In the wake of the Trump administration's travel ban, many people asked themselves what they could do to help. One such person is the talented graphic designer, Kristina Filler, who contacted AIC and offered to create a "Heart Iran" pin so that Americans could show their support for the Iranian people.
The design of the pin - fittingly about the size of a flag pin at 3/4" wide - was partially inspired by the social media hashtag #lovebeyondflags that has gained popularity among Americans and Iranians alike. The hashtag has been used to emphasize shared experiences, promote dialogue, and express hope for improved relations.
The US secretary of state has accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" aimed at destabilizing the Middle East and undermining America's interests. "An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and to take the world along with it," Rex Tillerson said. The US has ordered a review of the Iran nuclear deal, although it admits Iran is complying with its commitments.Iran's foreign minister dismissed Mr Tillerson's criticism as "worn out". (BBC)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson certified to Congress that Iran was complying with Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, before a statutory midnight deadline, while also insisting Iran remained "a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods" and indicating that the Trump administration would evaluate the JCPOA-related suspension of sanctions and whether it was "vital to the national security interests of the United States."
"President Trump… has realized that tearing up a highly complex and multinational agreement is not a wise thing to do at this time," Farideh Farhi, an independent scholar and affiliate graduate faculty member at University of Hawaii-Manoa, told Reason.
"Note that under the Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the president has to provide certification every 90 days. Had the Trump administration not done so, it would have triggered legislative procedures and potential reimpositions of sanctions, which would then declare the U.S. intent to renege on its JCPOA obligations," she added.
Our latest Iran Chat is with Dr. David Collier, author of the new book, Democracy and the Nature of American Influence in Iran 1941-1979. Dr. Collier is also a research consultant in Washington DC and teaches democracy and democratization in Boston University's Washington DC program.
The first half of our conversation focuses on Dr. Collier's usage of linkage and leverage to analyze and better understand the history of the period; the second half addresses how his analysis of the history applies to current issues in US-Iran relations and US foreign policy more generally. Dr. Collier's book is being published this month; you can purchase a copy on Amazon or Syracuse University Press.
By Michael Schwartz, Kriyana Reddy, and Dr. Reza Ghorashi
Over one year has passed since the formal implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by the US and P5+1 members (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK), which lifted certain “nuclear-related secondary sanctions,” on various Iranian business sectors. All parties to the JCPOA agreed to implementing it “in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere” and to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to ... affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.” While initially the JCPOA was met with optimism, critics in both Tehran and Washington have challenged the effectiveness and potential benefits of the agreement. Iranian public opinion remains steadfastly in support of the deal, but the reality of Iran’s long transition from economic isolation has curbed some enthusiasm. While the JCPOA has created significant opportunities for economic growth and normalization, the Iranian public has not yet seen many tangible economic benefits.
There are many factors that have led to a thriving tech industry in Iran, including abundant resources, lifted sanctions, and a youthful, highly educated population. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the industry has also benefited in large part due to active support from the Iranian government. Over a decade ago in 2005, the Islamic Republic released a “20 Year National Vision” statement, known as Vision 2025, describing the state’s intentions to achieve “first place in the areas of economy, science, and technology in the Western South Asia region,” specifically in “high tech [software knowledge] production.” More recently, President Rouhani’s administration has categorized the tech sector as one of the nation’s top three priorities in a shorter five-year plan. Pursuant to this goal, the administration has released an unprecedented budget for communications and internet infrastructure. The government has also reversed decisions that limited internet speeds for residential users, and has issued 3G and 4G licenses to Iran’s main mobile operators. Today, many Iranians own smartphones (primarily Androids), and approximately 47 million people - nearly half of Iran’s population - use the internet.