Iran

Ebrahim Pourfaraj wants to build the biggest hotel in all of Iran.

He's already started his project in the far north Tehran, a wealthy zone where the city climbs up the slopes of the snow-capped Alborz Mountains.

You get out of the car, carefully stepping over the little mountain stream that flows in a channel beside the curb. After stepping through a construction trailer, you emerge on a steel-mesh platform looking over the edge of an enormous hole.

Iran has been dismantling parts of its nuclear program faster than many anticipated and could meet its obligations for the lifting of some sanctions as soon as January, according to some officials monitoring the agreement.

Iran's nuclear deal with world powers includes a key target known as "implementation day." No specific date was set when the agreement was reached last July to great fanfare.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani tells NPR that much like in the United States, there are in his country "two differing viewpoints" on the six-party nuclear deal — one that is cautiously optimistic of success and another that is highly skeptical of Washington's desire to live up to its end of the bargain.

Iran is hailing the International Atomic Energy Agency's visit to a controversial military base, saying it disproves "fictions" about the site's nuclear capabilities. But critics note that samples were taken by Iranian officials, without inspectors being present.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports:

"The head of the IAEA and his top nuclear safeguards official visited the Parchin military base, long a target of suspicions involving possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program. Tehran insists its program has always been peaceful.

Security professionals in both the U.S. government and in private industry have long feared the prospect of a cyberwar with China or Russia, two states capable of launching destructive attacks on the computer networks that control critical assets such as the power grid or the financial system.

Now they face a new cyberthreat: Iran.

"[The Iranians] have all the resources and the capabilities necessary to be a major player in terms of cyberwarfare," says Jeffrey Carr, an expert on cyberconflict who has consulted for the U.S. Department of Defense.