White House cites executive privilege

White House cites executive privilege, keeps Obama adviser from testifying about Iran nuclear deal After congressional Republicans called his bluff, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser refused Tuesday to testify to Congress about whether he misled the public in pushing the Iran nuclear deal, claiming executive privilege. Ben Rhodes, a speechwriter who has become a…

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Iran-Saudi tensions simmer in Lebanon

When thousands of mourners gathered in the southern suburbs of Beirut last week to bury top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine, who was killed in Syria, they repeatedly chanted “Death to al Saud”. The Shia militant group backed by Iran and fighting alongside Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, said Badreddine’s death “was the result of artillery bombardment…

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Iran and Islamic Conference: Tensions at the Summit

Tensions between Iran and other Islamic countries, especially Saudi Arabia, erupted at the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) of 57 countries. The final communique, issued April 15, “deplored Iran’s interference” in the affairs of other countries and its “continued support for terrorism.” President Hassan Rouhani skipped the closing meeting, reportedly in protest. The five key…

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Iran: why the Conservatives have not said their last word

In the parliamentary elections in Iran Friday, reformers and moderate allies who support President Hassan Rohani sharply higher against the Conservatives. What will be the consequences on the domestic front? Denis Bauchard: election results as that of the Experts Assembly is a clear victory for President Rohani. The advance of the reformist camp who would…

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Iran’s Voters Sent a Message to the Hard-Liners

Iranians revel in political humor. Over the weekend, as election results began to show that long-entrenched hard-liners were losing, a new joke circulated in Tehran: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had called Secretary of State John Kerry with an offer: “John, we have just succeeded in defeating our hard-liners. Let us know if you want advice on…

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Iran is preparing the succession of the Supreme Leader

Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, works in an almost empty room. He’s seated in a humble leather chair. In the back, behind the curtains which remain closed most of the time, a window overlooks some trees and administrative buildings that house the “office” of the Guardian: the most powerful government of…

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To enlist Iran’s youth, Islamic Republic adds a nationalist pitch

Glorified religious sacrifice, a staple of the regime’s efforts to secure its citizens’ support, is giving way to an updated appeal to Iran’s youth. TEHRAN, IRAN — Wearing a white suit in a dark, cavernous room, the bearded singer walks past row after row of flag-draped coffins representing martyrs of the Iran-Iraq War. “With a drop…

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Germans Race to Capture the Iranian Market

Ahead of the planned lifting of Western sanctions against Iran, businessmen from around the world are visiting the country, and as one group from Germany discovered, there are no shortages of opportunities. Early one morning at the beginning of October, Alfons Diekmann is standing at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport. He is wearing his comfortable travel pants…

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Can a former kingmaker make a comeback in Iran?

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been authorized to run for the Assembly of Experts, a body charged with choosing the next leader. Bridging reformists and conservatives, the former president has emerged as a central figure in the new ‘moderate’ camp As Iran prepares for elections on 26 February for parliament and the Assembly of Experts, the…

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