enemies with abundant power in cyberspace and Internet warfare,' according to Brigadier Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, who leads the country’s Passive Defense Organization...

"Iran has launched a long-range missile during naval exercises in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the latest show of defiance by Tehran as the west weighs tighter sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Iranian state television showed footage of Ghader, a ground-to-sea missile, being test-fired on Monday and hitting its supposed targets. The missile, said to have a reach of 200km, is...

"Iran will in the 'near future' start enriching uranium deep inside a mountain, a senior official said Sunday, a move likely to further antagonize Western powers that suspect it is seeking nuclear weapons capability.

A decision by the Islamic Republic to conduct sensitive atomic activities at an underground site - offering better protection against any enemy attacks - could complicate...

"Philip Hammond is to warn Iran that any attempt to block the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane, would be 'illegal and unsuccessful' and would be countered militarily if necessary.

The defence secretary is expected to deliver the message in a speech after talks at the Pentagon with his US counterpart Leon Panetta during his first visit to Washington in the role."

"A television poll conducted by Iranian state television backfired on Wednesday when 63 percent of respondents said they wanted to abandon Iran's nuclear program, according to a report by The Telegraph. The results led the channel to hastily shut down voting and accuse the BBC of manipulating results."

"In total, 5 Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed since 2007. Another has been wounded and one more has disappeared. In addition, the head of Iran's ballistic missile programme has been killed and a deputy defence minister disappeared."

"Talks have begun in Istanbul between Iranian scientists and their counterparts from six major powers in an attempt to resolve an impasse over Iran's nuclear aspirations, as both Tehran and Washington raised the military stakes in a perilous standoff in the Gulf."

"Iran's top diplomat offered Monday to extend the current visit of U.N. nuclear inspectors and expressed optimism their findings would help ease tensions despite international claims that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

The comments by Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, reported by Iran's official news agency, underscored efforts to display cooperation with the International...

"Iran is planning to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil, based on western information sources..., according to an article in the German daily, Die Welt, of November 25, 2010. According to the article, an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October 19, 2010. The previously undisclosed contract...

"Iran is not only covertly developing nuclear weapons, it is already testing ballistic missiles specifically designed to destroy America’s technical infrastructure, effectively neutralizing the world’s lone superpower, say U.S. intelligence sources, top scientists and western missile industry experts.

The radical Shiite regime has conducted successful tests to determine if its Shahab-3...

"Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Iran needs only two to three more years to produce an ICBM that could reach the United States, Reuters reported on Wednesday (see GSN, Feb. 17).

'They (the Iranians) are working now and investing a lot of billions of dollars in order to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles,' Steinitz, who previously led the Israeli parliament's...

Iran opened a trial on Tuesday of an American of Iranian descent accused of spying for the US Central Intelligence Agency, the Fars news agency reported. ...

Hekmati, a 28-year-old former US Marine born in the US state of Arizona to an Iranian immigrant family, was shown on Iranian state television mid-December saying he was a CIA operative sent to infiltrate the Iranian intelligence...

"Iran is recruiting a hacker army to target the U.S. power grid, water systems and other vital infrastructure for cyberattack in a future confrontation with the United States, security specialists will warn Congress Thursday."

"In a closed court hearing, the prosecution applied for capital punishment, the report said, because the suspect, identified as Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, 'admitted that he received training in the United States and planned to imply that Iran was involved in terrorist activities in foreign countries' after returning to the U.S."

"The Islamic Republic, which denies trying to build a nuclear bomb, scoffed at efforts to choke its oil exports, as Asia lines up to buy what Europe scorns.

Some Iranians also renewed threats to stop Arab oil from leaving the Gulf and warned they might strike U.S. targets worldwide if Washington used force to break any Iranian blockade of a strategically vital shipping route.

Yet...

"The majority of Iranians want to suspend the country's nuclear programme in return for a lifting of western sanctions according to a state television poll which runs counter to claims of universal support by Iran's leaders."

"Ten days of naval exercises along one of the world's most sensitive waterways ended with a flourish following the launch of Iran's latest surface-to-surface missile, known as the Qader, which is believed to have a range of about 125 miles.

Two more missiles of shorter range were fired later in the day, bringing the number launched in the past 48 hours to at least four. Iran test-fired...

"Iran says it has successfully test-fired three more missiles on the final day of naval exercises in the Gulf.

State media reported Iran had fired a shore-to-sea Qader cruise missile, a shorter range Nasr and later, a surface-to surface Nour missile.

A medium-range surface-to-air missile was successfully launched on Sunday, Iranian media reported."

"A major military exercise organized by the Iranian Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution entered its third day today in the southern part of the country. The Iranian authorities claimed that a number of indigenously developed missiles, including the Shahab, Fateh, Qiyam and Zelzal were successfully test launched during the drills."

"Iran announced on Monday that it had successfully test fired a cruise missile during naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz that have heightened tensions in a diplomatic standoff over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions."

"Israel and the United States are 'supporters of state terrorism' and will suffer a 'punitive response' at an 'opportune time,' Iran's Press TV cited a top Iranian general as saying Sunday, days after an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed.

Iran will hold 'the U.S., Britain and the Zionist regime accountable for their actions,' said the deputy chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff,...

"It is high time the United States and Europe confronted Iran about its history of human rights abuses committed against its own people."

"With American troops expected to leave before the end of the year, speculations are rife about Iraq’s ability to maintain security in the war torn country and about the possible intervention of other powers, especially Iran, in its internal affairs.

The withdrawal of the occupation troops was not a unilateral decision on the part of the United States but one agreed upon by all...

"Sunni insurgency, Sunni-Shia sectarian violence, al Qaeda terror - Iraq doesn't need more problems. But it has one that too often gets overlooked: It's quickly becoming the latest battlefield in the proxy war between the Middle East's rising powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Saudis are (mostly) Sunni Arabs, while the Iranians are (largely) Shiite Persians - and each seeks to dominate...

"Iran has proposed to share fuel production with Russia for its Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant – a move bound to raise even more concerns about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The power plant, which began receiving fuel Saturday and is set to commence producing power next month, is supposed to be operated under an agreement whereby Moscow supplies the uranium fuel for the plant...

"A senior Iranian Army commander has warned the U.S. Navy not to move an aircraft carrier which left the Persian Gulf during Iran's recent military drills back into the body of water which forms much of Iran's southern border.

According to the Reuters news agency, army chief Ataollah Salehi suggested to the IRNA network on Tuesday that Iran would take unspecified action if the carrier...

"Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz last week, in response to U.S. and European Union moves to apply sanctions on its oil industry. Only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, the strait sees the passage of roughly 28 tanker ships a day, half loaded, half empty. Some 17 million barrels of oil—20% of oil traded in the world—go through this chokepoint. If Iran really could close the...

  • "Iran has aggressively pursued diplomatic, economic and strategic relations with an eclectic array of non-Western states. It also expanded activity within regional and international organizations for developing countries.
  • Iran's alliance strategy is intended to undermine international sanctions, sustain its nuclear program and thwart Western efforts to isolate Tehran.
  • ...

"Since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad first became Iran's President in August 2005, the economy has gone from 'bad' to 'worse.' A misery index provides a clear picture of the economic conditions experienced by the majority of Iranians. The index is the sum of the inflation, interest and unemployment rates, minus the annual percentage change in per capita GDP."

This article provides an overview of the various sites in Iran that play a role in Iran's nuclear program.

"The existence of a heavy water facility near the town of Arak first emerged with the publication of satellite images by the US-based Institute for Science and International Security in December 2002.

Heavy water is used to moderate the nuclear fission chain reaction either in a certain type of reactor - albeit not the type that Iran is currently building - or produce plutonium for use...

"Despite their geographical distance, the two countries have forged increasingly close ties, a lot of which is down to their shared anti-Americanism, although concrete projects have often lagged behind the rhetoric. ...

But the two countries signed only vague co-operation accords and Chavez gave few signals that Venezuela would seek to undercut toughened sanctions over Iran's nuclear...

"A report by the UN's nuclear watchdog due to be circulated around the world next week will provide fresh evidence of a possible Iranian nuclear weapons programme, bringing the Middle East a step closer to a devastating new conflict, say diplomats."

"Iran’s nuclear program is one of the most polarizing issues in one of the world’s most volatile regions. While American and European officials believe Tehran is planning to build nuclear weapons, Iran’s leadership says that its goal in developing a nuclear program is to generate electricity without dipping into the oil supply it prefers to sell abroad, and to provide fuel for medical reactors...

"On 8 June, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, announced plans to triple Iran's capacity to produce 20% enriched uranium, transferring enrichment from Natanz to the Fordo plant. Inside Iran this announcement by a discredited regime drew little comment and was quickly overshadowed by the domestic political theatre of the latest high-profile tussles between...

"One month to the day after the 10th anniversary of 9/11 comes a sobering moment in the history of the U.S. war on terror: The Department of Justice has charged that 'factions of the Iranian government' plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States by blowing him up inside a Washington, D.C., restaurant."

"The United States reportedly sent a letter to Iran via multiple intermediaries last week warning Tehran that any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz constituted a red line for Washington. The same week, a chemist associated with Iran's nuclear program was killed in Tehran. In Ankara, Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani met with Turkish officials and has been floating hints of...

"On 19 October 1986, the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Edwin Meese, asking that he appoint an independent counsel to investigate the roles of the National Security Council, the NSC staff, and DCI Casey in the contra supply effort."

"The Iran-Iraq War was multifaceted and included religious schisms, border disputes, and political differences. Conflicts contributing to the outbreak of hostilities ranged from centuries old Sunni-versus-Shia and Arab-versus-Persian religious and ethnic disputes, to a personal animosity between Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeini. Above all, Iraq launched the war in an effort to consolidate...

"The Iranian military has launched a barrage of missiles at 'mock enemy bases' as part of a major war games exercise aimed at dissuading any potential outsider attack, the nation's state-run media reported today."

"The head of US intelligence has warned that there is an increasing likelihood that Iran could carry out attacks in America or against US and allied targets around the world.

The warning from the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, reflects rapidly rising tensions over Iran's nuclear programme after the US and EU announced embargoes on the Iranian oil trade in the past few...

"Fearing cyber espionage attacks, Iran reportedly plans to shift official government bodies offline in response to several online attacks in the past years."

"Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemist who worked in the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, was killed when an assassin riding a motorcycle attached an explosive device to his Peugeot 405.

Roshan, 32, was the fifth Iranian nuclear scientist to be killed since 2007. Two attacks using an identical modus operandi occurred in 2010, claiming the lives of one nuclear physicist and wounding...

"Iran is to move key ministries and state bodies off the worldwide internet next month in an effort to shield them behind a secure computer wall from disruptive cyber attacks like the Stuxnet and Flame viruses."

"The way ahead with the dispute between Iran's nuclear programme and the possible response of western powers is foggy. News from last weeks give some base for optimism (peaceful solution) while others are increasing the use of military option. What's clear to me is that the stakes are now higher than before.

From my point of view following aspects may have influence for one or the...

"The foundation of Iran’s nuclear program can be traced to extensive Chinese and Russian cooperation in the 1990s, according to a former U.S. intelligence official who specialized on Tehran’s program."

"There has been a lot of discussion recently of Iranian involvement in Latin America, especially with the recent plot involving an assassination attempt against the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

Of course, a lot of people are going to Latin America these days: the Russians, the Chinese— and even the Europeans. That’s because the region is abundant in natural resources,...

"Iraq would be drastically affected should Iran block the Hormuz Strait. Most of the oil Iraq produces is exported via the Strait. The scenario is seeing Iraq, distinct because of its good relations with both the US and Iran, practice its new diplomacy again."

"Recent reports indicate Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2015, if not earlier. What has been largely ignored is Iran’s ability to acquire an equally destructive device, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon. Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and I recently penned an article describing how Iran can achieve its destructive ends — 'a world without...

"The U.S. government lost a spy drone over Iran. Is it part of an ongoing covert war?

Either Iranian forces shot it down or it fell out of the sky. We may never know which, but now the Obama administration wants it back. Iran says no. It is apparently studying the craft’s advanced stealth and other technology—and perhaps attempting to reverse engineer it."

"This week saw a three-day Iranian military exercise in the Gulf, in which the country's long and short range missile technology was on display."

"Despite economical growth, there was much opposition against the Mohammad Reza Shah, and how he used the secret police, the Savak, to control the country. Strong Shi'i opposition against the Shah, and the country came close to a situation of civil war. The opposition was lead by Ayatollah Khomeini, who lived in exile in Iraq and later in France. His message was distributed through music...

"Israel has upgraded its top-tier Arrow II missile defense, a Defense Ministry official confirmed Sunday, as the country girds for possible attacks from Iran and Syria."

"Thursday promises to be another dramatic day in Iran, and to lift hopes here in the West. It’s the 31st anniversary of the 1979 revolution, and opposition leaders have scheduled rallies of the sort that the increasingly repressive government has had trouble gracefully repressing. As we watch reformers once again face off against the black-clad motorcycle-riding Basij militia, it will be...

"Western leaders talk big about Iran's nuclear ambitions being 'unacceptable'. But what they say makes little difference. The Iranians really want nuclear weapons, and the rest of the world has no credible way to stop them. We are going to see a nuclear-armed Iran whether we like it or not. The challenge now is to work out what that means, and what we should do about it.

Last week's...

"Admiral Michael McConnell, the U.S. director of national intelligence, says there is 'overwhelming evidence' that Tehran is supporting insurgents in Iraq and 'compelling' evidence that the same is happening in Afghanistan. McConnell cites insurgents’ increasing use of effective roadside bombs known as Explosively Formed Projectiles that are clearly traceable to Iran.

Speaking about...

This piece lists the names of various missiles, describes their propellants and range, and then describes their type and measurement.

"An attack on the British embassy in Tehran. A desperate pursuit of nuclear weapons. A plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Alone, any one of these actions by Iran’s regime would be cause for alarm, but taken together they make it undeniably clear that the Iranian threat cannot be ignored. Now, there is news of another effort by Iran to take aim at the United States, this...

"The Strait of Hormuz lies between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, providing passage for some 15.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, amounting to one third of the world’s seaborne oil shipments. In a word, it is a 34-mile-wide chokepoint, making Iran’s threat this week to shut down the strait all the more serious for the global community.

The Iranian regime’s provocative warnings...

"Voters in the pivotal battleground states of Ohio and Florida show strong interest in global security issues, and want to hear the candidates' views on defense, Iran and terrorism in the final presidential debate, according to a new poll conducted jointly by leading Democratic and Republican pollsters for Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs."

"America's most sophisticated stealth jet fighters have been quietly deployed to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran's mainland, according to an industry report, but the Air Force adamantly denied the jets' presence is a threat to the Middle East nation."

"Washington craves a 'quick fix' for Iran. Some hope tougher sanctions will stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Others, lacking faith in sanctions, want to bomb Iran. Still others urge a deterrence strategy to contain the 'inevitable'  threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. In fact, no one strategy will work. It took a combination of policies maintained over...

"Is Iran violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)?

The answer isn't black and white. It depends on whom you ask – and how deftly you define 'violation.' But in essence, Iran is following the letter but not always the spirit of the NPT.

Iran claims it is in complete compliance with its NPT obligations, including declaring all its nuclear material and allowing...

"Nuclear power is back in favour, at least in government circles. Today, energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband will expand upon the UK's plans for a fleet of new nuclear reactors. Elsewhere, Sweden has reversed its decades-old ban on nuclear power and an increasing number of countries are expanding their nuclear generating capacity."

"President Obama's comment to a Spanish-language television station in Miami that Venezuela doesn't pose a 'serious' threat to national security has provoked a storm of criticism from Republicans. According to Obama, 'what Mr. Chavez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us. . . . My main concern when it comes to Venezuela is having the Venezuelan people have a voice in their affairs and that you end up ultimately having fair and free elections, which we don't always see.'"

"WASHINGTON — One day before leaving for Prague to sign an arms-control agreement with Russia, President Obama on Tuesday outlined a major shift in the nation's nuclear security policy that won plaudits from defense experts, nuclear watchdog groups and even a former top Bush-era nuclear security official.

'Like all complicated decisions, it (Obama's policy) has strengths and weaknesses...

"He didn’t exactly campaign on peace, but who expected Barack Obama to sign off on the largest US arms deal in history less than halfway into his first term as President?

The planned $60 billion deal with Saudi Arabia has been in the works for awhile, but has made fresh headlines around the world following a Wall Street Journal story last week."

"In his address to the joint session of Congress, President Obama said that 'We cannot shun the negotiating table' in conducting our foreign policy. He’s previously elaborated that 'if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.' And Iran’s president Ahmedinijad tentatively welcomes 'talks based on mutual respect and in a fair atmosphere.'...

"A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program.

Those officers, most of whom agreed to...

"From 1949 on, sentiment for nationalization of Iran's oil industry grew. In 1949 the Majlis approved the First Development Plan (1948-55), which called for comprehensive agricultural and industrial development of the country. The Plan Organization was established to administer the program, which was to be financed in large part from oil revenues. Politically conscious Iranians were aware,...

"The state of Iranian cyberspace is yet another example of the repressive relationship between the Islamic Republic's government and the people of Iran. A report by Freedom House this April ranked Iran last in regards to Internet freedom. This dismal ranking is based on Iran's 'extensive and sophisticated methods of control,' which include 'tampering with Internet access, mobile-telephone...

"The world's attention may have wandered from Iran, but recent reports from the country reveal a government that is as willing as ever to suppress dissent and a judiciary that still plans to execute a woman saved from a stoning sentence last month."

"State sponsorship of terrorism remains one of the most important factors in fostering international terrorism. A number of governments afford terrorists safehaven, travel documents, arms, training, and technical expertise. In addition to support for terrorist groups, some governments engage directly in terrorism as a tool of their foreign and domestic policies. Other governments, though not...

"In 1921 Reza Khan (later Reza Shah Pahlavi), an officer in Iran's only military force (Cossack Brigade) used his troops to support a coup against the government of Qajar Dynasty. Within four years he had established himself as the most powerful person in the country by suppressing rebellions and establishing order. In 1925 a specially convened assembly deposed Ahmad Shah, the last ruler of...

"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta outlined some red lines when it comes to Iran in an interview on 'Face the Nation' Sunday, saying the U.S. would not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon or to block the Strait of Hormuz, which is a key passageway for oil from the Middle East.

'Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear...

"Today on CBS’s Face the Nation, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reiterated the Obama administration’s positon that Iran has not yet made the decision to build a nuclear weapon, but added, 'we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.' Panetta also said Iran getting the bomb would be a 'red line' for the United States. 'They need to know that if they take that step, that they’re...

"The U.S. will not 'walk away' from the challenge of Iran's stepped-up arming of Iraqi insurgents who are targeting and killing American troops, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday.

'We're very concerned about Iran and the weapons they're providing to extremists in Iraq,' he told a small group of soldiers on his first visit to Iraq as Pentagon chief.

'We cannot sit...

"Iranian presidential elections in June 2005 brought a surprise victory to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and an end to an uncertain era of reform in the Islamic theocracy. Ahmadinejad, the conservative mayor of Tehran, won 62 percent of the vote in a run-off election with the favored candidate and a former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani."

"American diplomats led a walkout at the U.N. General Assembly Thursday as Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fiercely attacked the United States and major West European nations as 'arrogant powers' ruled by greed and eager for military adventurism.

The two U.S. diplomats, who specialize in the Middle East, were followed out of the chamber by diplomats from more than 30 countries....

"Last December 21st, the Italian daily La Stampa published a story putlining the real meaning of the Chavez-Iranian alliance.

Regular flights between Caracas, Damascus and Tehran constitute a device for Venezuela to help Iran send Syria material for the manufacturing of missiles, according to La Stampa. The flights are actually part of a 2006 military cooperation agreement signed...

"In light of the administration's announcement that all American combat troops will be removed from Iraq by the end of 2011, it is particularly important for the United States government to consider how that decision will affect Iraq's future security, and especially how it may affect Iran's ability to influence or even dominate Iraq. There is no question that Iran has huge equities in Iraq,...

"It is no secret that since the emergence of Iraq as a Shiite state after the invasion of the United States, there has been a major battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia for a new balance of power in the Middle East.

In its simplest form this is a battle between Sunni and Shiite forces in Iraq. The more complicated version is a proxy war in Lebanon, where Saudi Arabia supports Sunni...

"As the 2012 State of the Union approaches, the public continues to give the highest priority to economic issues. Fully 86% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, and 82% rate improving the job situation as a top priority. None of the other 20 issues tested in this annual survey rate as a top priority for more than 70% of Americans...

"Russia fears Israel will push the United States into a military conflict with Iran which could retaliate by blocking oil shipments from the Gulf, a confidant of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

'There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, towards which Israel is pushing the Americans,' Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Kremlin's Security Council, told Interfax news...

"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that medium-level uranium enrichment had begun at the Fordo plant near Qom in northern Iran.

Tehran has said it plans to carry out uranium enrichment there for purely peaceful purposes. The West argues Iran is building a nuclear weapons capacity.

In November 2011 the IAEA released its latest report on Iran's nuclear...

"What international sanctions are already in place on Iran?"

"Iran has successfully sent its first domestically made satellite into orbit, state radio reported Tuesday, another development in the country's ambitious space program that has worried many international observers.

The satellite called Omid, or hope in Farsi, was launched late Monday after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave the order to proceed, according to the radio report. State...

"There are fears that the upheaval in the Middle East will exacerbate the deep rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The region’s geopolitical powers have long been locked in a so-called Cold War, but the Arab awakening is changing fronts in their proxy battles and both are vying for greater influence in a new Middle East.

In a Q&A, Christopher Boucek and Karim Sadjadpour assess...

"Mitt Romney and Republicans are taking sharp issue with President Obama's assertion earlier this week that leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was not much a security threat to the United States."

"A week ago Ron Paul tried to convey how the ever-tightening sanctions on Iran--which may soon include an embargo on its oil--look from an Iranian point of view: It's as if China were to blockade the Gulf of Mexico, he said--'an act of war'.

This is sheer conjecture; Ron Paul is no expert on Iran. But now someone who does have relevant credentials has weighed in, and the picture he...

"At the end of his two terms in office, Ronald Reagan viewed with satisfaction the achievements of his innovative program known as the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government."

"Russia, which built Iran's first nuclear power station, said on Thursday it might help the Islamic Republic construct more atomic plants -- dangling a carrot in front of Tehran amid tense diplomacy over its nuclear programme.

Oil-producing Iran finally plugged the $1 billion Bushehr nuclear power station into its national grid in September, 19 years after Russia first agreed to build...

"Iran may be under United Nations sanctions for nuclear arms technology, but Russia has recently sold Tehran new conventional weapons. This week, Moscow said it has completed deliveries of anti-aircraft missiles — and it is ready to sell more arms to Iran.

Iran may be under United Nations sanctions for nuclear-arms technology, but Russia has recently sold Tehran new conventional weapons...

"Russia opposes new sanctions against Iran and believes negotiations with Tehran on its disputed nuclear program can be resumed, Moscow's U.N. ambassador said Friday.

Vitaly Churkin told a news conference that Russia also believes the 'threats and insinuations of possible military action against Iran' over its nuclear program are not helpful. He urged the international community to...

"Russia has ruled out supporting fresh sanctions against Iran, despite a UN report that says Tehran may be trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Britain, France and the US all said they would pursue new sanctions against Iran in the wake of the IAEA report.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the report showed the need for the world to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons.

The...

"When the Cold War abruptly ended in 1991, Vyacheslav Danilenko was a Soviet weapons scientist in need of a new line of work. At 57, he had three decades of experience inside a top-secret nuclear facility and one marketable skill: the ability to make objects blow up with nanosecond precision.

Danilenko struggled to become a businessman, traveling through Europe and even to the United...

"Hillary Clinton telling Iran that the US is looking for sanctions that bite is like telling them they’re going to be grounded and cannot go outside.

Sanctions don’t work as far as political threats are concerned in the Middle East – at best they are 'hit or miss.'"

"Amid escalating concern about Tehran's nuclear program and its belligerence over the crucial Strait of Hormuz oil corridor, Mr Netanyahu said international pressure was working and the Iranian economy was 'showing clear signs of stress'.

'For the first time, I see Iran wobble under the sanctions that have been adopted and especially under the threat of strong sanctions on their central...

"Many in the West would like to see Iran punished for its nuclear ambitions. Tehran's residents would like those people to take a glimpse into their lives.

The European Union announced Monday it is banning the import of Iranian crude oil and blocking trade in gold, diamonds, and precious metals, among other steps, adding to sanctions already imposed by the United States and the United...

"The U.S. State Department considers Iran the world's 'most active state sponsor of terrorism.' U.S. officials say Iran provides funding, weapons, training, and sanctuary to numerous terrorist groups--most notably in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon--posing a security concern to the international community. Iran's declarations that it has successfully enriched uranium and developed new missile...

"Iran's threat to close a vital international waterway if stricter sanctions are imposed on Iranian oil exports is more than just bellicose and provocative. It is also a test of U.S. will and commitment in the Persian Gulf at a time when our role in the region is changing."

"Sudan's longtime ties to Iran— and the two nations' roles in arming Islamic militants — have come under scrutiny in the wake of an explosion at a Khartoum weapons factory, blamed on an Israeli airstrike, and the dockings of two Iranian warships at a Sudanese port."

"The Stuxnet computer virus, created to sabotage Iran's nuclear programme, was the result of collaboration between at least one Western power and the Israeli secret service, a British cyber security expert has found."

"Amid reports of link between Yarmouk weapons plant and Iran, statement by Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited by AFP, accuses Israel of spreading 'fabricated' information."

"Whether Iran’s 'Green Revolution' will ever have a chance of spearheading the societal change that will finally free Iran from its oppressive theocracy could depend on whether the fledgling movement receives support from abroad. In the case of other recent 'color revolutions,' such as Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution, action by the United...

"In a cave hewed into the craggy rock of the north Syrian countryside, a dozen men sit planning the future of the Syrian insurgency. A mix of army deserters and volunteers, they are part of the Free Syrian Army, a group — one of many across Syria — that is trying to take on the army of President Bashar Assad."

"The Iranian regime is at a crossroads. The parliamentary elections on March 2, 2012 are arguably one of the most consequential electoral events in the 32-year history of the Iranian theocracy. The legislative poll could serve as a barometer measuring the regime's legitimacy, assessing the state of its internal conflicts and projecting its political future. But what distinguishes this election...

"Tension between the United States and Iran reached levels not seen in more than 20 years when, on Wednesday, Iranian military officials threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the 34-mile wide channel through which more than one-third of the world’s oil tanker traffic passes. Habibollah Sayyari, commander of Iran’s navy, bragged that closing the Strait would be easier than drinking a glass...

"With both sides demonstrating their readiness for conflict yesterday, the Pentagon revealed that it has for the first time sent an amphibious vessel, the USS Ponce, into the region that could be used to transport a landing force. It has a capacity of about 900 troops."

"Since 1991, Russia has been a major supplier of modern arms to Iran.

The Russian-built nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian city of Bushehr is due to finally come on line this year.

In advance, Russia has shipped more than 100 tonnes of low-enriched uranium reactor fuel rods to Bushehr.

Moscow has earned billions, helping Iran bypass US and European Union (EU)...

  • "Iran's conventional army, navy and air force are severely limited in capability, but are strong enough to create major problems for any invasion. They are unlikely to win any major military clash if the United States intervened decisively to defeat them.
  • Like the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran's conventional forces have...

"In this short piece I will illustrate the democratic process of Dr. Mosaddegh's ascendance to power by briefly discussing the historical context, the letter and spirit of the law."

"The IAEA report and annex released today provides disturbing and 'credible' additional details regarding Iranian nuclear warhead development efforts that have allowed Tehran to acquire some of the expertise needed to build nuclear weapons, should it decide to do so.

The broad outline in the IAEA’s latest report on the military dimensions of Iran’s program is not new, but rather,...

"In 1985, while Iran and Iraq were at war, Iran made a secret request to buy weapons from the United States. McFarlane sought Reagan's approval, in spite of the embargo against selling arms to Iran. McFarlane explained that the sale of arms would not only improve U.S. relations with Iran, but might in turn lead to improved relations with Lebanon, increasing U.S. influence in the troubled...

"The hostage crisis was the most dramatic in a series of problems facing Americans at home and abroad in the last year of the Carter presidency. Was Carter to blame for allowing it to happen? It's hard to say, since the hostage crisis was merely the latest event in the long and complex relationship between the United States and Iran."

"The Cold War began in 1945 when Russian leader Josef Stalin refused to take his troops out of Iran; the fall of the shah in 1979 marked the beginning of the war's end. Yet even today real and imagined ghosts of that war, in the shape of an eclectic history of U.S.-Iran relations, and of the role the United States played in the fall of Mossadegh, continue to haunt some of the diplomatic...

"I get the impression after a month in the United States and many public and private discussions on the Middle East that the issue of Iran – or the Iranian 'threat' as it has long been called in many quarters in the U.S. – is no longer as pressing or threatening a matter as it has been in recent years. The main reason perhaps is that when it comes to the Middle East, the United States...

"Washington cannot make a deal for the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it can and should help them do so themselves. At the very least, it should not make matters worse by allowing itself to be distracted yet again from the main task at hand. If anything, successful U.S. efforts to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians would make it...

"The CIA history of operation TPAJAX excerpted below was first disclosed by James Risen of The New York Times in its editions of April 16 and June 18, 2000, and posted in this form on its website at: http://www.nytimes.com/library/...

"Ignoring international law, Britain and the US opted for the high-risk strategy of regime change in order to pre-empt a volatile enemy in the Middle East. It was not Iraq, however, that was in the firing line but Iran, and the aftershocks are still being felt.

Fifty years ago this week, the CIA and the British SIS orchestrated a coup d'etat that toppled the democratically elected...

"Throughout history new technologies have revolutionised warfare, sometimes abruptly, sometimes only gradually: think of the chariot, gunpowder, aircraft, radar and nuclear fission. So it has been with information technology. Computers and the internet have transformed economies and given Western armies great advantages, such as the ability to send remotely piloted aircraft across the world to...

"U.S. authorities said Tuesday they foiled an Iranian-directed plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington, a rare instance where Tehran is accused of fomenting terrorism on U.S. soil.

Prosecutors alleged an elaborate international plot, with two men, including an Iranian-born U.S. citizen who had been living in Texas, using funding from the Iranian government to try...

"Military commanders and intelligence officers are pushing for greater authority to conduct covert operations to thwart Iranian influence in neighboring Iraq, according to U.S. officials."

"Many have compared the coordinated propaganda campaign now being disseminated about The Iranian Threat to that which preceded the Iraq War, but there is one notable difference. Whereas the American media in 2002 followed the lead of the U.S. government in beating the war drums against Saddam, they now seem even more eager for war against Iran than the U.S. government itself, which actually...

"The publication Monday of the key judgments from the U.S. intelligence assessment of Iran's nuclear program has reignited the debate about how the United States should seek to deal with the potential threat from an Iranian bomb. Over the past few months there has been growing speculation about the possibility of military action by the United States or its ally, Israel, targeting Iran's...

"Despite Monday's announcement that U.S. intelligence agencies now believe Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, officials continue to insist that 'all options are on the table' with regard to Iran.

Indeed, the U.S. military has been doing detailed planning for years now for a possible attack on Iran. Earlier this month, the Federation of American Scientists obtained a...

"Preparing for a strike against Iran involves far more than just military preparations; it also requires making a case to try and gain public support. And that is likely to be much harder after the release this month of the key judgments from the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, which said Iran had most probably halted its nuclear weapons program.

The estimate has faced criticism...

"What assets and weapons systems would the U.S. military likely use in any strike against Iran's nuclear program, and what targets would it seek to use them against?

Historically, the military has used just two carrier groups for actions in the Persian Gulf. That was the deployment before Operation Desert Strike, a two-day bombing campaign in 1996, and Operation Desert Fox, a three-day...

"By definition all military campaigns plan for the worst case. Because any U.S. attack against Iran would likely provoke an Iranian military response, the U.S. plan must include taking out Iranian air defense and naval assets and Tehran's robust ballistic missile capabilities.

Iran doesn't stand much chance of directly defending against a U.S. air attack. Much of its defense is outdated...

"What would be the consequences of a U.S. military attack against Iran's nuclear program? Likely one of the first would be another blow to the international credibility of the United States. Absent authorization from the U.N. Security Council, such an attack would not only be a violation of international law, it would run counter to the Algiers Accords.

Negotiated at the end of the...

"The U.S. Navy rescued more than a dozen Iranian sailors who had been held at sea by a band of pirates for weeks, the Pentagon announced today.

According to the military's account, an American helicopter from the destroyer USS Kidd 'detected a suspected pirate skiff alongside' an Iranian-flagged fishing ship in the Arabian Sea approximately 175 miles southeast of Muscat, Oman, Thursday...

"The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships off the Iranian coast and antimissile systems in at least four Arab countries, according to administration and military officials."

"Iran's supreme leader told Iraq's prime minister on Monday that the American forces in Iraq were the biggest obstacle to Iraqi stability."

"The U.S. warned Iran on Wednesday it will not tolerate any disruption of traffic through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran threatened to choke off the vital Persian Gulf oil transport route if Washington imposes sanctions targeting its crude exports.

The increasingly heated exchange raises new tensions in a standoff that has the potential to spark military reprisals and propel oil prices...

"The Obama administration on Monday will name Iran, including its central bank, as a territory of 'primary money laundering concern,' say senior U.S. officials, in an effort to further pressure Tehran after recent disclosures about its alleged role in terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation.

Also, the U.K. announced that it is imposing sanctions against Iran which will cut off all U...

"Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are on a three-day visit to Iran, to try to determine the purpose of the country's nuclear programme.

The visit comes at a time of escalating tension between Tehran and the West over Iran's nuclear activities.

The director general of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, says Iran needs to engage and answer the agency's questions...

"Trade sanctions are meant to destabilize regimes, forcing them to compromise with the aggressing government. Sanctions do this by threatening the regime's survivability, by undermining any support it may have amongst the population. These are the intentions of the American government, supposedly as a result of Iran's 'dangerous' nuclear program. (Ironically, sanctions may only increase the...

"The United States is to intensify its military build up in the Persian Gulf by deploying miniature underwater drones to hunt for Iranian mines."

"The United States is increasing its dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia, raising its imports from the kingdom by more than 20 percent this year, even as fears of military conflict in the tinderbox Persian Gulf region grow. The increase in Saudi oil exports to the United States began slowly last summer and has picked up pace this year. Until then, the United States had decreased its dependence...

"US officials have revealed that a military build-up in the Gulf region includes the deployment of warships, F-22 stealth fighter jets and a new amphibious base to launch special forces attacks."

"US Attorney-General Eric Holder confirmed yesterday that two men had been charged with conspiring to assassinate Saudi ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in an elaborate plot involving hired killers from a Mexican drugs cartel.

Mr Holder said the conspiracy was conceived, sponsored and directed from Iran and he pointed specifically to senior levels of the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guard...

"A senior U.S. official urged South Korea on Tuesday to reduce its crude oil imports from Iran, ratcheting up pressure on Washington's close ally to help confront Tehran over its nuclear program.

South Korea restricts financial dealings with more than 200 groups and individuals with suspected links to Iran's nuclear program. But Seoul, which relies on Iran for up to 10 percent of its...

"The United States and its British and Canadian allies are preparing to roll out a coordinated set of sanctions against Iran on Monday amid growing concern that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, sources tell ABC News.

U.S. officials familiar with the plans say they target Iran’s nuclear sector as well as plugging key gaps that have allowed Iran to work around existing sanctions on...

"Venezuela is building unmanned drone aircraft as part of military cooperation with Iran and other allies, President Hugo Chavez said, in a move likely to heighten U.S. anxiety over his socialist government's role in the region."

"In June 2009, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez congratulated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his re-election, stating that 'Ahmadinejad's triumph was a triumph all the way. They are trying to stain Ahmadinejad's triumph and through that weaken the government and the Islamic revolution. I know they will not succeed.'"

"Ever since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected Iran's president in 2005, relations between Iran and the West have steadily deteriorated."

"The title speaks by itself; by the end of this year or latest next year there will be a triggering moment/event which will provoke the Israeli State backed by the US Military to attack Iran and very likely invade it. These aren't just rumors or conspiracy theories, this is reality and we will have to face it, regardless of whether it pleases us or not.

The current Iranian President...

"Renewal talks for the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are scheduled for May, yet the United States and other nuclear powers seem indifferent to its fate. This is remarkable, considering the addition of Iran and North Korea as states that either possess or seek nuclear weapons programs. A recent United Nations report warned starkly: 'We are approaching a point at which the erosion of...

"There are indeed good reasons to oppose Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons, and likewise many steps the United States and the international community can and should take to try to avoid that eventuality. But an Iran with a bomb would not be anywhere near as dangerous as most people assume, and a war to try to stop it from acquiring one would be less successful, and far more costly, than...

"What is the value of Iran's apparent capture of a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone, reportedly monitoring Iran's nuclear program, to Iran?

If this is a RQ-170, which it sure looks like, the irony is that it still isn’t any kind of major victory for Iran. They’ve been handed a pretty good propaganda victory, especially in changing the international focus from their nuclear program and...

"Just consider what one single, isolated attack on American soil more than a decade ago did to Sullivan, Packer and company: the desire for violence which that one attack 11 years ago unleashed is seemingly boundless by time or intensity. Given the ongoing American quest for violence from that one-day attack, just imagine the impact which continuous attacks over the course of a full decade...

"As the UN Security Council debates options to deal with Tehran's nuclear program, experts say sanctions—provided they include Iran's oil and gas sectors—would have a damaging effect on Iran's already-battered economy."

"The Iranian government restored diplomatic relations with Britain in December 1953, and a new oil agreement was concluded in the following year. The Shah, fearing both Soviet influence and internal opposition, sought to bolster his regime by edging closer to Britain and the United States. In the Cold War atmosphere, relations with the Soviet Union were correct but not cordial."

"On the choking, gridlocked streets of Tehran, motorcycles are taking on an increasingly sinister aura. It is not just military officials and government scientists who look twice in their wing mirrors when they see a motorbike sidle up alongside them. What was once considered plain practical or occasionally hip has now been tainted by its new role as a messenger of death."

"Mitt Romney is tired of hearing President Obama threaten Iran in only vague terms. Enough of this 'all options are on the table' stuff. Obama, Romney says, should declare that 'we are considering military options' and 'they're not just on the table--they are in our hand.'

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Romney will get some support next week when Prime Minister Benjamin...

"Ponder the part of the debt ceiling compromise that has some conservatives in a state of upset: if a future deal isn't reached to reduce the deficit, automatic cuts to defense spending will result, something they're calling a threat to national security.

Is it?"

"Why would Iran authorize a major terrorist operation on American soil? Skeptics say the much-discussed 'foiled' Iranian plot makes no sense. We will know soon enough if the Feds have sufficient evidence related to this specific plot. But Iranian leaders may, in fact, have a motive to accelerate direct attacks on the U.S.: Shia Islamic eschatology, or 'End Times' theology.

Iran’s...

Chart or Graph

"Table 22 gives the values of arms delivered to Near East nations by suppliers or categories of suppliers for the periods 2002-2005 and 2006-2009. These values are expressed in current U.S. dollars."

"Some companies completely refuse to produce their products in or transfer their intellectual properties to countries they believe pose a threat."

"Amnesty's 2010 Death Penalty Report named China as the top executor with thousands of executions."

"Certain countries are emerging as clear sources of threats to sensitive data, in particular to intellectual property."

The distance between Tehran, Iran and Washington D.C. "is 10200 kilometers or 6338 miles or 5507 nautical miles.

This chart compares the 2001-2011 economic freedom score of Iran to that of the United States. The U.S. registers as "mostly free," while Iran's score registers in the "repressed" category.

Should Iran receive long range missiles from North Korea, or develop its own, it could threaten a much wider area.

"When asked which country represents the greatest danger to the U.S., more Americans volunteer Iran (28%) than name any other country, though nearly as many (22%) name China."

"We account for nearly 50 percent of all military spending; our allies and potential strategic partners contribute much of the rest. (See Figure 2.)"

"In this report, we identify 10 vulnerable points along the supply chain or 'choke' points where disruption could interrupt a substantial volume of oil flow."

The air routes and bombs that Israel has with the ability to attack Iran Nuclear sites.

"The EU is the second biggest importer of Iranian oil, after China, while the US banned imports in 1979."

"[I]f the resulting spike in inflation (see graph) persists, Ahmadinejad risks worsening poverty and alienating his lower-class political base."

Iran boasts the word’s third largest petroleum reserves, following Saudi Arabia and Canada, and the second largest gas reserves, after Russia. Iran also has the Middle East and North Africa region’s second largest economy, after Saudi Arabia, and the second largest population, after Egypt [as seen in this table].

The State Department, the implementer of U.S. democracy promotion programs for Iran, has used funds in appropriations [outlined in Table 8] to support pro-democracy programs run by at least 26 organizations based in the United States and in Europe; the Department refuses to name grantees for security reasons. The funds shown below have been obligated through DRL and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in partnership with USAID.

According to this study from Freedom House, Iranian internet freedom is growing more limited as time passes. Iran heavily censors its internet content and arrests those who express alternative opinions.

"Work to build a nuclear power plant at Bushehr began in 1974, but came to a halt in 1979 with the Islamic revolution."

"The recent tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and disputes between the U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf have garnered a good deal of public attention."

This chart provides an overview of the types and ranges of missiles Iran possesses.

This map shows the location of various sites important to Iran's nuclear program. A heavy water plant at Arak, a nuclear power station at Bushehr, an uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, and an uranium enrichment plant at Natanz make up some of the important areas.

Iran's misery index for the 1991-2008 period is presented in the accompanying chart. It must be stressed that Iran's true inflation, interest and unemployment rates are probably higher than those reported. In consequence, the true level of the index is probably higher than the one in the accompanying chart.

Iran and its relationship with Venezuela in regards to developing and sharing nuclear weaponry.

Iran’s natural gas reserves are the second largest in the world and the energy industry estimates that Iran flares enough natural gas annually to generate electricity equivalent to the output of four Bushehr reactors. Iran's energy reserves are compared in Figure One.

Iran’s trading relations have changed over time as international concern over Iran’s nuclear program has affected economic activity. Iran’s trade has shifted from Western countries to the developing world. [This figure] highlights trends in Iran’s [export] trading relationships.

Iran’s trading relations have changed over time as international concern over Iran’s nuclear program has affected economic activity. Iran’s trade has shifted from Western countries to the developing world. [This figure] highlights trends in Iran’s [import] trading relationships.

"Based on what Iran has admitted when confronted by the IAEA, it has a diverse nuclear program dispersed across the country at ten different locations. Figure 1 and Table 2 highlight these locations. Table 2 also provides some background on the activities at each site (see Figure 1 and Table 2)."

According to a 2010 public opinion poll, 71% of Iranians supported their country's development and possession of nuclear weapons, while 21% did not.

A map showing the location of Iran and its neighboring countries.

"Military expenditure data provides an easily identifiable measure of the scale of resources absorbed by military activities. Military expenditure is an input measure. As such it is not directly related to the output of military activities, such as military capability."

"There are thus very few alternative outlets for oil exports from the Persian Gulf if the traffic, which represents approximately 14 Mb/d, going through Hormuz was compromised (figure 5)."

The game began with a series of economic results based on a scenario in which Iran began blockading the Strait of Hormuz in January 2007. The assump­tion was that Iran may succeed in fully blockading the strait for up to one week, but after that, some oil shipping would slowly resume. Chart 1 shows the changes in crude oil prices in the scenarios.

"The Obama administration has thus far managed to successfully tighten the economic screws on Iran and now they've apparently convinced the Europeans to do the same."

The accompanying chart plots the course of the Iranian rial against the U.S. dollar. Since 1989, when Rafsanjani became President, the rial has lost 99.3% of its value against the U.S. dollar. The maxi-devaluations during the Rafsanjani and Khatami periods didn't buy Iran anything – except misery.

"The Strait of Hormuz forms a strategic link between the oil fields of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean (figure 4)."

"The narrow Strait of Hormuz is considered one of the most, if not the most strategic strait of water on the planet."

This graphic describes the various ships in and around the Persian Gulf area, as well as the amount of oil that comes from the Middle Eastern countries surrounding the Gulf.

This chart illustrates the structure of Iran's government, each of its governmental bodies' powers, and their interactions.

"'Over 30,000 Iranian websites, including those of key institutions such as ministries, were hosted abroad, mainly in North America,' the Islamic Republic News Agency cited Ali Hakim Javadi, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Information Technology, as saying without specifying the countries involved."

"However, a plurality of respondents opposed the development of nuclear weapons, with 41 percent strongly opposing their development and 5 percent somewhat opposing their development (see Figure 4.2)."

Iran’s economic freedom score is 42.1, making its economy the 171st freest in the 2011 Index. Its score has decreased by 1.3 points from last year, driven by lower scores in freedom from corruption, trade freedom, and labor freedom.

"As Figure One shows, the Gulf’s importance as a percent of total world exports will most likely also increase, and the total volume of Gulf exports will increase from 22.5 to 34.3 MMBD."

"A map of the estimated range of Iranian missiles and the countries within reach."

"The picture speaks by itself; the actual reason for such a massive presence of US and UK troops in the Middle East isn't because of the so-called 'Al-Quaeda terrorists'; on the other hand the true motive behind the daily attacks and bombings in the Islamic countries is the very presence of these troops."

When a survey group consisting of Moms and individuals from Gen-Y was asked about their greatest national security concern, America's dependency on foreign oil was one of the highest.

While U.S. trade with Iran is low compared to U.S. trade with other countries, there has been notable growth in U.S.-Iranian trade in recent years [as one can see in this table].

"Iran's centrifuge program has advanced considerably in the last year (see charts ...). Iran has succeeded in manufacturing and installing large numbers of centrifuges and ramping up its production of LEU."

"Among those who are aware of the recent tensions between the U.S. and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program and disputes in the Persian Gulf, a majority say that it is more important to take a firm stand against Iranian actions (54%) than to avoid a military conflict with Iran (39%)."

Analysis Report White Paper

"Writing ten years ago in June 2000, Riad al-Turk, a prominent Syrian opposition leader and the former secretary general of the Syrian Communist Party (Political Bureau), asked in an article whether Syria will remain a 'Kingdom of Silence'—a country where criticism of government policies is banned. His question still resonates today."

"This juxtaposition of the activities of Iran's formal and informal foreign policy leadership illustrates the complexity of Iranian diplomacy. Both Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, the regime's founder, and the current Supreme Leader have used personal envoys and trusted agents to conduct a parallel foreign policy outside the confines of the foreign ministry and beyond the oversight of the executive branch."

Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions are ominous in light of its hostile foreign policy and longstanding sup­port for terrorism. But Iran's repeated threats to annihilate the state of Israel while it develops the world's most dan­gerous weapons have created an even more explosive situ­ation.

"This fact sheet provides general information about the Iranian sanctions programs under the Iranian Transactions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 560, and the Iranian Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 535. These sanctions are administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control ('OFAC')."

"The United States needs a defense budget worthy of its name, one that protects Americans rather than wasting vast sums embroiling us in controversies remote from our interests. This paper outlines such a defense strategy and the substantial cuts in military spending that it allows."

"The tensions are a particular worry for China, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, followed by India and Japan. Only Saudi Arabia and Angola sell more crude than Iran to China."

"A series of high-profile events in 2010 and 2011 highlighted the increasing and multifaceted threat of cyberattacks."

Proponents of a containment policy toward Iran are ignoring the harsh realities inherent in seriously pursuing such a policy. First, the U.S. has been trying to contain Iran since the Iranian revolution in 1979, with little success. If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, it will become even more difficult to contain.

"But Iran will reach another threshold by acquiring nuclear weapons—the ability to keep America and its allies in constant fear. For a state that has formed its national security policy largely around terrorism, that is quite an accomplishment."

"The ideological and intellectual foundation for modern radical Islamism is therefore an uncompromisingly suspicious and hostile perspective regarding the nature of the relationship between an Islamic society and the West. This common thread binds all radical Islamist groups today, including the radicals within the ruling Iranian clergy."

"The Iranian regime has long had an ambivalent relationship with the internet, viewing it alternately as a catalyst for economic development and diversification or as an invading force that threatens the state‘s strict social, religious, and political values."

The terrorists who killed thousands of innocent people, destroyed the World Trade Center in Manhattan, and damaged the Pentagon delivered a very clear and sobering message: The country that leads the free world is vulnerable within and without. Indeed, watching the World Trade Center disappear in flames and smoke from the window of my apartment will haunt me forever.

"In this report, we identify 10 vulnerable points along the supply chain or 'choke' points where disruption could interrupt a substantial volume of oil flow."

"Looking back at key events in this US‐Iran chronicle is helpful in understanding some of the traditional causes of friction and mistrust between Tehran and Washington."

"The Obama administration should exercise practical diplomacy in securing Iranian cooperation in the Middle East." This article offers suggestions on to how policy-makers and diplomats should approach Iran and the rationales behind them.

"From December 2006 to March 2007, Heritage Foundation scholars conducted a computer simula­tion and gaming exercise that examined the likely economic and policy consequences of a major oil disruption in the Persian Gulf."

"This paper examines British activity in Iran during Reza's rise to the throne and analyzes the longstanding belief that Britain made Reza shah of Iran."

Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader.

"Following the success of the inaugural issue, the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) is delighted to publish this second issue in what we hope will be a series of Iran Human Rights Reviews."

"The international community should project its unified support for human rights in Iran."

The Islamic Republic of Iran has numerous programs for the development and deployment of ballistic missiles and long-range artillery rockets, and—with approximately 1,000 short and long-range missiles—currently possesses the largest number of deployed ballistic missiles in the Middle East.

"With a conventional military and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat from Saddam Hussein’s regime removed, Iran seeks to ensure that Iraq can never again become a threat to Iran, either with or without U.S. forces present in Iraq."

"Although it is possible that negotiations between the leading powers in the international community and Iran may produce a settlement to the vexing issue of Iran's nuclear program, it is more likely that those negotiations will fail. If that happens, U.S. policymakers face a set of highly imperfect options."

The 'Persian' or 'Arabian' Gulf creates major strategic uncertainties for Iran, its neighbors, and the world. It is a 600-mile-long body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula, and one of the most strategic waterways in the world due to its importance in world oil transportation. Incidents in the Gulf can escalate quickly in ways that neither Iran nor its potential opponents intend.

"Key findings from national telephone survey of 702 Iranians between August 30 and Sept 7, 2010 include:

  • Iranians divided on government’s performance.
  • Dissatisfied with economy.
  • Worry over sanctions and isolation.
  • Want to focus on domestic affairs.
  • Favor closer ties to the West.
  • Rising tensions sparked hostility toward the US, Europe...

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, a resource-rich and labor-rich country in the Middle East, is a central focus of U.S. national security policy. The United States asserts that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and that Iran’s uranium enrichment activities are for the development of nuclear weapons."

"In the ensuing debate within Iranian foreign policy circles, a central question has been whether or not the new regional milieu should be considered a national security plus or minus."

In 2002, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began investigating allegations that Iran had conducted clandestine nuclear activities. Ultimately, the agency reported that some of these activities had violated Tehran’s IAEA safeguards agreement.

The latest IAEA Report suggests that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon capability. Preventing the Islamic Republic from becoming nuclear is the most important issue on Israel’s agenda, and Jerusalem will do everything it can to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear capability.

"The development of nuclear weapons capability by the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the most critical national security challenges facing the United States. Over the past months, we co-chaired a bipartisan group charged with reaching consensus on a set of recommendations for U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic’s nuclear development."

ISIS is proud of its work identifying clandestine nuclear programs and proliferation risks around the world and bringing impartial analysis to politically-charged and often technically complex issues. Although no country with a major nuclear program has escaped ISIS’s investigations over the years, we have spent considerable effort on Iran since 2002.

"Iran will remain a hostile power that poses threats to its neighbors, the United States, and its own people as long as the current regime remains in power. International sanctions have weakened the Iranian economy, but sanctions alone will not halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program or topple the regime."

There are three main motivations behind Iran’s nuclear program. First, at the systemic level, external threats drive Iran’s perceived need for a nuclear deterrent. Second, at the individual level, well placed governmental elites propel the nuclear security myth to spur nationalistic support for nuclear weapons.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Ali Akbar Salehi has stated that Iran plans to explore for uranium to meet the country's growing need for energy in the future. 'Previously, approximately a third of the country had been explored for uranium.

"The Iranian oil nationalization crisis, which began in 1951 when Prime Minister Muhammad Musaddiq nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), reached its climax in August 1953 with the CIA-assisted overthrow of Musaddiq. Several aspects of Operation 'Ajax', the codename of the CIA plot, until now have remained clouded in mystery."

"Today, the Obama administration still speaks of its interest in serious talks, but its Iran policy emphasizes pressure more than engagement."

"Among the numerous casualties of Iran’s tainted 2009 presidential elections was the legitimacy of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei."

"Shia Islam holds that the Mahdi, as the redeemer of Islam, will return from hiding to rid the world of injustice. This belief made Ahmadinejad's plea more than a pious invocation: Some analysts speculate the president was seeking to sow chaos by using religion to further his political goals."

"The document, which remains classified, discloses the pivotal role British intelligence officials played in initiating and planning the coup, and it shows that Washington and London shared an interest in maintaining the West's control over Iranian oil."

Today is a sad day for the non-proliferation regime. Only a few days ago, the Prime Minister of the Israeli regime boasted about his regime's nuclear weapons. But instead of even raising an eyebrow that serious threat to international peace and security and the non-proliferation regime, the Security Council is imposing sanctions on a member of the MPT that -- unlike Israel.

This report provides a variety of charts and statistics gleaned from a survey of Moms and individuals from Generation Y. The research gives a glimpse into some of the deepest concerns American citizens are facing in 2011, including the economy and national security.

"The transportation of petroleum represents one of the most strategically important circulations of resources in the global economy. Its role cannot be overstated. Yet, petroleum has become a 'strategically invisible' commodity as its flow has been continuous with limited, but eye-opening, disruptions such as the First Energy Crisis is 1973."

Since its inception, the Iranian nuclear and missile programs have received assistance from foreign governments, firms and individuals associated with numerous countries. The assistance—including technological, material and informational—has helped Iran develop indigenous capabilities for its nuclear and missile programs.

"Some analysts have already been promoting air strikes against Iran, and the Bush administration has pointed out repeatedly that the military option is 'on the table.' This paper examines the options available to the United States in the face of a prospective final diplomatic collapse."

"And so it goes for the Obama administration. After an initial, high-profile effort to draw Tehran into a serious dialogue both to resolve the nuclear issue as well as transcend it, Washington now finds itself pivoting away from diplomatic engagement to a more coercive policy centered around economic pressure."

"To better understand the roots and threat of militant Islam, here's a closer look at how modern terrorism has evolved in the Middle East and South Asia."

"Latin America is often near the bottom of U.S counter-terrorism priorities. No terrorist attacks against the United States have originated from there or been carried out by Latin American nationals. Yet there are several reasons that recent trends in Latin America pose significant threats to the United States."

"In the first of these special editions of Viewpoints, we turn our attention to the Iranian Revolution, one of the most important — and influential — events in the region’s recent history. This issue’s contributors reflect on the significance of the Revolution, whose ramifications continue to echo through the Middle East down to the present day."

"The U.S. invasion of Iraq to loot its oil and politically restructure the Middle East, is part of a policy of militaristic imperialism that the American and British ruling circles have been engaged in for several centuries."

This article analyzes the circumstances under which the United States has enacted major sanctions against Iran since 1979.

"The 1979 Islamic Revolution brought a radical, theocratic regime to power in Iran. The government's extremist rhetoric incited fear throughout the region and even the West. Nevertheless, Iran found itself severely isolated on the international scene and unable to effectively pursue its goal of preeminence in the Persian Gulf."

"This article examines the history of sanctioning the Islamic Republic, and argues that despite their increasing severity, sanctions have failed to achieve their intended policy results thanks to the regime’s capacity for resisting international pressure."

"The release of the National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iran’s nuclear capabilities, intentions, and policies created shock waves as well as sighs of relief in Washington and elsewhere."

"The final section demonstrates how US Iranian policy made an almost seamless transition between the Truman and Eisenhower administrations and how the latter systematically closed off what options remained until all that was left was a choice between Operation 'Ajax' and writing Iran off to communism as an expendable asset."

Iran, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), ranks among the world's top four holders of both proven oil and natural gas reserves. However, falling production and increases in domestic consumption will continue to squeeze the volumes of oil available for export in recent years.

A list of advice for policymakers on Iran.

"As we face one of the worst recessions in recent memory, protecting a company’s critical information assets like intellectual property and sensitive data has never been more important, yet challenging. A single breach or loss can cause irreparable financial damage to a company’s reputation, its share price and customer confidence."

The RAND Corporation conducted a phone survey of Iranian public opinion in order to gauge Iranian attitudes on critical issues affecting U.S. interests. Respondents constituted a nationally representative sample of 1,002 members of the Iranian public, age 18 and older, who lived in households with landline telephones, spoke Farsi, and were willing to participate.

Video/Podcast/Media

"One woman who has first hand experience of injustice and repression in the Middle East is former NPR Journalist Roxana Saberi. Two years ago, the West was riveted by the story of this young woman who was arrested, tried and convicted of espionage in Iran. Her experiences in prison and her insights into the struggle for freedom are detailed in her new book 'Between Two Worlds.'"

"On November 4, 1979, a group of student revolutionaries in Iran seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding more than 60 Americans hostage. On November 11, President Jimmy Carter imposed an oil embargo against Iran, which he explains in an address to the nation."

"On April 11, 1980, President Jimmy Carter approved a military operation to rescue the remaining 52 American hostages from the hands of young revolutionaries who had seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in November 1979. After the mission ends with eight U.S. servicemen dead and no hostages freed, President Carter discusses the event at a press conference."

"The United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has offered its strongest evidence yet that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran condemned the report, and maintains that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful."

"As Iran continues to develop its nuclear program, America is confronted with a difficult set of policy options. Ted Galen Carpenter will outline those options, which include urging the UN Security Council to impose stronger sanctions, attempting to undermine the clerical regime, and seeking a diplomatic 'grand bargain.' Which policy holds the best prospect of advancing American interests?...

"In the past decade, Iran has increased its influence in Latin America. Considering Iran’s long history of bad actions, this increased activity in the Western Hemisphere should give Americans pause. This year alone, Iran refused to abandon its nuclear ambitions, its military sat idly by as Iranian students stormed a British embassy, it attempted to assassinate a Saudi ambassador in Washington...

This podcast weighs the pros and cons of American foreign policy toward Iran, discussing whether or not a full-blown attack or a policy of deterrence would be a wiser path to tread.

This presentation describes Iran's connection to various Latin American countries such as Venezuela. The speakers discuss the Iranian nuclear threat and how Iranian interaction with other countries could affect the nation's nuclear progress.

"Despite diminishing reports of protests surrounding the recent Iranian election, a senior fellow with the Independent Women's Forum says the protests continue and many women have emerged as leaders in the demonstrations."

"This documentary, part of the 20th Century With Mike Wallace series from CBS News and the History Channel, examines the 1979 fall of the Shah of Iran and the hostage situation that arose from the turmoil. Narrated by series host and CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace, this episode looks at the preceding and following events of the fall of the Iranian leader, with a detailed study of the 444-...

"In this broadcast to the American people from the Oval Office, Reagan promises to tell the nation the truth regarding the Iran-Contra scandal, and he admits to making mistakes. He introduces new personnel and processes put in place to ensure the integrity of future national security decisions."

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nation's General Assembly.

Delegates from the US, Israel and EU stormed out as Iran's leader was speaking."

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged closer cooperation on Monday, vowing to fight poverty and imperialism.

The two leaders signed a series of accords in the areas of industry, science, technology and politics, the state-run AVN news agency reported. Sitting side by side in front of a room full of reporters, they presented a united front in...

"Acclaimed writer and political scholar Christopher Hitchens may just be the only writer to have recently visited Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Hitchens - known for his keen wit, sharp political insight and often controversial opinions - examines the differences between the countries once linked as the 'axis of evil,' while revealing intriguing connections between the nations."

This Fox News clip reports on the IAEA's assessment that Iran is capable and developing nuclear weapons. The video notes that Iran is especially focusing on building a strong missile arsenal.

"Ron Paul addresses the House of Representitives against the bi-partisan tide of war-mongerers. He gives an excellent historical case on why and how this deception of an 'Iran Threat' is being laid on the public. He addresses U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent elections in Pakistan, the nuclear capabilities of India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. He also goes in depth at...

"The U.S. government is about to declare a new war, but this time the enemy is a virtual one. A string of attacks on government websites by hackers has driven American policy-makers into a state of high-alert over a so-called terrorist threat. But some doubt the danger even exists, as RT's Lucy Kafanov reports."

"Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his 7th address to the UN General Assembly in New York at the United Nations."

This video describes the recent history of Iran including the U.S. assisted overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953. The video suggests that American involvement in Iranian affairs has contributed to the nation's suspicion and hostility toward the U.S.

"Iran’s radical Islamist regime has systematically oppressed the Iranian people since coming to power in the 1979 revolution. But the rise to power of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the slow-motion coup staged by his cronies in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has made the human rights situation in Iran even worse. Iran’s repressive regime has cracked down on political...

"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has published a report saying it has information indicating Iran has carried out activities 'relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device'.

The document strengthens international fears that the country is trying to develop an atomic bomb, although Iran says its nuclear programme is purely civilian.

What evidence does the...

"CNN's Jill Dougherty reports on the IAEA report that shows Iran is capable of building nuclear weapon."

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed topics such as his country's nuclear program and American foreign policy." He also addressed his position on U.S. involvement in the Middle East and the U.S.'s role in the current economic downturn. 

"Iran has test-fired a surface-to-surface cruise missile in a naval drill, after the country threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for 40 per cent of the world's oil supply, if sanctions were imposed on its crude exports."

This video is a recording of the House of Representatives' Oversight Committee's hearing on November 7, 2007 which focused on Iran's nuclear program and possible U.S. responses to this program.

"An Iranian 'nuclear scientist' who worked at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility has been killed in a bomb attack on his car in Tehran, with officials immediately blaming Israel."

"Akbar Ganji, an Iranian writer and journalist who spent six years in a Tehran prison for advocating a secular democracy and exposing government involvement in the assassination of individuals who opposed Iran's theocratic regime, has been named the 2010 winner of the Cato Institute's Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. Established in 2002 and presented...

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez mocked US [for] its move to expel a Venezuelan diplomat at the start of a visit to four left-leaning Latin American nations."

"From the Iranium Raw Interview Files: Parts of Manda Zand Ervin's original interview. Under the Islamic Republic government regime, women are deprived of multiple basic human rights."

"The International Atomic Energy Agency has been trying for years to monitor the Iranian program and determine if it is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Ray Suarez discusses the agency's latest report with former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright."

In this clip from Al Jazeera television, the Cato Institute's Justin Logan joins two other analysts to discuss the effects of the 2010 UN economic sanctions on Iran.

"Strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries. That’s what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That’s what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That’s what Nixon did with Mao. I mean think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela – these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to...

"What does the majority of the Iranian population want?

Freedom from internal oppression and U.S. domination says Escobar.

Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pepe Escobar covers the huge Latin American landscape for Asia Times Online."

"To mark the release of their new AEI report, a group of prominent foreign policy and Iran experts, joined by keynote speaker Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), gathered Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center to discuss the challenges of containing and deterring a nuclear-armed Iran. Sen. Kirk argued that Iran's historic aggression in the region, support for terrorism and poor human rights...

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: The Countdown for the Decline of America's Demonic Power Has Begun. Zionist Germ of Corruption Will Be Wiped off."

"Victor Davis Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Robert Baer who spent 20 years at the CIA as a field officer covering the Middle East, discuss Iran and the nuclear threat on Uncommon Knowledge with Hoover research fellow Peter Robinson."

"Is Islam a religion of peace? What should we do about Iran — or, more specifically, an Iran with nuclear weapons? Why is it in our national interest to support Israel? In answering these and other questions about the thorniest issues confronting the United States in the Middle East, Daniel Pipes provides some surprising answers. Among them, Pipes asserts that Israel is quite capable of...

"As nationalism begins to spread through the region the Iranian call to nationalize its oil resources threatens Britain's oil interests in Iran and American oil interests around the world.

Britain move[s] to prevent the nationalization and turn[s] to the U.S. for assistance."

Part two can be found...

In this video, Peter Robinson interviews Middle East expert, Daniel Pipes, on Islam, Iran, Israel, and the U.S. Pipes offers a variety of opinions on the U.S.-Israel relationship, suggesting that U.S. aid to Israel is a less than ideal situation for both countries.

In this edition of Uncommon Knowledge, host Peter Robinson talks with military historian Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson provides insight into the Middle East's turmoil while commenting on the Iraq War and the potential problems Iran poses.

"Tensions between the US and Iran were raised sharply on Tuesday night after Iranian government officials were accused by the Obama administration of plotting a string of deadly terrorist attacks on American soil."

"For years, the world’s media has tracked Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons - how much enriched uranium they have or how many centrifuges they’re now using. But why does Iran want a nuclear bomb in the first place? Why this fervent, obsessive attempt to develop a nuclear device? Menashe Amir, one of Israel’s top Iranian experts, explains how a bomb fits in with Iran’s messianic drive for this...

In this interview, Maseh Zarif explains why containing and deterring Iran is an expensive and difficult course of action for the United States to pursue.

Primary Document

This report examines the Iranian government's human rights record for the year 2009, specifically its level of respect for the integrity of the person, respect for civil liberties, respect for political rights, government corruption and transparency, governmental attitude regarding international and nongovernmental investigation of alleged violations of human...

"I am grateful to the Almighty Allah who granted me, once more, the opportunity to appear before this world assembly. I have the pleasure to express my sincere thanks to H.E. Joseph Deiss, president of the sixty-fifth session for his tremendous efforts during his tenure. I also would like to congratulate H.E Nassir Abdulaziz AI-Nasser on his election as the president of sixty-sixth session of...

"The Government of the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, having been requested by the Governments of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America to serve as an intermediary in seeking a mutually acceptable resolution of the crisis in their relations arising out of the detention of the 52 United States nationals in Iran, has consulted extensively with the two...

"This fact sheet provides general information about the Iranian sanctions program under the Iranian Transactions Regulations, and incorporates sanctions imposed by Executive Orders 12957, 12959, and 13059. The sanctions are administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control ('OFAC')."

Annual Address to the Federal Assembly by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin outlines goals for the country in the years ahead and reassures previous national goals.

"We, the undersigned representatives of international non-governmental organizations, meeting in Geneva for the forty-eighth session of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, urgently call upon the Sub-Commission to take up the question of the compatibility of a policy of economic sanctions with the basic principles of human rights."

"Good morning and welcome to the panel on the question of 'Are sanctions effective?'"

"In 1783, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center...."

"The President signs the Iran Sanctions Act, saying that the Iranian government has failed to meet its obligations under Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and reiterating that the United States stands with the Iranian people as they pursue universal rights."

"As President, one of my highest national security priorities is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. That's why my administration has aggressively pursued a comprehensive agenda of nonproliferation and nuclear security.

Leading by example, we agreed with Russia to reduce our nuclear arsenals through the new START Treaty, and I've urged the Senate to move forward with ratification...

"Today the United Nations Security Council voted overwhelmingly to sanction Iran for its continued failure to live up to its obligations. This resolution will put in place the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian Government, and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community's commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons."

"Thirty years ago today, the American Embassy in Tehran was seized. The 444 days that began on November 4, 1979, deeply affected the lives of courageous Americans who were unjustly held hostage, and we owe these Americans and their families our gratitude for their extraordinary service and sacrifice."

"The Iranian Government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian Government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing...

"On March 15, 1995, I reported to the Congress that, pursuant to section 203(a) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ... and section 201(a) of the National Emergencies Act ..., I had exercised my statutory authority to declare a national emergency to respond to the actions and policies of the Government of Iran and to issue Executive Order 12957, which prohibited United States...

"We come together around the common commitment to strengthen our fight against terrorism. Terrorism has many faces, to be sure, but Iran and Libya are two of the most dangerous supporters of terrorism in the world. The Iran and Libya sanctions bill I sign today will help to deny those countries the money they need to finance international terrorism. It will limit the flow of resources...

"I fully share the Congress's objective of promoting nonproliferation and combating Iran's efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missile delivery systems. This issue remains at the top of the agenda with Russia as well as with other countries whose companies may be providing such assistance to Iran. In the case of Russian entities' cooperation with Iran, we have imposed...

"The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since 1980. We do not have an Embassy in Tehran, and our diplomats do not have regular contact with their Iranian counterparts. We have very few official avenues for dialogue, communication, influence and interaction with the Iranian people. For that reason, U.S. Government broadcasting and public diplomacy activities play a more...

"The taped confessions of Amir Mirza-Hekmati, who has recently been arrested by Iranian intelligence agents on a charge of spying for the CIA, was broadcast on Iranian television on Sunday night.

The Intelligence Ministry announced his arrest on December 7.

Following are excerpts of Mirza-Hekmati’s confessions...."

"An Act To amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran."

"The Iranian bungled operation to use proxies to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States and to purposefully plan the operation inside the United States is a stunning rebuke to the Obama administration’s policy of negotiation and isolation with the Iranians. Indeed, Republican and Democratic administrations since 1980 have failed to deal effectively with the harsh reality...

"This report is prepared annually to provide Congress with official, unclassified, quantitative data on conventional arms transfers to developing nations by the United States and foreign countries for the preceding eight calendar years for use in its policy oversight functions. All agreement and delivery data in this report for the United States are government-to-government Foreign Military...

"We know that people, by meeting together, even if for a limited time, can strengthen their mutual understanding. To increase this mutual understanding has been one of the purposes of my trip to Iran; as it has been to the other countries in which I have stopped along the way."

"I have received your letter of August 26 regarding the problems which you face in Iran. The American people continue to be deeply interested in the independence of Iran and the well-being of the Iranian people. We have followed policies in Iran, as in other countries of the free world, designed to assist peoples of those countries to bring about economic development which will lead to higher...

"The important news that your Government, in negotiation with the British, French, Dutch and United States oil companies, has reached, in principle, a fair and equitable settlement to the difficult oil problem is indeed gratifying."

"The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative, and with the President of the Export-Import Bank, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and other agencies and officials as appropriate, is hereby authorized to impose on a person any of the sanctions described in...

"The crisis constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Iran, including its support for international terrorism, efforts to undermine Middle East peace, and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, that led to the declaration of a national emergency on March 15, 1995, has not been resolved. These actions and policies are contrary to the...

"We have seen throughout history the power of one simple idea: When given a choice, people will choose freedom. As we have witnessed over the past few days, the people of Iran want the same freedoms, human rights, and opportunities as people around the world. Their Government should listen to their hopes."

"Today in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors voted to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council. This important step sends a clear message to the regime in Iran that the world will not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons."

"In recent months, the cause of freedom has made enormous gains in the broader Middle East. Millions of people in Afghanistan and Iraq defied terrorists to cast their ballots in free elections. Palestinians voted for a new President who rejects violence and is working for democratic reform, and the people of Lebanon reclaimed their sovereignty and are now voting for new leadership. Across the...

"His Imperial Majesty, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shahinshah of Iran, today completed his tour of the United States and departed for Iran. The Shah came to this country at the invitation of the President and his visit has enabled him to become acquainted at first hand with the United States and its institutions. The President said today that the existing friendly relations with Iran have been...

"I am most grateful to Your Excellency for giving me in your recent letter a full and frank account of the developments in the unhappy dispute which has arisen between your government and the British oil interests in Iran. This matter is so full of dangers to the welfare of your own country, of Great Britain and of all the free world, that I have been giving the most earnest thought to the...

"The committee today will hear testimony from Michele Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Bill Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, on one of the most difficult and important security challenges of our time, the...

"The committee today will hear testimony from Michele Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Bill Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, on one of the most difficult and important security challenges of our time, the...

"This report of the Director General to the Board of Governors and, in parallel, to the Security Council, is on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement ... and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran)."

"At the meeting of the Board of Governors on 17 March 2003, the Director General reported on discussions taking place with the Islamic Republic of Iran (hereinafter referred to as Iran) on a number of safeguards issues that needed to be clarified and actions that needed to be taken with regard to the implementation of the Agreement between Iran and the IAEA for the Application of Safeguards in...

"The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The efforts of the Government of Iran to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them and its support of acts of international terrorism endanger the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and those countries with which the United States shares common strategic and foreign policy objectives...

"An Act To hold the current regime in Iran accountable for its threatening behavior and to support a transition to democracy in Iran."

"An Act To provide for the application of measures to foreign persons who transfer to Iran certain goods, services, or technology, and for other purposes."

"An Act To make amendments to the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 related to International Space Station payments, and for other purposes."

"There is broad international support for imposing progressively strict economic sanctions on Iran to try to compel it to verifiably confine its nuclear program to purely peaceful uses. Many U.S. and international officials appear to agree that the sanctions have not, to date, hurt Iran’s economy to the point at which the Iranian leadership feels pressured to accommodate core Western goals on...

"To authorize State and local governments to direct divestiture from, and prevent investment in, companies with investments of $20,000,000 or more in Iran’s energy sector, and for other purposes."

"It shall be the policy of the United States to oppose, and urgently to seek the agreement of other nations also to oppose, any transfer to Iran or Iraq of any goods or technology, including dual-use goods or technology, wherever that transfer could materially contribute to either country's acquiring chemical, biological, nuclear, or destabilizing numbers and types of advanced conventional...

"This National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assesses the status of Iran’s nuclear program, and the program’s outlook over the next 10 years. This time frame is more appropriate for estimating capabilities than intentions and foreign reactions, which are more difficult to estimate over a decade. In presenting the Intelligence Community’s assessment of Iranian nuclear...

"The Obama Administration has not changed the Bush Administration’s characterization of Iran as a 'profound threat to U.S. national security interests,' a perception generated not only by Iran’s nuclear program but also by its military assistance to armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Palestinian group Hamas, and to Lebanese Hezbollah. In its first year,...

"U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement on Oct. 11 that a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen and a commander in Iran's Quds Force, the special-operations unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), had been charged in New York for their alleged roles in a plot to murder the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, represents a brazen escalation in Iran's struggle for...

"Iran's extensive inventory of ballistic missiles is considered by some as its primary means to deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to a variety of potential targets in the region. Recent missile tests and reports that Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons have helped to increase regional tensions. This report will be updated as events warrant."

"I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States, find that the situation in Iran constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

I hereby order blocked all property and interests in property of the Government of Iran, its instrumentalities and...

"The Secretary of State and the Attorney General are hereby designated and empowered to exercise in respect of Iranians holding nonimmigrant visas, the authority conferred upon the President by section 215(a) (1) of the Act of June 27, 1952 (8 USC 1185), to prescribe limitations and exceptions on the rules and regulations governing the entry of aliens into the United States."

"From the first day the American Embassy was invaded and our diplomatic staff was seized as hostages by Iran, we have pursued every legal channel available to us to secure their safe and prompt release. On at least four separate occasions the world community, through the United Nations Security Council and through the International Court of Justice, has expressed itself clearly and firmly in...

"We continue to face a grave situation in Iran, where our Embassy has been seized and more than 60 American citizens continue to be held as hostages in an attempt to force unacceptable demands on our country. We're using every available channel to protect the safety of the hostages and to secure their release."

"The Secretary of the Treasury in a memorandum dated November 12, 1979, and the Secretary of Energy in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Defense, have informed me that recent developments in Iran have exacerbated the threat to the national security posed by imports of petroleum and petroleum products. Those developments underscore the threat to our national security which results...

"We have now reached an agreement with Iran which will result, I believe, in the freedom of our American hostages. The last documents have now been signed in Algiers, following the signing of the documents in Iran which will result in this agreement. We still have a few documents to sign before the money is actually transferred and the hostages are released."

"I grieve with you for eight fine men who died in the service of America. You have as consolation in your sorrow the memory of their lives. These airmen were your family, your friends and fellow workers, and the job they gave you in their lives can help, in memory and in time, to cover the wound of their deaths."

"The President and His Imperial Majesty have had a cordial and useful exchange of views during the past three days. The visit afforded an opportunity for the President and the Shah to become acquainted personally and to discuss matters of mutual interest to their countries.

Their talks included a review of political and military situations in the world; a discussion of the progress...

"Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addressed the nation on Sunday in a speech marking the 17th anniversary of the death of his predecessor and the leader of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini. [These] excerpts from Mr Khamenei's speech, [were] broadcast live on state television."

"This letter from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to U.S. president George W. Bush, obtained by cfr.org, is presumed to be the first contact from an Iranian president to a U.S. leader since the 1979 revolution in Iran. The 8-page letter's accuracy was confirmed by official sources, though an official translation is still forthcoming. In it, Amadinejad calls in to question U.S. actions in...

"Your Imperial Majesty, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is an honor and a very real pleasure to welcome you again to our country.

When Your Majesty was here in Washington 3 years ago, you spoke of Iran's determination to build 'a society in which men may prosper and feel happy and secure, a society in which the benefits of a sound education and a healthy economy...

"Ahmadinejad's bombast has stiffened the Bush Administration's resistance to talking with Tehran. And discontent with him is growing at home. Last week a few dozen students shouted 'Death to the dictator!' as Ahmadinejad delivered a speech. Two days later, he met TIME's Scott MacLeod at Ahmadinejad's private office in Tehran for a 75-minute interview, his second with TIME in three months."

This speech set the tone for the Obama administration's attitude toward the Muslim world, and toward the Israeli/Palestinian question.

"The Treasury Department performs a critical and far-reaching role in enhancing national security by implementing economic sanctions against foreign threats to the U.S., identifying and targeting the financial support networks of national security threats, and improving the safeguards of our financial systems.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control ('OFAC') of the US Department of the...

"This extremely important document is one of the last major pieces of the puzzle explaining American and British roles in the August 1953 coup against Iranian Premier Mohammad Mossadeq. Written in March 1954 by Donald Wilber, one of the operation’s chief planners, the 200-page document is essentially an after-action report, apparently based in part on agency cable traffic and Wilber’s...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, spoke at a UN press conference and responded to numerous questions on his country's nuclear program and his view of the sanctions threatened by other countries if the program was not discontinued.  Additionally, he responded to questions on his country's power structure, foreign policy, and reported human rights...

"Threats against the United States and Israel by Iranian President Ahmadinejad – coupled with advances in the Iranian nuclear weapons program, support for terror, and resistance to international negotiations on its nuclear program – demonstrate that Iran is a security threat to our nation that requires high caliber intelligence support. The seriousness of the Iranian threat has been amplified...

"In June, 1998, in her important policy speech on Iran, Secretary Albright said, and I quote 'We must always be flexible enough to respond to change and seize historic opportunities.' In fact, Secretary Albright's presence at our event today is an affirmation of her belief in seizing upon historic opportunities and an indication that the time has come for the two countries to go forward.

...

"At the invitation of His Imperial Majesty the Shahanshah Arya Mehr and Her Imperial Majesty the Shahbanou of Iran, the President of the United States of America and Mrs. Richard Nixon paid an official visit to Iran from May 30 to May 31, 1972. The President and Mrs. Nixon were received with exceptional friendliness and warmth by Their Imperial Majesties and by the Government and people of...

"For the past 3 months, I've been silent on the revelations about Iran. And you must have been thinking: 'Well, why doesn't he tell us what's happening? Why doesn't he just speak to us as he has in the past when we've faced troubles or tragedies?' Others of you, I guess, were thinking: 'What's he doing hiding out in the White House?' Well, the reason I haven't spoken to you before now is this...

"Ever since Iranian terrorists imprisoned American Embassy personnel in Tehran early in November, these 50 men and women—their safety, their health, and their future—have been our central concern. We've made every effort to obtain their release on honorable, peaceful, and humanitarian terms, but the Iranians have refused to release them or even to improve the inhumane conditions under which...

"The use of mandatory sanctions is intended to apply pressure on a State or entity to comply with the objectives set by the Security Council without resorting to the use of force. Sanctions thus offer the Security Council an important instrument to enforce its decisions. The universal character of the United Nations makes it an especially appropriate body to establish and monitor such measures...

"This is a translation, by Nazila Fathi in The New York Times Tehran bureau, of the October 26 speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to an Islamic Student Associations conference on 'The World Without Zionism.' The conference was held in Tehran, at the Interior Ministry."

"The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran sets forth the cultural, social, political and economic institutions of the people of Iran, based on Islamic principles and rules, and reflecting the fundamental desires of the Islamic people. The essence of the great Islamic Revolution of Iran, and the course of the struggle of the Muslim people from its beginning to its victory, as manifested...

"Shirin Ebadi delivers her Nobel Lecture after receiving the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize [for her human rights work in Iran] in the Oslo City Hall, Oslo, Norway."

"The creation of the regime occupying Al-Qods (Jerusalem) was a heavy move by the globally dominant system and Global Arrogance against the Islamic world. There is a historic battle going on between the Oppressor World and the Islamic world and the roots of this conflict goes back hundreds of years."

"Illinois Sen. Barack Obama delivered a speech on Wednesday, June 4, before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The speech comes the day after he secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination and become the first African-American candidate for president. In these prepared remarks provided by his campaign, Obama tries to allay doubts that some Jewish voters have...

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons intended to curb the ability of non-nuclear state from acquiring nuclear weapons and sought to disarm states already possessing nuclear capabilities. However, it drew a sharp line between nuclear technology for war and peace. It maintained every state had a right to peaceful atomic energy. It also established the International Atomic...

"The United States seeks a relationship with Russia based on cooperation in the pursuit of mutual interests and a frank and open discussion of disagreements based on mutual respect as the two countries seek to address the shared challenges of the 21st century."

"As required by Section 721 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Intelligence Authorization Act, the following are country summaries of acquisition activities (solicitations, negotiations, contracts, and deliveries) related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and advanced conventional weapons (ACW) that occurred from 1 January through 31 December 2009. This report focuses on key...

"In This Newsletter:
- Iran-Venezuela Nuclear Cooperation (Rep Franks)
- Libya: Operation Odyssey Dawn Once Again Validates Expediency of Nation’s Expeditionary Force in Readiness (Rep Hunter)
- Electromagnetic Pulse Caucus Meeting - 7 April 2011 (Rep Franks)
- Electric Infrastructure Council (EIS) Summit - 11 April 2011 - Washington DC (Rep Franks)"

"Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Sherman, and distinguished members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you about financial sanctions. It's a pleasure to be here today, especially alongside such distinguished colleagues. I follow Iran issues far more closely than I do North Korea, so I will focus in my remarks on the application of sanctions to Iran. I will open...

Books

FAQs

Is the threat of an EMP a legitimate concern? What kind of infrastructural damage is an EMP capable of? How long would the consequences of such an attack last? All these questions and more will be answered in this FAQ.

One of the most serious threats to national security, individual privacy, and protection of one's assets comes from Intellectual Property (I.P.) espionage. What kind of information may be stolen? Who is or has the capability of engaging in effective I.P. espionage? Has this already happened? What can the United States do? All these questions and more are answered in this FAQ.

Iran has been talked about for decades. Relations between Iran and the United States have been tense since the early 1950s. Some believe that Iran poses an existential threat to the U.S.; others maintain that, despite its rhetoric, it is mostly harmless. Does Iran pose a significant threat? What are the sentiments of its leaders and its citizens? Do they agree? Is Iran working on a...

Missile defense. It's been talked about for decades, some of us even grew up watching Patriot missiles shoot down Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War. But where do things stand today? Is it still needed? Should I care? Those questions and more are answered in the FAQ below.

Link