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Features

12/16/2012History | On Iranians, Drinking Wine, and Cultural Stereotyping

History | On Iranians, Drinking Wine, and Cultural Stereotyping

Foreign fantasies of excess versus a tradition of moderation. [ idē ] From archaeological excavations that suggest northwest Iran was one of the earliest places where wine was produced...

12/10/2012Elections | Defining Democracy Down: Iran's New Presidential Election Law

Elections | Defining Democracy Down: Iran's New Presidential Election Law

A lesson in the utility of an unpopular chief executive. [ news analysis ] Two major events recently took place within the recondite realm of Iranian power politics that...

11/28/2012Elections | Senior Ayatollah: No Free Vote in Sight, Iran Ruled with 'Lies'

Elections | Senior Ayatollah: No Free Vote in Sight, Iran Ruled with 'Lies'

"They want to rob us of everything in order to be able to participate in the election." [ media watch ] Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, one of Iran's...

11/20/2012Briefing | Satellite Wars: Why Iran Keeps Jamming

Briefing | Satellite Wars: Why Iran Keeps Jamming

From conspiracy theory to political reality, the IRI has multiple motivations to sever signals from the world outside. [ briefing ] All television broadcasting in Iran is officially under state...

11/09/2012Sanctions' Ill Effects | Part 2: A Looming Catastrophe

Sanctions' Ill Effects | Part 2: A Looming Catastrophe

Part 1: The Disappearance of Lifesaving Drugs The most vulnerable could pay a grave price for the standoff over Iran's nuclear program. [ series ] "For anyone or any...

11/08/2012Sanctions' Ill Effects| Part 1: The Disappearance of Lifesaving Drugs

Sanctions' Ill Effects| Part 1: The Disappearance of Lifesaving Drugs

From diabetes to epilepsy, foreign-made medicines for dangerous maladies vanish from Iran. [ series ] On Vali Asr Street, in a lower-income district of southwest Tehran, a 30-year-old man storms...

11/05/2012Notebook | The Last Days of the Tehran American School

Notebook | The Last Days of the Tehran American School

"Everyone wants to go back," says one former student. [ feature ] In 1978, the Tehran American School closed its doors after 24 years in operation. J. Thom McInnis, a...

11/04/201279/11, Tehran or Tunis | Part 4: The Final Capitulations to a Clerical Takeover

79/11, Tehran or Tunis | Part 4: The Final Capitulations to a Clerical Takeover

Part 1: The Fork in the Revolutionary Road | Part 2: The Long Shadow of Iran's Summary Executions | Part 3: The Abandonment of Democratic Principles How "democrats" like Bazargan...

10/29/2012 79/11, Tehran or Tunis | Part 3: The Abandonment of Democratic Principles

79/11, Tehran or Tunis | Part 3: The Abandonment of Democratic Principles

Part 1: The Fork in the Revolutionary Road | Part 2: The Long Shadow of Iran's Summary Executions Establishment of theocracy in Iran facilitated by disoriented democratic leaders. Dr. Iraj...

10/25/2012Q&A | United for Iran's Dokhi Fassihian on Human Rights and the World's Role

Q&A | United for Iran's Dokhi Fassihian on Human Rights and the World's Role

"The key for real change is for there to be sustained high-level pressure." [ interview ] Dokhi Fassihian is director of programs and advocacy at United for Iran, which campaigns...

10/20/2012 79/11, Tehran or Tunis | Part 2: The Long Shadow of Iran's Executions

79/11, Tehran or Tunis | Part 2: The Long Shadow of Iran's Executions

Part 1: The Fork in the Revolutionary Road Out of repression and terror, a system emerges. Dr. Iraj Omidvar teaches English at Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, Georgia. Any opinions...

10/11/201279/11, Tehran or Tunis | Part 1: The Fork in the Revolutionary Road

79/11, Tehran or Tunis | Part 1: The Fork in the Revolutionary Road

Two different militaries, and one calculated destruction of constitutional order. Dr. Iraj Omidvar teaches English at Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, Georgia. Any opinions expressed are the author's own.[ series...

10/01/2012Slideshow | Who Owns the Cars in Park Prince?

Slideshow | Who Owns the Cars in Park Prince?

[ feature ] I have some friends who live in an apartment complex in Tehran called Park Prince. Near Vanak Square, it was built in the 1970s -- before...

09/21/2012Business | 2012 Iranian Oil Survey: Autumn Update

Business | 2012 Iranian Oil Survey: Autumn Update

Production lowest in almost a quarter century; sanctions' true impact may not register for some weeks. Matthew M. Reed (@matthewmreed) is a Middle East specialist at Foreign Reports, Inc., a...

09/19/2012Bīstoon | You'd Have to Be Russian

Bīstoon | You'd Have to Be Russian

Houman Harouni has written for Iranian Studies, Connect, and Harvard Educational Review, among other publications. His "Bīstoon Chronicles" appear regularly on Tehran Bureau. [ Bīstoon ] What am I...

09/06/2012Leave No Iranian Child Behind | Part 1: From Gender Gap to Gender Panic

Leave No Iranian Child Behind | Part 1: From Gender Gap to Gender Panic

As young women's presence in higher education grows, so does ideological backlash. Shervin Malekzadeh, a former public school teacher, is a visiting assistant professor at Swarthmore College.[ education ] There...

08/20/2012Interview | Esfandiari on Iran's Decision to Curtail Female Education

Interview | Esfandiari on Iran's Decision to Curtail Female Education

[ Q&A ] w/ Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the author of "Reconstructed Lives: Women and Iran's...

08/16/2012Business | The Drama of Iran's Erratic Rial

Business | The Drama of Iran's Erratic Rial

'Short-term solutions to big problems.' [ Q&A] w/ Kevan Harris, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. He recently received his Ph.D. in sociology from Johns Hopkins University and...

08/11/2012The IRGC Strategic Brain Trust | Part 2: Ahmadian, Hejazi, and Jafari

The IRGC Strategic Brain Trust | Part 2: Ahmadian, Hejazi, and Jafari

Muhammad Sahimi, a professor at the University of Southern California, is a columnist for Tehran Bureau and contributes regularly to other Internet and print media. Part 1: Ghasem Soleimani...

08/01/2012The IRGC Strategic Brain Trust | Part 1: Ghasem Soleimani and Ahmad Vahidi

The IRGC Strategic Brain Trust | Part 1: Ghasem Soleimani and Ahmad Vahidi

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' two paramount strategists. Muhammad Sahimi, a professor at the University of Southern California, is a columnist for Tehran Bureau and contributes regularly to other...

07/12/2012Bīstoon | Iran and Its Visitors

Bīstoon | Iran and Its Visitors

Houman Harouni has written for Iranian Studies, Connect, and Harvard Educational Review, among other publications. His "Bīstoon Chronicles" appear regularly on Tehran Bureau. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. [ Bīstoon...

07/01/2012A Tale of Two Oil Shocks | Part 2: 2007-12

A Tale of Two Oil Shocks | Part 2: 2007-12

Part 1: 1973-76 When a Saudi oil flood inundated Iran...and the prospect that it could happen again. Andrew Scott Cooper is the author of The Oil Kings: How the U.S.,...

06/27/2012Q&A | To Shoot, 'with Love': Photojournalist Majid Saeedi

Q&A | To Shoot, 'with Love': Photojournalist Majid Saeedi

"We photographers need to in a sense lay our lives down in order to inform." [ interview ] On June 19 at the Robert F. Kennedy Center at Florence,...

06/09/2012Photo Essay | Paris: Iran's Political Hub

Photo Essay | Paris: Iran's Political Hub

Seeking a New Home Refugees whose asylum applications have been accepted start lining up outside the Préfecture de Police in the 19th arrondissement at three in the morning. They...

06/08/2012Region | Hezbollah: Explaining the Past and Promising the Future

Region | Hezbollah: Explaining the Past and Promising the Future

Does Hassan Nasrallah really want a "strong state" in Lebanon? Gareth Smyth, a frequent Tehran Bureau contributor, started reporting from Lebanon in 1996. He was formerly based in Tehran as...

06/05/2012Briefs | Court Mandates U.S. Decision on MEK

Briefs | Court Mandates U.S. Decision on MEK

[ in focus ] On June 1, a U.S. District Appeals Court ruled that the Obama administration must finally decide within four months whether or not to remove the Mujahedeen-e...

05/30/2012Q&A | Rafsanjani: US Has Upper Hand in Nuclear Negotiations

Q&A | Rafsanjani: US Has Upper Hand in Nuclear Negotiations

Former president implicitly rebukes Ahmadinejad administration for "making so much noise" about country's nuclear program. [ interview ] Translator's note: In an interview with the newspaper Jomhouri Eslami, Akbar Hashemi...

05/26/2012Q&A | Iranian Ex-Diplomat: P5+1 'Wants Iran to Give Diamonds for Peanuts'

Q&A | Iranian Ex-Diplomat: P5+1 'Wants Iran to Give Diamonds for Peanuts'

Former nuclear negotiation spokesman foresees little progress until West offers "proportionate reciprocation." [ interview ] Dr. Seyed Hossein Mousavian is an Iranian career diplomat who served as ambassador to Germany...

05/23/2012Q&A | Meir Javedanfar: How Israelis (Including Iranian Israelis) Read Iran

Q&A | Meir Javedanfar: How Israelis (Including Iranian Israelis) Read Iran

"Most Iranian Israelis are very pro-Iran, and very anti-regime." [ interview ] Meir Javedanfar is an Iranian-born Middle East analyst based in Tel Aviv. He specializes in Iranian affairs in...

05/12/2012Q&A | Former Iran Nuclear Negotiator: Bush Negotiation Bid Was Rebuffed

Q&A | Former Iran Nuclear Negotiator: Bush Negotiation Bid Was Rebuffed

Claims then IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei tried to facilitate direct, comprehensive talks proposed by U.S. president in 2004. [ interview ] Translator's note: Dr. Hassan Fereydoun Rowhani was Iran's chief...

05/02/2012Education | The Foucault Made Me Do It

Education | The Foucault Made Me Do It

The demonization of the humanities (and fetishization of the degree) in Iranian higher ed. Shervin Malekzadeh, a visiting assistant professor at Swarthmore College this fall, is finishing a study for...

04/24/2012Q&A | Iran Business Expert: 'Crisis Shaking Foundations of Social Order'

Q&A | Iran Business Expert: 'Crisis Shaking Foundations of Social Order'

[ business ] Bijan Khajehpour is the managing partner at Atieh International, the Vienna-based arm of the Atieh Group, a consortium of strategic consulting firms headquartered in Tehran. In this...

04/18/2012Books | Three-Way Ties: Civil Society, State Ideology, and Geopolitics

Books | Three-Way Ties: Civil Society, State Ideology, and Geopolitics

Drugs, Deviancy and Democracy in Iran: The Interaction of State and Civil Society by Janne Bjerre Christensen (I.B. Tauris) Arab Spring Dreams: The Next Generation Speaks Out for Freedom and...

04/16/2012Homa Katouzian on Khalil Maleki | Part 2: Debunking Conspiracy Theory

Homa Katouzian on Khalil Maleki | Part 2: Debunking Conspiracy Theory

Part 1: Nonalignment and the "Third Force" Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi is a doctoral student in modern Middle East studies at Queens College, University of Oxford. IDÉ is where ideas are discussed...

04/12/2012Homa Katouzian on Khalil Maleki | Part 1: Nonalignment and the 'Third Force'

Homa Katouzian on Khalil Maleki | Part 1: Nonalignment and the 'Third Force'

Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi is a doctoral student in modern Middle East studies at Queens College, University of Oxford. IDÉ is where ideas are discussed in the magazine. [ IDÉ ] Dr....

04/09/2012Profiles | Can Yu Do It? Darvish Makes Pitch for US Baseball Stardom

Profiles | Can Yu Do It? Darvish Makes Pitch for US Baseball Stardom

Japanese Iranian debuts for Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners Monday night. [ sports ] Iranians in the diaspora have watched their compatriots, in the home country and beyond, gain prominence...

03/31/2012The Nationalist-Religious Movement | Part 2: The Revolutionary Era

The Nationalist-Religious Movement | Part 2: The Revolutionary Era

Part 1: Patriots and Mosaddeghists Defeating monarchy, mishandling victory. [ series ] Part 1 of this series described the birth of the nationalist-religious movement in the early 1940s, and its...

03/24/2012Region | Iranian-Saudi Tensions Play Out in Beirut, Tripoli

Region | Iranian-Saudi Tensions Play Out in Beirut, Tripoli

Diverse Lebanese state threatened by sectarian conflict in Syria. Gareth Smyth has reported since 1996 from Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. [ in-depth ] Between downtown Beirut and Corniche al-Mazraa...

03/20/2012Feature | 'We Will Never Bomb Your Country': The Israeli-Iranian Peace Web

Feature | 'We Will Never Bomb Your Country': The Israeli-Iranian Peace Web

Netroots effort launched by Tel Aviv couple inspires thousands. [ feature ] Meet Ronny Edry: an Israeli graphic designer, husband, father of two, and as of a few days ago,...

02/26/2012Dispatch | The Endless Day: A Look at the Lives of Iran's Women Day Laborers

Dispatch | The Endless Day: A Look at the Lives of Iran's Women Day Laborers

Brutal conditions and rampant exploitation in the workplace, little relief at home. [ dispatch ] The lot of women day laborers in Iran, with its patriarchal social structure and straitened...

02/23/2012Education | Everything I Need to Know About Democracy I Learned in 3rd Grade

Education | Everything I Need to Know About Democracy I Learned in 3rd Grade

First lessons in democracy offer insight into the democratic imaginings of the Islamic Republic. [ analysis ] Parliamentary elections for the 9th Majles lie just on the other side of...

01/25/2012Notebook | 16 Days in Evin Prison

Notebook | 16 Days in Evin Prison

A journalist reflects on her two weeks of incarceration in the Islamic Republic. [ feature ] "We've convicted people with thinner files and less evidence," a judge told me on...

01/24/2012Elections | Iran Starts Slashing Candidates

Elections | Iran Starts Slashing Candidates

[ Q&A ] Yasmin Alem, an independent Iran analyst and the author of Duality by Design: The Iranian Electoral System, published by the International Foundation of Electoral Systems. How do...

01/10/2012Profile | Gholamreza Takhti: World Champion Wrestler, Iranian Patriot

Profile | Gholamreza Takhti: World Champion Wrestler, Iranian Patriot

A glorious career, a generous soul, and a mysterious death. [ profile ] Certain popular figures live on for centuries in Iranians' minds and hearts, from the legendary Rostam, Sohrab,...

01/06/2012Q&A | Tightening the Noose Around the Rafsanjanis

Q&A | Tightening the Noose Around the Rafsanjanis

[ Q&A ] The daughter of the former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been sentenced to six months in prison on charges of "spreading propaganda against the ruling system."...

01/03/2012Perspectives | Iranian Progressives Respond to Occupy Wall Street

Perspectives | Iranian Progressives Respond to Occupy Wall Street

[ blog ] Translator's note: During the past few months, progressives inside Iran have taken advantage of the Iranian government's anti-Wall Street rhetoric to hold several forums to discuss the...

12/20/2011Society | Possibilities, Paradoxes, and Our Moment of Painting

Society | Possibilities, Paradoxes, and Our Moment of Painting

[ Bīstoon ] It's a good time for painting in Iran. In my visits, I make sure to go to the galleries in Tehran as often as I can....

12/09/2011Europe | The Identity Necklace: Being Iranian in Britain

Europe | The Identity Necklace: Being Iranian in Britain

Learning how to fine-tune the expression of cultural pride. [ personal history ] My parents are Iranian. My father left Iran when he was 16 years old to study in...

12/06/2011Preview | Majles Elections 2012

Preview | Majles Elections 2012

[ Q&A ] w/ Yasmin Alem, an independent Iran analyst, and the author of Duality by Design: The Iranian Electoral System, published by the International Foundation of Electoral Systems. What...

11/30/2011Region | Hidden Lives: Afghan Girls in Germany

Region | Hidden Lives: Afghan Girls in Germany

A culture clash experienced in everyday battles and lasting repercussions. [ personal history ] When I was growing up as a teenager in Hamburg's Afghan diaspora, my father received a...

11/17/2011Books | The Peculiarities of the Secular

Books | The Peculiarities of the Secular

Is the Middle East becoming more 'secular'? Is Islam an obstacle to secularization? Yes, and no, answers professor Sami Zubaida in a new collection of his most important work. [...

11/15/2011Travel | The Heart of the Kavir, Iran's Great Desert Realm

Travel | The Heart of the Kavir, Iran's Great Desert Realm

A walk through an alien world, harsh and magnificent. [ passport ] A crowd of many hundreds have gathered by the dried-up bed of the Zayanderud (life-giver river); the river...

11/12/2011Society | The Duality of Life in Iran

Society | The Duality of Life in Iran

A look behind the scenes. [ society ] Life in Iran is split in halves: the half lived in the open and the half lived behind closed doors. And this...

11/07/2011Society | Encounters at Dusk

Society | Encounters at Dusk

[ Bīstoon ] Of the many things that change from year to year in my city, Hamedan, the change that disconcerts me most is the disappearance of sunset encounters. Specifically,...

10/30/2011IDÉ | Ali Shariati and the Ideologization of Religion

IDÉ | Ali Shariati and the Ideologization of Religion

An introduction to the influential thinker's views on revolutionary Shiism and the 'warrior intellectual.' [ IDÉ ] No effort will be made here to undertake a comprehensive overview of Ali...

10/17/2011In a Nutshell: Iran's Massive Banking Scandal

In a Nutshell: Iran's Massive Banking Scandal

[ Q&A ] w/ Kevan Harris, a 2011-12 Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace. What's the origin of the Islamic Republic's biggest banking scandal? The financial...

10/04/2011Tehran and the Dream

Tehran and the Dream

[ Bīstoon ] Dear C., There is no city in the world that lives its daily life so closely linked to a dream as does Tehran. This might sound strange,...

10/03/2011Raucous Election: Politicians on the Record

Raucous Election: Politicians on the Record

This is the tenth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012. [ feature ] Iran's 2012 parliamentary elections will help define the country's political course for...

09/30/2011Death Sentence on Christian Leader Yousef Nadarkhani

Death Sentence on Christian Leader Yousef Nadarkhani

'I am resolute in my faith and Christianity and have no wish to recant.' [ quote, unquote ] An Iranian court has imposed the death sentence on Yousef Nadarkhani, a...

09/28/2011Parliament's Evolving Role

Parliament's Evolving Role

This is the ninth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012. [ Q&A ] w/ Ali Reza Eshraghi, a senior editor at several of Iran's reformist dailies....

09/26/2011Youth Game-Changers in Elections

Youth Game-Changers in Elections

[ Q&A ] w/ Kevan Harris, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Johns Hopkins University and a 2011-12 USIP Jennings Randolph Peace Fellow. He visited Iran in June. What role...

09/22/2011Reading Iran: Was Release of US Hikers a Signal?

Reading Iran: Was Release of US Hikers a Signal?

[ quote, unquote ] Tehran Bureau asked Iranian analysts in both Iran and the United States to give their views on the timing of the release of American hikers...

09/22/2011Women Struggle in Parliament

Women Struggle in Parliament

This is the seventh in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012: [ Q&A ] w/ Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, a former member of Iran's parliament (2000-2004). She is currently...

09/19/2011Revolutionary Guards Soar in Parliament

Revolutionary Guards Soar in Parliament

This is the sixth in a series on the parliamentary elections due in March 2012. [ feature ] The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was established to protect domestic...

09/14/2011Slideshow: Audrey and Hannibal

Slideshow: Audrey and Hannibal

[ personal history ] Besides his unfinished portrait of me, I don't have any of our father's oil paintings. But I do have the only one of our mother...

09/14/2011Clerics Plummet in Parliament

Clerics Plummet in Parliament

This is the fifth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012. [ Q&A ] w/ Yasmin Alem, an international development specialist and the author of Duality...

09/12/2011Iran's Conservatives: The Headstrong New Bloc

Iran's Conservatives: The Headstrong New Bloc

The political lineup as the Majles election approaches. [ feature ] In preparation for the 2012 parliamentary election, Iran's diverse conservative parties are already forging a strategy to marginalize or...

09/06/2011Iran's Pivotal Election

Iran's Pivotal Election

The Iran Primer today begins a series on parliamentary elections now scheduled for March 2012. The following is an excerpt from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) report...

09/06/2011History of Iran's Parliaments

History of Iran's Parliaments

[ feature ] This is the second in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012: First parliament (1980-1984) Speaker: Yadollah Sahabi (for one month in mid-1980); Akbar Hashemi...

09/06/2011Fact Sheet: Parliamentary Elections

Fact Sheet: Parliamentary Elections

[ feature ] nota bene: Iran's first parliament was formed after the Constitutional Revolution in 1906 (pictured). Its current parliament was created by a new constitution written after the 1979...

08/27/2011Kamin Mohammadi: My Favorite Books on Iran

Kamin Mohammadi: My Favorite Books on Iran

A personal selection to paint a richer picture. [ feature ] Iranian literature is as rich and varied as the rest of our millennia-old culture, but only a few...

08/26/2011Region | The Myth of Muslim Unity

Region | The Myth of Muslim Unity

A lesson in Afghan-Libyan relations. [ IDÉ ] In 1974 the Islamic Summit conference was under way in Pakistan's Lahore when the Afghan leader Daud Khan found himself rudely awakened...

08/24/2011Audio | The Lion's Den: An Insider's View of Syria, the Assads

Audio | The Lion's Den: An Insider's View of Syria, the Assads

An interview with Andrew Tabler. [ region ] Syria is in its sixth month of turmoil since its violent crackdown on demonstrators, which the government claims consist of armed...

08/17/2011Ali Motahari's Extraordinary Interview

Ali Motahari's Extraordinary Interview

"You think that because they are in the opposition, they must die!" [ feature ] Ali Motahari is a son of the noted Islamic scholar Ayatollah Morteza Motahari (1920-79). The...

08/14/2011Empowering Iranian American Youth: The Camp Ayandeh Story

Empowering Iranian American Youth: The Camp Ayandeh Story

A conversation with cofounder Narges Bajoghli. [ spotlight ] "In ten years, we may not even be able to talk about an Iranian community unless we make a concerted effort...

08/09/2011Iran's Education Overhaul: Controversial Textbooks | Part 2

Iran's Education Overhaul: Controversial Textbooks | Part 2

[ Q&A ] w/ Shervin Malekzadeh, who recently received his Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. His dissertation, based on nearly two years of research in Iran, deals with the...

08/09/2011Iran's Education Overhaul | Part I

Iran's Education Overhaul | Part I

[ Q&A ] w/ Shervin Malekzadeh, who recently received his Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. His dissertation, based on nearly two years of research in Iran, deals with the...

08/06/2011'A Darker Horizon': The Assassination of Shapour Bakhtiar

'A Darker Horizon': The Assassination of Shapour Bakhtiar

On the 20th anniversary of the opposition leader's murder, a comprehensive look at the details and the bigger picture. [ feature ] Late on a Tuesday afternoon 20 years ago,...

07/27/2011Reform and Liberation Movements: Iranian Kurdish Leader Speaks | 2

Reform and Liberation Movements: Iranian Kurdish Leader Speaks | 2

Part 1: An introduction to the history of the Kurdish self-determination movement in Iran and the first part of the interview. 'This regime will fall,' declares Mostafa Hejri, head of...

07/27/2011Russia's New Diplomatic Idea for Iran

Russia's New Diplomatic Idea for Iran

[ Q&A ] During a visit to the United States in mid-July, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov presented the Obama administration with a plan for "step by step" nuclear talks...

07/24/2011Reform and Liberation Movements 'No Match': Iran Kurdish Leader Speaks | 1

Reform and Liberation Movements 'No Match': Iran Kurdish Leader Speaks | 1

'Federalism is not a recipe for disintegration,' declares DPIK chief Mostafa Hejri. [ feature ] As one of the oldest Kurdish political parties in the Middle East, the Democratic Party...

07/14/2011Review | The Fear of God

Review | The Fear of God

Said Amir Arjomand The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam: Religion. Political Order, and Societal Change in Shi'ite Iran from the Beginning to 1890, University of Chicago Press, paperback...

07/12/2011Food, Politics, and the Iranian Way of Water | Part 3

Food, Politics, and the Iranian Way of Water | Part 3

Part 1: The life and near death of the qanat system. | Part 2: Qanats -- natural harmony. Part 3: What does nature know? [ personal history ] Water...

07/11/2011Food, Politics, and the Iranian Way of Water | Part 2

Food, Politics, and the Iranian Way of Water | Part 2

Part 1: The life and near death of the qanat system. Part 2: Qanats -- natural harmony. [ personal history ] Anthropologists and archeologists believe qanats were invented in Iran...

07/02/2011Changing Iranians' Habits

Changing Iranians' Habits

Translator's note: Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh is a leading figure in modern Persian writing. The Hemingway of Iran, he broke with the florid 19th-century style that unfortunately continues to convolute Iranian...

06/30/2011The Assembly of Experts

The Assembly of Experts

[ primer ] The Assembly of Experts for the Leadership (Majles-e Khobragan Rahbari) is Iran's only constitutional body with the authority to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader. The 86...

06/29/2011Housing Market Revival Appears Short-Lived

Housing Market Revival Appears Short-Lived

Price bubble unlikely. [ business ] When economic conditions are uncertain and unpredictable, most ordinary investors focus on markets that, although they may involve some risk, have the potential for...

06/28/2011Iran's Women Two Years after the Uprising

Iran's Women Two Years after the Uprising

[ Q&A ] w/ Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, a women's rights activist, is one of the founding members of the Stop Stoning to Death Campaign and the Iranian Women's...

06/19/2011Chamber of Commerce Elections Bring Surprises, New Faces

Chamber of Commerce Elections Bring Surprises, New Faces

Influence of trade and industrial associations grows. [ business ] Elections held on June 15 for the board of directors of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Mines produced some...

06/19/2011New UN Human Rights Rapporteur for Iran

New UN Human Rights Rapporteur for Iran

[ Q&A ] w/ Roberto Toscano, Italy's former ambassador to Iran. On June 17, the U.N. Human Rights Council appointed Ahmed Shaheed, former Maldives foreign minister (2005-7), as the new...

06/11/2011AIPAC from the Inside | Part 2: Wrangling over Regime Change

AIPAC from the Inside | Part 2: Wrangling over Regime Change

Part 1: Isolating Iran Keith Weissman on resisting the regime change agenda, espionage charges, and making a living. [ feature ] With the election of George W. Bush, the events...

06/11/2011AIPAC from the Inside | Part 1: Isolating Iran

AIPAC from the Inside | Part 1: Isolating Iran

Keith Weissman on joining AIPAC, the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, and the BTC pipeline. [ feature ] In August 2005, two lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Steve...

06/09/2011Q&A | Maziar Bahari

Q&A | Maziar Bahari

[ Q&A ] w/ Iranian Canadian journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned in Iran between June and October 2009. He is the coauthor of a new book, And...

06/07/2011The Green Movement: Past and Future

The Green Movement: Past and Future

[ Q&A ] w/ author Abbas Milani. The opposition Green Movement emerged spontaneously two years ago to challenge results of the disputed 2009 presidential election. What is the status of...

06/07/2011Iran's Deepening Internal Battle

Iran's Deepening Internal Battle

[ Q&A ] w/ Iran expert Farideh Farhi. Two years after his controversial reelection, President Ahmadinejad faces mounting pressure from the Supreme Leader, parliament and the Guardian Council on...

06/05/2011The State of Labor in Iran's Oil and Petrochemical Industry

The State of Labor in Iran's Oil and Petrochemical Industry

[ business ] Translator's note: On May 24, a massive explosion and fire at a newly inaugurated oil refinery in Abadan led to the deaths and injuries of an unknown...

06/03/2011Escalating Sanctions on Iran

Escalating Sanctions on Iran

[ Q&A ] w/ Patrick Clawson, director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. What do the latest U.S. and European sanctions say about international pressure on...

05/30/2011Photo Essay | Le 15 ème: Téhéran-sur-Seine

Photo Essay | Le 15 ème: Téhéran-sur-Seine

[ spotlight ] "Persians have settled in various parts of Paris according to their means," Vida Nassehi-Behnam wrote in an entry for Encyclopaedia Iranica more than a decade ago. "The...

05/27/2011Gates Says Iran Factor in U.S. Troops in Iraq

Gates Says Iran Factor in U.S. Troops in Iraq

Deadline offers challenges and opportunities. [ analysis ] Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on May 24, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that intimidating Iran is a central reason...

05/25/2011Naser Hejazi: The Life and Death of a Modern Legend

Naser Hejazi: The Life and Death of a Modern Legend

A star's talent, a warrior's courage. [ obit ] Few lives have captured the drama and the tragedy of daily existence in Iran like that of Naser Hejazi, the...

05/23/2011The Impact of Syria's Unrest on Iran

The Impact of Syria's Unrest on Iran

[ Q&A ] w/ Jubin Goodarzi, author of Syria and Iran: Diplomatic Alliance and Power Politics in the Middle East. What role is Iran playing in the Syrian political crisis?...

05/19/2011The Arab Spring's Impact on U.S.-Iran Rivalry

The Arab Spring's Impact on U.S.-Iran Rivalry

[ Q&A ] w/ Ellen Laipson, president and CEO of the Stimson Center. How has the Arab spring changed the strategic environment for U.S.-Iran relations? Turbulence in Arab politics will...

05/10/2011Food, Politics, and the Iranian Way of Water | Part 1

Food, Politics, and the Iranian Way of Water | Part 1

The life and near death of the qanat system. [ personal history ] It is hard to imagine that many are aware of such a threshold. Certainly, birth and death...

05/10/2011Setting the Stage for a Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons

Setting the Stage for a Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons

'Fukushima factor,' Arab Spring, Iran-West stalemate, calls for Israel to abandon opacity policy all contribute to improved prospects. [ IDÉ ] While small, incremental steps have historically proven inadequate in...

05/02/2011Ancient Persian Treasures in American Courts

Ancient Persian Treasures in American Courts

Legal dispute over Persepolis tablets threatens international lending of cultural assets. [ briefs ] In 1930, archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld came across 30,000 clay tablets on a dig in the ancient...

04/26/2011Iran Splits over Intelligence Chief

Iran Splits over Intelligence Chief

[ quote, unquote ] In an unusual public spat, Iran's top two leaders have split over the future of intelligence chief Heydar Moslehi. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly wanted him sacked...

04/24/2011Shirin Ebadi on Iran, Human Rights, and 'The Golden Cage'

Shirin Ebadi on Iran, Human Rights, and 'The Golden Cage'

Nobel laureate discusses her new book, the situation in Khuzestan, individually targeted sanctions, and more. [ Q&A ] On the inside cover of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi's new...

04/18/2011Iranian Labor and the Struggle for Independent Unions

Iranian Labor and the Struggle for Independent Unions

In the face of state repression and sham 'representation,' the revival of a century-old effort. [ overview ] The establishment of independent labor organizations has always been problematic for the...

04/13/2011Nasrin Sotoudeh, Sentenced to 11 Years, Wins PEN Freedom to Write Award

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Sentenced to 11 Years, Wins PEN Freedom to Write Award

[ profile ] PEN American Center, the U.S. chapter of the worldwide human rights and literary organization, has announced that Iranian writer, attorney, and women's and children's rights activist Nasrin...

04/12/2011A Banner Day for Iranian American Voices

A Banner Day for Iranian American Voices

Nowruz dispute in Irvine echoes broader issues. [ diaspora ] When Iranian Americans take umbrage over a particular issue, they typically head to their computers and send out chain...

04/05/2011Arab Unrest and Iran's Oil Sales

Arab Unrest and Iran's Oil Sales

Regional disorder presents timely opportunities, as leading Asian importers trim purchases. [ business/analysis ] Unrest in the Arab world continues to send jitters through world oil markets. With fears that...

03/31/2011Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei: Iran's Next President?

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei: Iran's Next President?

Speculation swirls around future of Ahmadinejad's chief of staff and confidant. [ primer ] Although never elected to office, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei is a major political figure, with speculation mounting...

03/28/2011Growing World Pressure Over Iran's Human Rights Record

Growing World Pressure Over Iran's Human Rights Record

[ quotes ] The U.N. decision to appoint an investigator to track Iran's human rights violations is the latest move by the international community to increase pressure on Tehran. The...

03/25/2011Iran Warns Gulf on Bahrain

Iran Warns Gulf on Bahrain

Rhetoric toughens as neighbors intervene. [ spotlight ] After weeks of relative silence, Iran has become increasingly outspoken about Bahrain's political crisis since Saudi Arabia deployed troops to back up...

03/20/2011Japan's Nuclear Disaster: Sobering Lessons for Iran

Japan's Nuclear Disaster: Sobering Lessons for Iran

Grave questions over safety regulations, enforcement, contingency plans in earthquake-prone country. [ analysis ] A byproduct of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami that killed as many...

03/16/2011Did He Jump or Was He Pushed? Cracking the Rafsanjani Code

Did He Jump or Was He Pushed? Cracking the Rafsanjani Code

Survivor of over three decades' worth of intrigue beats a strategic retreat. [ analysis ] Few figures in Iran's modern history are more controversial than Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Hailing...

03/12/2011Iran's African Misadventures

Iran's African Misadventures

Years spent forging relationships come to nothing amid allegations of covert arms supplies to one or more West African states. [ analysis ] Iran has succeeded in derailing its relationship...

03/10/2011Shake-up in the Assembly

Shake-up in the Assembly

[ primer ] Iran's Assembly of Experts voted March 8 to replace former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from the chairmanship. What happened and why is the outcome significant? On March...

03/07/2011Rising Oil Prices Create Political Cushion for Iran

Rising Oil Prices Create Political Cushion for Iran

[ primer ] Oil prices have risen worldwide because of political unrest and upheavals in the Middle East. How has Iran been affected by the turmoil in oil sales? The...

03/03/2011The Blue Movement?

The Blue Movement?

[ media watch ] During President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's March 2 trip to Lorestan province, in western Iran, the protesters weren't waving green banners -- at least not the ones that...

03/01/2011Fissures in the Revolutionary Guards' Officer Corps?

Fissures in the Revolutionary Guards' Officer Corps?

Examining the tensions both within the corps and between the Guards and the regular armed forces. [ analysis ] The events since the June 12, 2009, presidential election in Iran...

02/28/2011Iran's Economy in the Shadow of Regional Upheaval

Iran's Economy in the Shadow of Regional Upheaval

Tehran's surprising ability to take politically risky, economically rational decisions at a time of intense international pressure over its nuclear program confounds external observers. [ analysis ] Iran's stability...

02/26/2011Eliminating the Opposition, Islamic Republic Style

Eliminating the Opposition, Islamic Republic Style

Tehran replays same old tactics against opposition. [ analysis ] The tactics that Iran's Islamic regime has employed against the opposition Green Movement follow a well-worn pattern that can be...

02/26/2011UN Nuke Report Asserts Ongoing Iran Stonewall, 'Further Concerns'

UN Nuke Report Asserts Ongoing Iran Stonewall, 'Further Concerns'

Indications that country's atomic program has recovered from Stuxnet attack. [ analysis ] The United Nations has obtained new information that Iran may have worked on making nuclear weapons, according...

02/25/2011Iran on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

Iran on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

[ primer ] For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood was the largest organized opposition party in Egypt. It is Islamist. What are its similarities and differences with Iran's Islamic revolution? The...

02/25/2011Hardline Clerics Hold Hush-Hush Convention

Hardline Clerics Hold Hush-Hush Convention

Indications that plotting Rafsanjani's fall was at center of agenda. [ analysis ] Two important events occurred almost simultaneously this week in Iran -- the elections for the national...

02/23/2011Iran's Approach to the Arab Uprisings

Iran's Approach to the Arab Uprisings

Iran's case-by-case approach to the Arab uprisings. [ analysis ] Reading some of the newspapers in the Sunni-majority Arab states, you may get the impression that Tehran's long regional arm...

02/23/2011The Pseudo-Parliament of Iran's Private Sector

The Pseudo-Parliament of Iran's Private Sector

[ analysis ] In the most important election to take place in Iran since the controversial June 2009 presidential contest, the leadership of the influential Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry,...

02/23/2011The Mujahedeen-e Khalq Controversy

The Mujahedeen-e Khalq Controversy

What is the Mujahedeen-e Khalq organization? The Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), or the People's Mujahedeen Organization, was founded in 1965 as an urban guerrilla group opposed to the monarchy of Shah...

02/17/2011Iran's Labor Flash Point

Iran's Labor Flash Point

Can Green activists build a coalition with workers' groups? [ analysis ] Iran's labor movement and working class have been pivotal political actors for more than a century, with one...

02/15/201125 Bahman and the Green Revival

25 Bahman and the Green Revival

Surprising success of Monday demonstrations shows regime in a bind. [ on the scene ] It appears that up to 350,000 people turned out on the streets of Tehran for...

02/15/2011US Gets Tougher on Iran

US Gets Tougher on Iran

Significant shift in tone vs. response to 2009 protests. [ spotlight ] The Obama administration has become increasingly outspoken about Iran since the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings. The main focus...

02/13/2011The Future of Democracy in Iran: Is 'Collective Experience' the Key?

The Future of Democracy in Iran: Is 'Collective Experience' the Key?

Democracy in Modern Iran: Islam, Culture, and Political Change (New York University Press, 2010), by Ali Mirsepassi [ IDÉ ] Ali Mirsepassi's latest volume, Democracy in Modern Iran: Islam, Culture...

02/10/2011President vs. Parliament: The Tehran Political Game Heats Up

President vs. Parliament: The Tehran Political Game Heats Up

Behbahani impeachment highlights most recent round. Next: Who will score big with the budget? [ analysis ] While the world is captivated by the events in Egypt, developments in Iran...

02/09/2011A Revolution's Anniversary: Iran's Creeping Military Rule

A Revolution's Anniversary: Iran's Creeping Military Rule

[ Q&A ] w/ Shaul Bakhash, the Clarence Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University. Iran's revolution marks its anniversary on Feb. 11. What is the political situation in...

02/03/2011Egypt 2011: Iran 1979 or 2009...or Neither?

Egypt 2011: Iran 1979 or 2009...or Neither?

Ideological domination of Islamic Revolution and Republic marks the crucial difference. [ analysis ] The rapid political developments in Egypt that have brought the 30-year dictatorship of President Hosni Mubarak...

01/30/2011Tehran: Paradox City 2

Tehran: Paradox City 2

Part 1 [ feature ] Neoliberal turn But the 1990s was also a decade of deepening economic disparity. Rafsanjani's "economic reconstruction" involved the liberalization of prices and the exchange...

01/30/2011Tehran: Paradox City 1

Tehran: Paradox City 1

[ feature ] Tehran is not an "interesting" city. It is not like its regional counterparts Istanbul or Cairo, with their long imperial or colonial histories, pivotal geo-political locations, memorable...

01/24/2011In Tunisia, Are Sisters Doin' It for Themselves?

In Tunisia, Are Sisters Doin' It for Themselves?

An interview with Dr. Amel Grami of Tunisia's University of Manouba. [ Q&A ] The Tunisian uprising in January 2011 took the entire world by surprise. Following a self-immolation...

01/19/2011Tunisia's Revolution: Lessons for Iran

Tunisia's Revolution: Lessons for Iran

Involving all economic classes is crucial in the struggle for democracy. But don't bank on help from Uncle Sam. [ analysis ] Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali -- the man who...

01/18/2011Iranian Voices: The Hariri Tribunal

Iranian Voices: The Hariri Tribunal

Indictments have been served to the International Court of Justice for the murder of former prime minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri. While the indictments are expected to focus on...

01/16/2011Iranian Voices: Tunisia and 'Exporting the Revolution'

Iranian Voices: Tunisia and 'Exporting the Revolution'

Iran's state-controlled media has been widely presenting the ouster of the Tunisian president as a revolution, one inspired by Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979. The comments below show Iranians...

01/14/2011Has Professor Ali-Mohammadi's Assassin Really Been Arrested?

Has Professor Ali-Mohammadi's Assassin Really Been Arrested?

Absurdity-riddled 'confession' raises slew of serious questions. [ comment ] In early January 2010, Dr. Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, a professor of physics at the University of Tehran, was assassinated in front...

01/13/2011Nuke Estimate May Buy Diplomacy More Time

Nuke Estimate May Buy Diplomacy More Time

[ Q&A ] w/ Michael Adler, a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He formerly covered the International Atomic Energy Agency for Agence France-Presse. What...

01/11/2011Khatami's Sharp-Sighted Strategy

Khatami's Sharp-Sighted Strategy

Who is the real target of his conditions for Reformist involvement in the next elections? [ analysis ] On December 29, 2010, former President Mohammad Khatami met with the Reformist...

6 Comments
01/10/2011'If You Were Gay...' in Iran

'If You Were Gay...' in Iran

A difference of opinion concerning a difference of preference. "If you were gay, I wouldn't feel comfortable talking with you," added the doctor, reclining as our host scurried about in...

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01/09/2011What's Turkey Role in the Second Round of Iran Talks?

What's Turkey Role in the Second Round of Iran Talks?

[ Q&A ] w/ Henri J. Barkey, who served as a member of the U.S. State Department Policy Planning Staff working primarily on issues related to the Middle East,...

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01/05/2011The Chain Murders: Killing Dissidents and Intellectuals, 1988-1998

The Chain Murders: Killing Dissidents and Intellectuals, 1988-1998

[ feature ] January 6 is the 11th anniversary of the statement by Iran's Ministry of Intelligence in which it admitted that its agents had killed several dissidents and intellectuals...

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01/03/2011Camellia Sinensis

Camellia Sinensis

A brief history of tea. [ feature ] I once drove east along the Caspian Sea, past the rolling hills of Lahijan, during the tea leaf-picking season. Colorfully dressed Gilaki...

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12/29/2010Petroleum Product Usage Plummets Post-Subsidy Paring

Petroleum Product Usage Plummets Post-Subsidy Paring

Ahmadinejad cheers drop in consumption, 'kisses hands' of entire nation. [ business ] Statistics released by the Petroleum Distribution Company of Iran indicate that during the nine days that the...

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12/28/2010Ahmadinejad's Big Rally for Subsidy Cuts

Ahmadinejad's Big Rally for Subsidy Cuts

[ on the scene ] I went to Ahmadinejad's big rally-and-fire-spitting extravaganza in Karaj today. It was probably the largest gathering he's had, so far as his provincial visits...

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12/28/2010Iranian Voices: The Drama of Mashaei

Iranian Voices: The Drama of Mashaei

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, has become one of the most controversial figures in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mashaei holds 17 official positions, including...

5 Comments
12/25/2010Iranian Voices: Mottaki's Unceremonious Dismissal

Iranian Voices: Mottaki's Unceremonious Dismissal

Photo: Writing on door says, "Push," "Exit." Manouchehr Mottaki, recently removed from his position as Iran's foreign minister, responded to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks about his dismissal in Istanbul,...

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12/23/2010Mr. Salehi's In-Tray

Mr. Salehi's In-Tray

Iran's new foreign minister faces formidable challenges but should not be underestimated. [ analysis ] An assistant to Ali Akbar Salehi asked me if I had telephoned to congratulate him...

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12/22/2010The Other Side of the Militarization of Iran's Regime

The Other Side of the Militarization of Iran's Regime

[ analysis ] This week, Iran implemented an overhaul of its national subsidy system, in effect cutting billions of dollars worth of subsidies for daily consumer use, especially fuel and...

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12/19/2010Iranian Voices: Subsidy Cuts

Iranian Voices: Subsidy Cuts

Video: Ayatollah Khomeini's speech, with English subtitles, promising Iranians free water, electricity, bus service, and other services, over scene of Tehran street on Saturday night with cars in long...

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12/16/2010Politics and the Press in Iran III

Politics and the Press in Iran III

Press and politics in Iran have been intertwined from the very beginning of the country's experiment with modernity. Newspapers and periodicals have served as important forums for Iranians to discuss...

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12/15/2010The Changing of the Guard: The Persian Gulf between Two Superpowers

The Changing of the Guard: The Persian Gulf between Two Superpowers

Pax Iranica's rise and fall, and the 1971-1991 interregnum between British and U.S. hegemony. [ feature ] On December 19, 1971, as HMS Achilles and HMS Intrepid sailed out of...

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12/13/2010Iran's Trade with Major Powers Grows, Despite Sanctions

Iran's Trade with Major Powers Grows, Despite Sanctions

Iran exports to U.S. up 6 percent, imports down 26 in first half of 2010. Exports to Britain triple. [ business ] Trade between Iran and the world's six major...

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12/10/2010The Iran 34: Journalists in Jail

The Iran 34: Journalists in Jail

Editor's note: On December 8, the Committee to Protect Journalists published its annual report on imprisoned journalists around the world. The total of 145 incarcerated journalists is the highest figure...

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12/05/2010Using WikiLeaks to Advance the Narrative of War on Iran

Using WikiLeaks to Advance the Narrative of War on Iran

Morally bankrupt U.S. media buries facts that counter the case for war. [ analysis ] The classified documents released by WikiLeaks have had something for everyone. Supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...

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11/29/2010The Political Craft of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad | Part 2: The Great Balancing Act

The Political Craft of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad | Part 2: The Great Balancing Act

Part 1: Too Busy for Birthdays More than a year into his second term as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, fundamental questions remain about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Is...

11/28/2010The Political Craft of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad | Part 1: Too Busy for Birthdays

The Political Craft of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad | Part 1: Too Busy for Birthdays

More than a year into his second term as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, fundamental questions remain about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Is he a true believer? Is he...

3 Comments
11/23/2010Larijani's 'Landslide'

Larijani's 'Landslide'

More creative balloting. [ dispatch ] Majles Speaker Ali Larijani's recent election as chairman of the majority faction has further highlighted the cracks in the pro-regime Principlist camp and...

2 Comments
11/21/2010Iranian Opposition Struggles to Survive

Iranian Opposition Struggles to Survive

Ruling bloc lines up own allies to play role of election "rivals." Pro-government parties in Iran are already maneuvering for the next parliamentary election due in early 2012, but it...

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11/15/2010High Anxiety over Falling Subsidies

High Anxiety over Falling Subsidies

State and people both show nerves over subsidy reform. [ primer ] A bad case of nerves has hit Iran. With long-delayed subsidy reform due to take effect any day,...

29 Comments
11/14/2010On Boycotting Philosophy Congress in Iran

On Boycotting Philosophy Congress in Iran

Translator's Note: On November 10, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) canceled plans to hold its annual Congress for World Philosophy Day in Tehran. The Iranian government...

8 Comments
11/11/2010Iran's Most Dangerous Jobs

Iran's Most Dangerous Jobs

Attorney, Journalist, Nationalist, Religious: The Unbreakable Nasrin Sotoudeh Throughout Iran's modern history, certain careers have always been extremely dangerous to pursue. Given that, except for brief periods, Iran has been...

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11/07/2010'Paris c'est fini!'

'Paris c'est fini!'

Leaving Paris for a utopian garden in Damavand. [ personal history ] "Avec Paris c'est fini!" So bewails Lady Andreyevna Lyubov, owner of the eponymous cherry orchard in Chekhov's classic...

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11/05/2010Tehran Bureau Turns Two

Tehran Bureau Turns Two

[ spotlight ] Tehran Bureau launched on this date, at this address, exactly two years ago today. Our first post was by investigative reporter Robert Dreyfuss, followed by a...

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11/04/2010Reflections on the Anniversary of the U.S. Embassy Takeover

Reflections on the Anniversary of the U.S. Embassy Takeover

[ primer ] Q&A with John Limbert Nov. 4 is the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover. You were a U.S. diplomat in Tehran and then a hostage. Over...

11/03/2010Iran Primer: The Carter Administration

Iran Primer: The Carter Administration

[ primer ] When President Jimmy Carter took office in January 1977, he inherited a unique relationship with Iran and its imperious and ambitious ruler Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi. That...

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11/03/2010Iran Primer: The Reagan Administration

Iran Primer: The Reagan Administration

[ primer ] Ronald Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1981, just as Iran released 52 Americans held hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran for 444 days....

11/03/2010Iran Primer: The George H. W. Bush Administration

Iran Primer: The George H. W. Bush Administration

[ primer ] George H. W. Bush entered the White House during a period of rapid and historic global change. The main development was the end of the Cold War,...

11/03/2010Iran Primer: The Clinton Administration

Iran Primer: The Clinton Administration

[ primer ] When President Clinton took office in 1993, the United States had no direct diplomatic relations with Iran. Any prospect of improvement was complicated by sanctions dating back...

11/03/2010Iran Primer: The George W. Bush Administration

Iran Primer: The George W. Bush Administration

[ primer ] The Bush administration had perhaps the most significant public engagement with Iran since the 1979 revolution, mainly on Afghanistan and Iraq. But it was short-lived. Iran's growing...

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11/03/2010Iran Primer: The Obama Administration

Iran Primer: The Obama Administration

[ primer ] President Obama inherited 30 years of hostility in U.S.-Iran relations. During the previous decade, the two longstanding rivals had engaged in unofficial outreach. Track II diplomacy had...

3 Comments
11/02/2010Iran Primer: Timeline of Military and Security Events

Iran Primer: Timeline of Military and Security Events

1979 May 5 The Revolutionary Guards were established by decree of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Aug. 10 Iran canceled a $9 billion arms deal with the United States made during the...

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11/02/2010Iran Primer: Timeline of U.S. Sanctions

Iran Primer: Timeline of U.S. Sanctions

Since 2005, the United States has designated Iranian individuals, companies and organizations for involvement in nuclear proliferation, ballistic missile development, or support for terrorist groups. These designations have been made...

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11/02/2010Iran Primer: Timeline of Iran's Nuclear Activities

Iran Primer: Timeline of Iran's Nuclear Activities

1957 The United States and Iran signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement as part of the United States Atoms for Peace program. The agreement provided for U.S. technical assistance and...

11/02/2010Iran Primer: Iran's Nuclear Sites

Iran Primer: Iran's Nuclear Sites

Bushehr Nuclear Facility The Bushehr facility contains Iran's first nuclear power plant. Its light-water reactor was loaded with nuclear fuel in August 2010. It has an operating capacity of...

11/02/2010Iran Primer: U.S. Sanctions for Human Rights Abuses

Iran Primer: U.S. Sanctions for Human Rights Abuses

On Sept. 29, 2010, the United States imposed the first sanctions on Iran for human rights violations. President Obama signed an executive order that allowed financial and travel restrictions...

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11/02/2010Iran Primer: Timeline of U.N. Security Council Resolutions

Iran Primer: Timeline of U.N. Security Council Resolutions

Security Council Resolution 1737, Vote: 15-0 (December 23, 2006) Ballistic Missiles: Requires states to prevent the sale or transfer to Iran of items contributing to weapon delivery systems. Imposes asset...

11/02/2010Iran Primer: Websites for Additional Information

Iran Primer: Websites for Additional Information

Official news sites Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's website Office of the President's website Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Iranian Parliament's website...

11/01/2010Iran Primer: Iran's Power Structure

Iran Primer: Iran's Power Structure

Mehrzad Boroujerdi is associate professor of political science and director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program at Syracuse University. Kourosh Rahimkhani is an independent scholar specializing in Iranian affairs....

11/01/2010Iran Primer: Iran's Political Elite

Iran Primer: Iran's Political Elite

Abdi, Abbas (1956- ) A leading journalist and political analyst. He was one of the students who took over the American embassy on November 4, 1979. In 1999, he took...

11/01/2010Iran Primer: Timeline of Iran's Foreign Relations

Iran Primer: Timeline of Iran's Foreign Relations

1979 Feb. 12 Syria was the first Arab country to recognize the revolutionary regime when President Hafez al-Assad sent a telegram of congratulations to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The revolution transformed...

11/01/2010Iran Primer: Timeline of Iran's Political Events

Iran Primer: Timeline of Iran's Political Events

1979 Jan. 16 The shah and his family went into exile. Feb. 1 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 years in exile in France and Iraq. Feb. 11...

10/29/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Syria

Iran Primer: Iran and Syria

[ primer ] The Iran-Syria alliance grew out of common cause -- and common enemies. Since Iran's 1979 revolution, the two regional powerhouses have pooled political leverage and military resources...

1 Comment
10/29/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Lebanon

Iran Primer: Iran and Lebanon

[ primer ] Iran has long had ties to Lebanon through its Shiite community, the largest of Lebanon's 18 recognized sects. Many Lebanese clerics came from Iran, trained under Iranians,...

10/29/2010Iran Primer: Iran and China

Iran Primer: Iran and China

[ primer ] Iran and China established diplomatic relations in 1971, but trade started in 1950. Since 1982, Sino-Iranian economic and technological cooperation has progressed significantly. In 1985, they set...

10/29/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Russia

Iran Primer: Iran and Russia

[ primer ] Relations between Russia and Iran have long been difficult--and appear likely to remain so. Tensions date back to the early 19th century, when Iran lost territory to...

10/29/2010Iran Primer: Iran and the European Union

Iran Primer: Iran and the European Union

[ primer ] For decades, the European Union's policy of engaging Tehran differed markedly from the U.S. policy of containing or isolating Iran. At the height of European engagement, EU...

10/29/2010Iran Primer: Iran's Alternative Allies

Iran Primer: Iran's Alternative Allies

[ primer ] Iran has developed close ties with a wide range of alternative allies in Latin America and Africa. These relationships serve several purposes. They impede U.S. and European...

10/28/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Iraq

Iran Primer: Iran and Iraq

[ primer ] Since ancient times, Iraq and Iran have been the seats of rival states and empires. Mesopotamia, today's Iraq, was home to the Assyrian, Babylonian, and medieval Abbasid...

3 Comments
10/28/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Afghanistan

Iran Primer: Iran and Afghanistan

[ primer ] Iran has been an influential force in Afghanistan. Dari, the Afghan dialect of Persian, is one of Afghanistan's two official languages and is used by intellectuals and...

10/28/2010Iran Primer: Iran and the Gulf States

Iran Primer: Iran and the Gulf States

[ primer ] Modern Iranian leaders -- from shahs to ayatollahs -- have sought a dominant role in the Gulf region because of Iran's economic and demographic weight, as well...

1 Comment
10/28/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Turkey

Iran Primer: Iran and Turkey

[ primer ] In many ways, Turkey and Iran are mirror images of each other. They share geography, culture, religion, and a long history of conflict and cooperation. They both...

10/28/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Israel

Iran Primer: Iran and Israel

[ primer ] Iran was a focal point of Israeli foreign policy almost as soon as the new state was established in 1948. After initial stumbles, the two countries developed...

3 Comments
10/28/2010Iran Primer: Iran and the Palestinians

Iran Primer: Iran and the Palestinians

[ primer ] Between Israel's birth in 1948 and Iran's revolution in 1979, the two countries had close relations based on common strategic interests, particularly as the two non-Arab countries...

10/27/2010Iran Primer: The Green Movement

Iran Primer: The Green Movement

[ primer ] A new opposition was born after the disputed June 12, 2009, presidential election that changed the face of Iranian politics -- and Iran. A nation long maligned...

10/27/2010Iran Primer: The Women's Movement

Iran Primer: The Women's Movement

[ primer ] Iranian women made considerable progress during the Pahlavi era (1925-1979). Education for both girls and boys was free. When Tehran University opened in 1936, Iran's first university...

4 Comments
10/27/2010Iran Primer: The New Political Tools

Iran Primer: The New Political Tools

[ primer ] Free speech in Iran is severely limited, and the media is predominantly state-controlled. Restrictions on free speech are enshrined in Iran's constitution, which declares that, "The media...

10/27/2010Iran Primer: The Youth

Iran Primer: The Youth

[ primer ] Iran's youth have been politically active since the 1953 ouster of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The death of three students in protests against Vice President Nixon's 1953...

1 Comment
10/26/2010Iran Primer: The Oil and Gas Industry

Iran Primer: The Oil and Gas Industry

[ primer ] In 1908, Iran was the first country in the Persian Gulf to discover oil. Petroleum has been the primary industry in Iran since the 1920s. Despite Tehran's...

10/26/2010Iran Primer: Oil and Gas Charts

Iran Primer: Oil and Gas Charts

[ primer ] Iranian benchmark crude oil prices (1970-2010), crude oil production (1970-2020 proj.), and natural gas production (1970-2010/2030 proj.) in graphic and tabular form. Fareed Mohamedi is partner and...

10/26/2010Iran Primer: The Bazaar

Iran Primer: The Bazaar

[ primer ] Bazaars in Iran are more than local markets for the truck and barter of traditional goods and handicrafts. They are urban marketplaces where national and international...

10/26/2010Iran Primer: The Revolutionary Economy

Iran Primer: The Revolutionary Economy

[ primer ] Iran's revolutionaries inherited an economy in the throes of massive change and epic growth. In less than one century, Iran had been transformed from a small, predominantly...

1 Comment
10/26/2010Iran Primer: The Subsidies Conundrum

Iran Primer: The Subsidies Conundrum

[ primer ] The 1979 Revolution was carried out in the name of "the oppressed," and the Islamic Republic has been a welfare state committed to "social justice" ever...

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10/25/2010Iran Primer: Reading Iran

Iran Primer: Reading Iran

[ primer ] Reading Iran is critical to U.S. policy-making to understand the threats and dangers, as well as changing conditions that create opportunities for engaging Tehran. But U.S. government...

5 Comments
10/25/2010Iran Primer: The Military Option

Iran Primer: The Military Option

[ primer ] Since the mid-1990s, the international community has claimed Iran was engaged in a clandestine uranium enrichment program that could be used to develop a nuclear weapons capability....

10/25/2010Iran Primer: Track II Diplomacy

Iran Primer: Track II Diplomacy

[ primer ] The term "track II diplomacy" refers to frank, off-the-record interactions often between members of adversarial countries outside of official negotiations. An early example of track II was...

10/25/2010Iran Primer: Engaging Tehran

Iran Primer: Engaging Tehran

[ primer ] The 9/11 attacks opened a brief period of cooperation between the United States and Iran. Tehran had long opposed both the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Iran publicly...

10/25/2010Iran Primer: Containing Iran

Iran Primer: Containing Iran

[ primer ] The Carter administration attempted to develop normal diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic after the revolution. But the White House reluctantly shifted to a policy of containment...

10/21/2010Iran Primer: The U.N. Resolutions

Iran Primer: The U.N. Resolutions

[ primer ] International concern over Iran's nuclear intentions escalated in August 2002, after an Iranian dissident group revealed a secret uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water...

7 Comments
10/21/2010Iran Primer: Financial Sanctions

Iran Primer: Financial Sanctions

[ primer ] Sanctions have been a regular feature of U.S. policy toward Iran for more than three decades. Washington first imposed sanctions on Iran over the 1979 U.S. Embassy...

10/21/2010Iran Primer: U.S. Sanctions

Iran Primer: U.S. Sanctions

[ primer ] Sanctions have been a regular feature of U.S. policy toward Iran for more than three decades. Washington first imposed sanctions on Iran over the 1979 U.S. Embassy...

10/21/2010Iran Primer: The Revolutionary Guards

Iran Primer: The Revolutionary Guards

[ primer ] The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was created after the 1979 revolution to enforce Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's concept of an Islamic state ruled by a velaayat-e faghih...

5 Comments
10/21/2010Iran Primer: Iran's Military Doctrine

Iran Primer: Iran's Military Doctrine

[ primer ] Iranian military doctrine constitutes a unique hybrid of western (especially U.S.) military concepts coupled with ideological tenets, including martyrdom and revolutionary zeal. Since the 1979 revolution, Iranian...

2 Comments
10/21/2010Iran Primer: The Conventional Military

Iran Primer: The Conventional Military

[ primer ] Iran is sometimes described as the "Hegemon of the Gulf," but it is a comparatively weak conventional military power with limited modernization since the Iran-Iraq War. It...

10/21/2010Iran Primer: The Basij Resistance Force

Iran Primer: The Basij Resistance Force

[ primer ] On November 25, 1979, revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for the creation of a "twenty million man army." Article 151 of the Constitution obliges the government...

2 Comments
10/20/2010Iran Primer: Iran's Ballistic Missile Program

Iran Primer: Iran's Ballistic Missile Program

[ primer ] Iran's pursuit of ballistic missiles pre-dates the Islamic revolution. Ironically, the shah teamed with Israel to develop a short-range system after Washington denied his request for Lance...

1 Comment
10/20/2010Iran Primer: Iran and the IAEA

Iran Primer: Iran and the IAEA

[ primer ] Iran has been the subject of one of the most intensive investigations in the history of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It was not always this...

10/20/2010Iran Primer: The Politics of Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran Primer: The Politics of Iran's Nuclear Program

[ primer ] One of the central ironies about Iran is that its controversial nuclear program has become a defining political issue, even though many of the program's details remain...

2 Comments
10/20/2010Iran Primer: Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran Primer: Iran's Nuclear Program

[ primer ] A majority of the international community is at odds with Iran over its nuclear program because of its history of concealing its nuclear activities, the possible...

10/19/2010Iran Primer: The Supreme Leader

Iran Primer: The Supreme Leader

[ primer ] There are few leaders in the world more important to current world affairs but less understood than Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran. He is the...

10/19/2010Iran Primer: The Six Presidents

Iran Primer: The Six Presidents

[ primer ] The Islamic Republic's initial constitution provided for a president with limited powers and a prime minister as head of the cabinet and government. The first president, Abolhassan...

3 Comments
10/19/2010Iran Primer: The Parliament

Iran Primer: The Parliament

[ primer ] The legislative branch in Iran has had a turbulent history since the first National Consultative Assembly was formed in 1906 during the Constitutional Revolution. The monarch saw...

1 Comment
10/19/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Islam

Iran Primer: Iran and Islam

[ primer ] The 1979 revolution unseated the last dynasty to rule Iran from the Peacock Throne. But it also represented a revolution within Shiism, which had traditionally shunned direct...

2 Comments
10/19/2010Iran Primer: Iran and Democracy

Iran Primer: Iran and Democracy

[ primer ] Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, was also the principal author of the hybrid political system in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Khomeini did...

10/19/2010Iran Primer: Politics and the Clergy

Iran Primer: Politics and the Clergy

[ primer ] Shiite clerics have been able to mobilize the Iranian masses far better than any other sociopolitical authority. Clerics form the broadest social network in Iran, exerting their...

10/19/2010Iran Primer: The Islamic Judiciary

Iran Primer: The Islamic Judiciary

[ primer ] The 1979 revolution erased six decades of modernization of Iran's judicial system. The theocrats moved swiftly to overhaul the legal system to incorporate Islamic Sharia law. Criminal...

2 Comments
10/17/2010Civil Philosophy

Civil Philosophy

On the potential for doing good in tough places. [ IDÉ ] It is not everyday that one is singled out and offered unsolicited and patronizing travel advice and legal...

5 Comments
10/12/2010The Space of Philosophy

The Space of Philosophy

Critical thought is not for smuggling. [ IDÉ ] In his piece "Iran Needs Free Thinking More Than Ever" (Guardian, October 6), Binesh Hass has taken exception to a number...

17 Comments
10/08/2010Japan-Iran Oil Ties Go Dry

Japan-Iran Oil Ties Go Dry

China poised to step in, exploit major Azadegan oil field. Large Asian and European companies involved in Iran's oil and gas sector are showing signs that they are preparing to...

2 Comments
10/05/2010The Persians: An Interview with Homa Katouzian (Part Two)

The Persians: An Interview with Homa Katouzian (Part Two)

Part 1 | Part 2 Pseudo-modernism, conspiracy theories, the Green Movement. [ IDÉ ] Dr. Homa Katouzian was born in Iran and teaches Iranian history and literature at St. Antony's...

4 Comments
10/04/2010The Persians: An Interview with Homa Katouzian (Part One)

The Persians: An Interview with Homa Katouzian (Part One)

Why there was no industrial revolution in Iran. [ IDÉ ] Dr. Homa Katouzian was born in Iran and teaches Iranian history and literature at St. Antony's College and...

8 Comments
10/03/2010Clouds on Iran's Caspian Horizon

Clouds on Iran's Caspian Horizon

[ business ] Tehran felt obliged to end loss-making oil swaps, but the decision could further reduce its influence as a Caspian regional player. Three months since Iran's oil ministry...

2 Comments
10/02/2010Three Vignettes on Turkmenistan

Three Vignettes on Turkmenistan

[ passport ] I met Nima, a driver, and Susanna, a translator, in the town of Gonbad e Kavus. As soon as we drove north of town we entered...

2 Comments
09/24/2010Constricting Asian Market for Iranian Crude

Constricting Asian Market for Iranian Crude

Chinese oil imports down nearly one-fourth; Japan drops 14 percent. [ analysis ] A number of analysts argue that China's dependence on Iranian crude oil is inhibiting Beijing's willingness...

09/23/2010Thralls and Flirtations

Thralls and Flirtations

[ passport ] We made an unlikely road-trip crew: an effeminate Iraqi arts dealer named Ali; a handsome, devout, married Sufi named Karim; my Kurdish translator, Leyla; and me --...

4 Comments
09/11/2010Ahmadinejad-Khamenei Rift Deepens

Ahmadinejad-Khamenei Rift Deepens

Signs of irreconcilable conflict continue to multiply. [ analysis ] In an article last year, I described the leaders of Iran's election coup of June 2009, their backgrounds, and their...

29 Comments
09/09/2010In Search of Gay Tehran

In Search of Gay Tehran

[ feature ] The air was dry at Behesht-e Zahra, and the sun nearly sealed my manteau to my skin. My great-aunt rocked as her daughters' hands rested on her...

11 Comments
09/03/2010Fashion, Iranian-Style

Fashion, Iranian-Style

[ vitrine ] On my most recent trip to Iran, to Tehran in April of 2010 to be precise, I saw a tall, thin man wearing Thom Browne on a...

8 Comments
08/28/2010Courageous and Principled: Shiva Nazar Ahari

Courageous and Principled: Shiva Nazar Ahari

Human rights champion imprisoned on bogus charges. [ profile ] Women have always been at the forefront of the struggle for a democratic Iran in which the rule of law...

19 Comments
08/24/2010In Search of Lost Time

In Search of Lost Time

Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future (Times/Henry Holt), by Stephen Kinzer [ IDÉ ] Inertia is an underrated force in foreign affairs. Fear of the unknown, force of habit, laziness...

10 Comments
08/20/2010Women, Islam, and...Foreign Policy?

Women, Islam, and...Foreign Policy?

Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East (CFR/Random House), by Isobel Coleman [ IDÉ ] Early July pulsed with reports of Iranian mother Sakineh Ashtiani's...

14 Comments
08/16/2010What Has the Green Movement Achieved?

What Has the Green Movement Achieved?

Numerous successes widen hardline fissures, keep regime on defensive. [ analysis ] The Green Movement is over one year old. The large street demonstrations and gatherings, both before and...

108 Comments
08/14/2010Iran and the Two Faces of Modernity

Iran and the Two Faces of Modernity

A growing sense of personal agency fuels resistance to monopolized power. [ IDÉ ] It is often thought that what is currently taking place in Iran, the continuation of what...

20 Comments
08/09/2010Government from the Ground Up

Government from the Ground Up

The prospects for city-centric democracy in Iran: Part I. [ IDÉ ] Last month a group of young Iranian academics got together in New York to initiate Iran 21, an...

11 Comments
08/05/2010New Hardships Intensify Debate over Iran-Iraq War

New Hardships Intensify Debate over Iran-Iraq War

[ analysis ] Ongoing factional disputes and mounting international sanctions have ignited heated debates among Iran's elites about another critical period in the country's post- revolutionary history -- the...

4 Comments
08/01/2010Kafka Would Love It!

Kafka Would Love It!

[ comment ] The drumbeats of war outside Iran are fierce, and the mounting tensions within disturbing. The government has predictably aligned with the dangerously antiquated philosophy of, "We fear...

13 Comments
07/28/2010The Weight of a Brick

The Weight of a Brick

Backbreaking labor for minimal pay defines essential economic sector. Take an open space, flat, an acre or two, with easily excavated soil, with sun-baked, perspiring souls dragging themselves, bent...

6 Comments
07/27/2010It's a Dog's Life

It's a Dog's Life

A man selling two puppies on the side of the street. Technically pets are illegal in Iran. But that doesn't stop people from buying cats and dogs -- even...

4 Comments
07/25/2010The Hidden Imam and His Cult

The Hidden Imam and His Cult

Because of a new injunction by the Suprme Leader, this year's birthday celebrations for the Hidden Imam on July 27 will be a relatively subdued affair. Babak Sarfaraz examines...

19 Comments
07/24/2010Photo Essay: Tehran Grand Bazaar

Photo Essay: Tehran Grand Bazaar

Tehran Grand Bazaar, 2008. It's hot and the bazaar is packed. It's impossible to take a step without rubbing up against someone. As I make my way, gazing at...

2 Comments
07/20/2010Kayhan: 'What happened? Nothing!'

Kayhan: 'What happened? Nothing!'

Kayhan | On July 18, Kayhan carried the following editorial by Hossein Shariatmadari: It was after the Tehran Friday prayer. I was hurrying to the newspaper when a youth put...

14 Comments
07/19/2010Amiri Told CIA Iran Has No Nuclear Bomb Programme

Amiri Told CIA Iran Has No Nuclear Bomb Programme

IPS | Contrary to a news media narrative that Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri has provided intelligence on covert Iranian nuclear weapons work, CIA sources familiar with the Amiri case say...

6 Comments
07/12/2010The Green Movement and the Working Class

The Green Movement and the Working Class

Translator's Note: Sohrab Behdad is the coauthor with Farhad Nomani of Class and Labor in Iran: Did the Revolution Matter? (Syracuse University Press, 2006). Below is the translation of an...

7 Comments
07/12/2010Iran's Bazaars, 30 Years On

Iran's Bazaars, 30 Years On

This article was first published by the Middle East Institute in February 2009; the analysis refers to bazaar strikes in October 2008, when the VAT was introduced. Gauging from the...

07/08/2010Azad University: A Schooling in Power Politics

Azad University: A Schooling in Power Politics

The Azad University saga. By now, practically everyone in Iran has become aware of the long-simmering battle between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his rivals over the control and status of Azad...

3 Comments
07/04/2010SPECIAL REPORT: Your Veil is a Battleground II

SPECIAL REPORT: Your Veil is a Battleground II

Increasing numbers of Iranian women resist the veil, as hardliners search for enforcers. Part One | Part Two: 'Your Veil Is a Battleground' In the last two and a half...

2 Comments
07/03/2010SPECIAL REPORT: Your Veil is a Battleground I

SPECIAL REPORT: Your Veil is a Battleground I

Hejab Politics: Old Hat and New Increasing numbers of Iranian women resist the veil, as hardliners search for enforcers. As the Islamic Republic of Iran's domestic and international problems...

30 Comments
06/21/2010Iran's Rural Vote and Election Fraud

Iran's Rural Vote and Election Fraud

Photo/Nieman Foundation This article was first published on June 17, 2009. I just heard a CNN reporter in Tehran say that Ahmadinejad's support base was rural. Is it possible...

36 Comments
06/20/2010Remembering Neda

Remembering Neda

Our documentary on the June 2009 presidential election and the death of Neda Agha Soltan can be found here. The Frontline site includes interviews, transcripts, a podcast and links...

2 Comments
06/12/2010June 12 videos/dispatches

June 12 videos/dispatches

Reporting from the frontline Tehran Bureau | June 12, 2010 By HAMID FAROKHNIA of Iran Labor Report/Tehran Bureau: After months of deafening silence, especially following disappointments for the Green Movement...

6 Comments
06/11/2010From Optimism to Outrage

From Optimism to Outrage

Scenes from a stolen election. It was June 12, the day so eagerly anticipated. I had spent the last three months reporting on the presidential election campaign. I had...

06/09/2010Mystery of the Missing Physicist

Mystery of the Missing Physicist

Recently broadcast videos only add to questions surrounding disappearance of Shahram Amiri. There is a new row in the neverending confrontation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United...

06/07/2010The Kurds and the Green Movement

The Kurds and the Green Movement

Translator's note: On May 9, five political prisoners were executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Four of these prisoners were Kurds, including the young teacher, poet and writer, Farzad...

12 Comments
06/06/2010From Kayhan to Evin

From Kayhan to Evin

Mohammad Nourizad is a writer, producer and journalist. He began working for IRIB under Morteza Avini, producing the documentary series on the Iran-Iraq war, Revayateh Fath [Tales of Resistance]....

4 Comments
05/31/2010London's Sunday Times: All the Nukes Unfit to Print?

London's Sunday Times: All the Nukes Unfit to Print?

May 30: The London Sunday Times is reporting that Israel is stationing three submarines equipped with cruise missiles off the Iranian coast in the Persian Gulf. "Some of the cruise...

20 Comments
05/15/2010Media, Mahdi & Machiavelli

Media, Mahdi & Machiavelli

A look over the past year with Shervin Nekuee of Tehran Review. [ Q&A ] Shervin Nekuee was born in Tehran in 1968 and is now an Iranian-Dutch sociologist, writer...

9 Comments
05/11/2010'Cultural Revolution' Redux

'Cultural Revolution' Redux

Cartoon (right to left): University Student: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 As in 1980, student opposition to dictatorship prompts repressive countermeasures. Ever since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was...

8 Comments
05/05/2010A Jumble of Interests

A Jumble of Interests

Last Saturday, May 1, a memorial service at Tehran's upscale Noor Mosque on Fatemi Square provided a rare opportunity: to see Iranian politicians of various ideological hues congregate for a...

10 Comments
05/03/2010A New Left Emerging?

A New Left Emerging?

Yassamine Mather is an Iranian socialist in exile in Scotland. Her political activities on the Iranian Left started in the 1980s in Tehran and later in Kurdistan. In exile,...

7 Comments
04/29/2010May Day in the Islamic Republic

May Day in the Islamic Republic

It is not only today that should be considered Workers' Day. Every day should be honored as Workers' Day. For labor is the source of all things, ...even of Heaven...

4 Comments
04/23/2010Corruption Without End

Corruption Without End

Embezzlement, kickbacks, coverups define the Ahmadinejad administration. During his first term in office, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made anticorruption a central theme, promoting his administration's fight against financial misconduct. Today, not...

18 Comments
04/23/2010Pretzel Logic on the American Left

Pretzel Logic on the American Left

The Green Movement, the Basij and the Question of Violence: A response to Matthew Cassel's "An American in Tehran" [ analysis ] In his article "An American in Tehran"...

4 Comments
04/20/2010Draining Iran's Treasury

Draining Iran's Treasury

Part II: Budget manipulations and the Basij power grab. This second installment follows the author's report (Part 1) on Ahmadinejad's cultural budget. Since 2006, a large portion of the national...

17 Comments
04/15/2010Iranian Women and the Struggle for Democracy I

Iranian Women and the Struggle for Democracy I

Iranian Women and the Struggle for Democracy: I. The Pre-Revolution Era Throughout Iran's history, women have played influential roles. Archeological excavations at Shahr-e Sookhteh (Burnt City), a prehistoric settlement located...

14 Comments
04/11/2010Arjomand: The Critical Turn of Ulema-State Relations

Arjomand: The Critical Turn of Ulema-State Relations

[ Q & A ] Professor Said Arjomand has shaped the trajectory of Iranian studies on numerous occasions. His book The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam (1984) was...

11 Comments
03/30/2010An Administration Plagued by Fraud and Corruption

An Administration Plagued by Fraud and Corruption

Ahmadinejad and His Men: Embodiments of Fraud and Corruption. [ comment ] There is no doubt in the minds of many Iranians, including the author, that Tehran's hardliners committed fraud...

35 Comments
03/28/2010'Not by Street Demonstrations Alone'

'Not by Street Demonstrations Alone'

An interview with Saeed Rahnema Saeed Rahnema was active in the labor and left movement during the 1979 revolution in Iran. He was a founder and a member of the...

5 Comments
03/23/2010Hope for Iranians in the French Torture Game

Hope for Iranians in the French Torture Game

[ comment ] A group of French psychologists recently recruited 80 volunteers for what they claimed was a pilot for a new TV show. The game involved posing questions to...

15 Comments
03/15/2010'Temporary Marriage' and the Economy of Pleasure

'Temporary Marriage' and the Economy of Pleasure

Feminist Political Scientist Condemns "Temporary Marriage" as Exploitation This article was first published on the Alborz website on January 9, 2010. In Iran, "temporary marriage," which was originally called sigheh...

23 Comments
03/13/2010Iran's Uranium Enrichment Program (Part I)

Iran's Uranium Enrichment Program (Part I)

Amid the deep crisis faced by Iran since the June 2009 rigged presidential election and its aftermath, tension between the Islamic Republic and the United States and its allies has...

16 Comments
03/08/2010Spotlight: Golbarg Bashi + Iranian Women

Spotlight: Golbarg Bashi + Iranian Women

golbarg bashi From One Third World Woman to Another | read Picturing Ourselves: 1953, 1979 and 2009 | read Iranian Feminism after June 2009 | read Feminist waves in...

4 Comments
03/01/2010Spotlight: Muhammad Sahimi

Spotlight: Muhammad Sahimi

Dr. Muhammad Sahimi is a political columnist for Tehran Bureau. He is a professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and the NIOC Chair in petroleum engineering at the...

12 Comments
02/26/2010Pulling the Strings of the Net: Iran's Cyber Army

Pulling the Strings of the Net: Iran's Cyber Army

[ overview ] During the past few months, the activities of Iran's Cyber Army have attracted growing notice in the Iranian and international media. The suspicion that the Cyber Army's...

10 Comments
02/24/2010A Response to Danny Postel's Call for Critical Solidarity with Iran

A Response to Danny Postel's Call for Critical Solidarity with Iran

Danny Postel's "The Specter Haunting Iran" is a welcome call for "critical solidarity" with the Iranian democratic opposition movement. Unlike those on the Left who have been wary of characterizing...

11 Comments
02/21/2010The Specter Haunting Iran

The Specter Haunting Iran

[ ideas ] A specter is haunting Iran -- the specter of democracy. The events of the last eight months in Iran have occasioned -- one might even say...

14 Comments
02/16/2010The Political Evolution of Mousavi

The Political Evolution of Mousavi

[ profile ] One of the most significant results of Iran's rigged presidential election of June 12, 2009, has been the political evolution of Mir Hossein Mousavi, recognized by many...

24 Comments
02/15/2010An Iranian Civil Rights Movement?

An Iranian Civil Rights Movement?

[ analysis ] For most observers of the Green Movement, the most salient question is how the current political movement in Iran mirrors the Islamic Revolution. But another parallel comes...

5 Comments
02/13/2010Economic Woes

Economic Woes

[ analysis ] Iran's political evolution has not been without economic consequences. The increasingly uncertain future has affected businesses and households alike. Yet many important questions have remained unanswered, such...

4 Comments
02/10/2010Marandi takes on the Media

Marandi takes on the Media

[ Q&A ] In the nearly eight months since the Iranian election, few in Iran have openly spoken to the western media. One exception has been Dr. Seyyed Mohammad...

28 Comments
02/03/2010The Ten Days That Changed Iran

The Ten Days That Changed Iran

[ timeline ] February 11 marks the anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which toppled the regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, put an end to monarchy in Iran,...

43 Comments
01/31/2010Handguide: The American Women's Club of Iran

Handguide: The American Women's Club of Iran

Starting on Monday, as the Islamic Republic celebrates the "ten days of dawn," the period marking the victory of the 1979 Revolution, this little handbook provides a glimpse inside Tehran...

9 Comments
01/28/2010Iran's New Labor?

Iran's New Labor?

Against the status quo: An interview with Iranian trade unionist Homayoun Pourzad Despite unrelenting state repression, there have been rumblings throughout the 2000s of renewed labor organizing inside the Islamic...

9 Comments
01/21/2010A Hardliner's Hardliner

A Hardliner's Hardliner

A Hardliner's Hardliner: General Mohammad Ali Jafari [ profile ] In the spring of 2005, President Mohammad Khatami's second term was coming to an end. Since he could not run...

30 Comments
01/11/2010From One Third World Woman to Another

From One Third World Woman to Another

A conversation with Gayatri Spivak. [ feature ] Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is well known amongst many scholars, feminists and South Asian activists. Her reputation as a transnational feminist who combined...

14 Comments
01/02/2010Turning Point: Where is the Green Movement headed?

Turning Point: Where is the Green Movement headed?

[ analysis ] The funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri on Dec. 21, and the Ashura demonstrations on Dec. 27, marked a turning point for Iran's democratic movement. The...

196 Comments
12/28/2009A second coup?

A second coup?

Or a second coup? [ comment ] Former president Mohammad Khatami called the June 12 election a "velvet coup" against the people of Iran. Now as the Green Movement gains...

26 Comments
12/24/2009Ashura 101

Ashura 101

[ overview ] December 18 marked the beginning of the month of Moharram. Shiites, and in particular Iranians, have been mourning the killing of their third Imam, Hossein, the quintessential...

61 Comments
12/21/2009Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri: 1922-2009

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri: 1922-2009

He was not willing to sell his soul to stay in power. [ obit ] Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the spiritual leader of Iran's democratic movement and one of...

67 Comments
12/17/2009United Students of Iran

United Students of Iran

[ feature ] The large campus protests in more than 15 cities across Iran on Dec. 7 in celebration of Student Day, which coincided with the six-month milestone in the...

7 Comments
12/14/2009The Chain Murders

The Chain Murders

[ feature ] This feature has been updated here. The history of political assassinations in Iran is almost as old as the nation itself: Xerxes (519-465 BC) was killed by...

31 Comments
12/13/2009Staging Mousavi's Arrest?

Staging Mousavi's Arrest?

[ overview ] Over the past week, there has been increased speculation that Mir Hossein Mousavi may be arrested. This began after state television broadcast a clip from student demonstrations...

24 Comments
12/10/2009Iran Media Guide

Iran Media Guide

Television IRIB or the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (Farsi: Seda va Sima, or 'Voice and Vision'), is the state monopoly broadcaster (radio and television) directly overseen by the office...

1 Comment
12/06/200916 Azar: Iran's Student Day

16 Azar: Iran's Student Day

[ feature ] Iranians have been struggling for at least the past 150 years to establish a democratic political system in which the rule of law is supreme. Iranian university...

49 Comments
11/26/2009Oh What a Mess

Oh What a Mess

[ analysis ] At a recent security conference in Tehran, Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi raised "the need to redefine the Islamic Republic's security atmosphere and interests." No one could...

49 Comments
11/22/2009The House in Shemiran

The House in Shemiran

[ personal history ] My great-grandmother, Madar Joon, had electricity, but she preferred to read by the glow of a kerosene lamp. She was always up before dawn, hunched over...

10 Comments
11/11/2009The Plight of Iranian Journalists

The Plight of Iranian Journalists

[ feature ] Except for a brief period in the beginning of President Mohammad Khatami's first term (1998-2000); and earlier, between 1941, when Allied forces occupied Iran, and 1953, the...

8 Comments
11/04/200913 Aban (updates)

13 Aban (updates)

Photo (right): Regime supporters apparently accidentally set ablaze a flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the semi-official Mehr News Agency posted it on its site. From Tehran...

7 Comments
11/01/2009We met online, after the election

We met online, after the election

The Information Revolution knows no borders. [ comment ] The events of the Iranian election in June had us unrepentant Twitter addicts enthralled. With traditional media controlled by the government,...

11 Comments
10/29/2009Weapons of Mass Distraction

Weapons of Mass Distraction

The 41st anniversary of the commencement of American-Israeli negotiations over Israel's nuclear program. [ region ] If Iranian negotiators haven't read Avner Cohen's book Israel and the Bomb, they should....

7 Comments
10/28/2009Overview: University Unrest

Overview: University Unrest

Photo translation: Happy Student Day to you the student who is: a hooligan! naive! an agent of a foreign adversary! a threat to public safety! a spy! a fake intellectual!...

6 Comments
10/26/2009Analysts: Internal Disputes behind Nuclear Delay

Analysts: Internal Disputes behind Nuclear Delay

[ analysis ] As Iran prolongs replying to a nuclear deal seen as a first step towards ending the Islamic Republic's longstanding standoff with the international community, analysts inside Iran...

5 Comments
10/24/2009The Fog over the 1983 Beirut Attacks

The Fog over the 1983 Beirut Attacks

[ comment ] Friday marked the 26th anniversary of the bombing attacks on the U.S. Marines and French forces in Beirut, Lebanon. Two truckloads of explosives separately struck the buildings...

3 Comments
10/22/2009Who supports Jundallah?

Who supports Jundallah?

[ analysis ] On Oct. 18, 2009, the Jundallah (God's Brigade) terrorist group mounted two terrorist attacks inside Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province. One was a suicide attack, and the other was...

17 Comments
10/20/2009Brew haha: Israeli boycott of Turkish coffee won't hold water

Brew haha: Israeli boycott of Turkish coffee won't hold water

[ region ] Although Israeli political leaders have been playing down the significance of the fraying relations between Israel and Turkey, Haaretz reports that an Israeli cafe chain, Ilan Coffee,...

3 Comments
10/14/2009US-Iran talks: Does Green Movement benefit?

US-Iran talks: Does Green Movement benefit?

[ analysis ] Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group -- the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plu