For more than 30 years, the United States took widely publicized, drastic measures to hinder nuclear development in Iran. But amid sanctions and diplomatic efforts and under pressure from Israel, the U.S. government secretly launched an unprecedented weapon at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“The Iranian nuclear program was a national issue for the Iranian people, and once the industrial sabotage happened, Iran developed a very proactive presence in cyber domain,” says Emad Kiyaei, executive director of the American Iranian Council. He is talking about Stuxnet, a self-replicating computer virus that disrupted 20 percent of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. Discovered in 2010, it was the first highly public instance of state-supported cyberwarfare and is one of the subjects of filmmaker Alex Gibney’s new documentary, Zero Days.
AIC's Kayvon Afshari recently completed working as a consulting producer for VICE on HBO for their upcoming documentary on US-Iran relations, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, and the country's nuclear program. The piece was hosted by VICE founder Shane Smith
By Bradford Van Arnum, AIC Research Associate
In the middle of March, Iran’s Interior Ministry announced that runoff elections for nearly 70 parliament seats would occur on April 29. The first round of voting had taken place on February 26, when Iran held elections for both its parliament and Assembly of Experts. The former is a 290-member body that is elected every four years, while the latter is the group responsible for choosing a new Supreme Leader when a vacancy arises. The elections for the two institutions, both of which have been dominated by conservatives in recent years, were seen as key tests of President Rouhani’s time in office, and in particular, a referendum on the nuclear accord that was signed in July 2015.
Reviving Iran's Image
The common international image of Iran is that of a backward country supporting terrorism, seeking weapons of mass destruction and violating human rights. This image in turn has fueled anti-Americanism, which has provided one of the pretexts for the political and diplomatic conundrums of the Islamic Republic. However Iran is a historic nation, with rich culture and heritage while United States has been instrumental in building the modern world. This project aims to showcase the true face of the Iranian nation to the international community, including the United States.