First on CNN: US probes whether Iranians exploited visa program
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
December 11th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

First on CNN: US probes whether Iranians exploited visa program

CNN Justice Reporter Evan Perez

The Homeland Security Department has investigated whether Iranian operatives exploited a controversial U.S. visa program for immigrant investors, according to a DHS memo revealed on Thursday.
The EB-5 program has existed since 1990 but has exploded in popularity in recent years. It allows foreigners to obtain residency status, or a green card, for a $1 million investment in the United States.

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Filed under: Iran
December 10th, 2013
03:13 PM ET

Kerry says Iran won't get nuclear weapons, urges diplomatic approach

By Tom Cohen

Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress on Tuesday to put off more sanctions against Iran at this time, saying "this is a very delicate diplomatic moment" to seek a peaceful solution to the issue of preventing Tehran from gaining nuclear weapons.

Kerry, appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sought to reassure lawmakers about the Obama administration's commitment to preventing a nuclear armed Iran, but underscored the importance of international diplomatic efforts that have so far produced a temporary agreement curbing its nuclear program.

"Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon," he said, stressing that declaration was the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's foreign policy.

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Filed under: Iran • John Kerry
December 8th, 2013
02:16 PM ET

Lawmakers concerned over Iranian enrichment, split on more sanctions

CNN's Dana Davidsen

After President Barack Obama said he would accept a peaceful nuclear program from Iran, including modest uranium enrichment, U.S. congressmen on the Homeland Security and Intelligence committees agreed Sunday that the concession complicates further negotiations.

"We can envision a comprehensive agreement that involves extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections but permits Iran to have a peaceful nuclear program," Obama said Saturday at the Brookings Institution's Saban Forum in Washington.

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Filed under: Iran • Rep. Mike McCaul • Sanctions
On Middle East visit, Kerry sees hope of progress for Iran, Israel
December 6th, 2013
08:44 AM ET

On Middle East visit, Kerry sees hope of progress for Iran, Israel

By Elise Labott

The United States and Israel are "absolutely in sync" about the need to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

Talk of Iran's nuclear program took center stage in close to nine hours of talks Thursday and Friday between Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kerry met with Netanyahu for the first time since the U.S. and five other world powers reached a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

His talks aimed to convince the Israeli leader to move beyond the "first step" deal and work on a comprehensive agreement that addresses all of Israel's concerns about Iran's program.

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With Mideast peace in mind, Kerry coaxes Israel on Iran
December 5th, 2013
10:13 AM ET

With Mideast peace in mind, Kerry coaxes Israel on Iran

By Elise Labott

Jerusalem (CNN) - John Kerry’s ninth trip to Israel since becoming secretary of state could be among the most difficult.

He needs Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s buy-in for the two issues U.S. President Barack Obama has declared the centerpiece of his second term foreign policy – Iran and Middle East peace.

But at a time when the Israeli leader’s confidence in the United States is shaken over the Iran deal, his trust in the administration as broker of a peace deal with the Palestinians may waver.
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Report: Rouhani says Iran will not dismantle nuclear facilities
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
November 29th, 2013
06:54 PM ET

Report: Rouhani says Iran will not dismantle nuclear facilities

By Chelsea J. Carter

Iran will not dismantle any of its nuclear facilities as part of an effort to reach a long-term agreement to limit its nuclear development, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in an interview published Friday in The Financial Times.

Asked during the interview if dismantling Iran's nuclear facilities was a "red line," Rouhani said: "100 percent."

Rouhani's statements are unlikely to sit well with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said any long-term agreement with Iran over its nuclear development must lead to the dismantling of the country's nuclear capability.

Iran and the so-called P5+1 - the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany - agreed Sunday to a six-month deal to limit Tehran's nuclear development.

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Filed under: Iran • Nuclear
U.S. urges Iran to help free missing retired FBI agent
US Daniel Levinson (L) shows a picture of his father, ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, holding his grandson Ryan during a press conference with his mother Christine at the Swiss embassy in Tehran, 22 December 2007.
November 26th, 2013
11:55 AM ET

U.S. urges Iran to help free missing retired FBI agent

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

With a breakthrough interim nuclear deal and relations between the United States and Iran improving, the White House on Tuesday "respectfully" asked the Iranian government to help return Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who went missing in Iran more than six years ago.

"We do want to test the regime. The new administration has said that they want to take a different approach toward the West, toward the United States. One way that they could clearly demonstrate that is they could help us find Bob Levinson, help reunite him with his family," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told CNN.

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Iran deal may impact U.S. sanctions investigations
November 25th, 2013
04:40 PM ET

Iran deal may impact U.S. sanctions investigations

By CNN Justice Reporter Even Perez

The interim deal to limit Iran's nuclear program casts some uncertainty over how the Justice Department and other agencies investigate alleged sanctions violations.

The deal struck over the weekend between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, gives Iran a temporary respite from some of stringent international economic sanctions that U.S. officials say helped bring Iran to the negotiating table.

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Iran nuclear deal: One agreement, wildly different reactions
November 24th, 2013
10:35 PM ET

Iran nuclear deal: One agreement, wildly different reactions

To say reactions to the Iranian nuclear deal have been all over the place would be an understatement.

In one corner, ardent supporters, like the White House, touted it as a resolution in which they didn't waver from their core beliefs. Iranian officials boasted the same.

The United Nations and the European Union threw in their weight, saying the compromise is a huge step with tremendous potential.

Then you have Israel, which says the deal is based on global "self-delusion" and could help Iran get closer to having a nuclear bomb. Meanwhile, some U.S. Republicans are skeptical about the Obama administration's true intentions in helping strike the deal.

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Filed under: Iran • Sec. State John Kerry
November 24th, 2013
11:25 AM ET

The Iran nuclear deal: full text

The following is the full text of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers:

Joint Plan of Action

Preamble

The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iranˈs nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons. This comprehensive solution would build on these initial measures and result in a final step for a period to be agreed upon and the resolution of concerns. This comprehensive solution would enable Iran to fully enjoy its right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the NPT in conformity with its obligations therein. This comprehensive solution would involve a mutually defined enrichment program with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the program. This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This comprehensive solution would involve a reciprocal, step-by step process, and would produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iranˈs nuclear program.

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Filed under: Iran • Nuclear • UN Security Council
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