As many of you may be aware, the stylebook and guidelines for Thomson Reuters stipulates that all articles pertaining to the Persian Gulf region be redacted to use the term “Gulf,” regardless of what the original journalist may have written or what the universally accepted name is for this body of water. As this region is often in the news, this is a persistent and readily apparent change that appears before millions of readers worldwide. There are several issues with this style change which the American Iranian Council would like to raise with the leadership of Thomson Reuters and encourage a change in policy.
First, Thomson Reuters has suggested that the term “Gulf” is used due to a naming dispute over the body of water in question. There is in fact no naming dispute at present, nor is it being challenged in any court, at the United Nations or other relevant international bodies. There are, certainly, several Arab governments who seek to abandon the historic term for political gains but it is incorrect for an internationally celebrated organization such as yours to claim that there is an international dispute. Previous disputes raised at the UN, found in favor of using the historic Persian Gulf name exclusively.
After Oil, Washington Weighs Sanctions on Iran’s Other Sources of U.S. Dollars
The Trump administration is considering a more-aggressive enforcement of its economic sanctions on Iran—targeting more companies and financial institutions that do business with the Islamic Republic in an attempt to cut off lucrative sources of U.S. dollar-denominated hard currency, U.S. officials said.
The new sanctions on banks and businesses would be aimed at choking off trade including Iran’s petrochemical sales to Singapore and its consumer-goods sales to Afghanistan.
The prospect of added pressure on Iran comes as Washington kicked off a fresh round of sanctions on Iranian oil exports on Thursday. The U.S. ban is aimed at coercing Iran into reaching a new nuclear and security pact. In targeting the country’s crude—its main income source—the U.S. hopes to sever the financial and trade ties that are keeping Iran’s economy afloat. (WSJ)
AIC’s President Dr. Amirahmadi recently spoke with Voice to America about the increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran. The complete audio, as well as a summary of the conversation is below.
Q: On Europe and the JCPOA
A: Europe betrayed Iran. First, by promising Iran that the JCPOA is a permanent deal. Second, they betrayed and lied to Tehran by saying that if the United States leaves JCPOA they would stay and implement their part of the commitment. They did not. Furthermore, they betrayed Iran by coming back to Tehran and saying that now that the US has left, we want to stay but we can’t just tell the US to ‘get lost’ because they have serious concerns about Iran’s behavior – about missiles and presence in the region – matters that were not part of the JCPOA. Now they are saying to Tehran – listen – the only hope for you is to go back to the negotiating table.
After a long break, Iran Chat is back and we felt this year’s series should begin with a deep dive into the current state of US-Iran relations, focusing on the very real and growing possibility of war with Iran.
To help sort through all the recent news and issues concerning US-Iran relations, we spoke with journalist Jim Lobe. He served as chief of the Washington DC bureau of Inter Press Service from 1980 to 1985 and again from 1989 to 2016. Currently he is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs LobeLog, an award-winning web blog focused on foreign policy, featuring posts by expert contributors on a variety of global issues, with an emphasis on US policy towards the Middle East.
Recently, he co-wrote an article for Lobelog entitled War Against Iran Becoming Ever More Likely. We discuss his rationale for this assessment during our conversation.
While all sovereign nations have relationships with other states for a variety of reasons ranging from economic to cultural to security concerns, some of the most important ties are with states that lie in one’s immediate region and geographic neighborhood. Such bilateral relations are helpful for garnering influence via soft power and may influence decisions a state’s government makes concerning its domestic policies and international engagement. They are particularly important for addressing key regional issues and conflicts. Iran is no exception, and has a dossier of shifting relations.
This series on Iran and the Middle East (part I) will elaborate on Iran’s connections with Middle East states and its eastern neighbors in political relations, economic, security, and civil society matters. Knowing what lies at the core of these relations is key to understanding Iran’s role in the region and can shed light on bigger issues that contribute to the complexities of the Middle East. Understanding Iran’s relationships with its neighbors is particularly important for comprehending its ambitions for regional influence. Three key features that help define Iran’s relationships with its neighbors include each state’s relationship with the outgoing Pahlavi Dynasty, the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and each state’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.
On April 8, 2019, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States would formally designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as a terrorist organization. President Trump argued that the IRGC “actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism,” and that by labeling it a terror group, the U.S. would send “a clear message” to Iran that “support for terrorism has serious consequences.”
Trump’s move represents the first time the United States has labeled a part of another country’s government a terror group and it has sparked widely varying reactions from all over the world and intense scholarly speculation as to how the move will impact global politics.
This Media Guide will explain what the IRGC is, what it means to be labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S., how the move has been received in Iran and internationally, and what consequences it is projected to have for both Iran and the United States.