Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is still holding back from fully endorsing last week’s announced Iran deal: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). His reticence is smart and to be expected. Khamenei must appear above the fray of Iran’s internal politics while in reality he is intimately involved in their orchestration.
In the latest snag in the P5+1 talks, Russia is pushing for lifting the conventional arms embargo on Iran as part of the nuclear agreement. The United Nations imposed this embargoin March 2007 as part of Security Council Resolution 1747, which tightened the council’s nuclear sanctions on Tehran.
As the world is focusing on the yet-again extended nuclear talks, Iranian leaders are expressing ever greater concerns about the perceived threats from ISIS and Saudi Arabia. How Tehran may respond, including deploying ground forces in Iraq, should give everyone pause.
Iran is perhaps facing its most ominous security environment since the Iran-Iraq War, yet Iranian leaders are being surprisingly open and frank about the severe challenges they face and their need to find better strategies in response.
The weeks leading up to the June 30 deadline for Iran’s negotiations with the P5+1 have been—and will continue to be—a flurry of leaks, accusations, and counter-accusations as the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani try to sell the potential deal to skeptics within their own leadership. Case in point: whether Iran will allow inspections on military sites and interviews with scientists and military leaders.
It has been all smiles from the Obama administration since the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit concluded last week. The summit was ostensibly convened to reassure our Arab allies that the United States would continue to back their security after a potential nuclear agreement with Iran.
Pistachio Harvest is a collaborative project between Norse Corporation and the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute to describe Iran's footprint in cyberspace and identify important trends in Iranian cyberattacks.This page will feature publications related to this ongoing project. For more information, please visit www.pistachioharvest.com.