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Dispatches

12/27/2012Dispatch | Yalda: The Evolution of an Iranian Tradition

Dispatch | Yalda: The Evolution of an Iranian Tradition

A winter festival that predates the Prophet becomes an occasion to reassert national identity. [ dispatch ] The sun has set on Tehran. It is Yalda now. It is...

12/04/2012Dispatch | A Faith of Their Own: Islam and Iranian Youth

Dispatch | A Faith of Their Own: Islam and Iranian Youth

"To claim that we should live exactly the way it was so many years ago is inconceivable." [ dispatch ] After the victory of the Iranian Revolution in 1979,...

11/29/2012Dispatch | Government in a Fog as Recession Looms ... or Has It Arrived?

Dispatch | Government in a Fog as Recession Looms ... or Has It Arrived?

"The recession is here! Are they kidding?" [ business analysis ] On Monday, November 26, the Iranian Customs Administration announced that it would not permit the release of cargo with...

11/24/2012Dispatch | Gaza and the Israeli-Hamas Conflict as Seen from Iran

Dispatch | Gaza and the Israeli-Hamas Conflict as Seen from Iran

"It is not possible to drive away Israelis from there and not possible to tell Palestinians that they can't have a homeland." [ dispatch ] The recent fighting between...

11/23/2012Profile | Maryam's Temporary Matrimonies: A Story of Sigheh

Profile | Maryam's Temporary Matrimonies: A Story of Sigheh

Marital bonds designed to melt into air. [ dispatch ] Along the western edge of Tehran, skyscrapers and slums stand side by side. Here, in the district of Punak,...

11/12/2012Dispatch | The Iranian Take on Obama's Reelection

Dispatch | The Iranian Take on Obama's Reelection

Despite sanctions, U.S. president still widely popular in Iran. [ dispatch ] As dawn broke over Tehran this past Wednesday, international media outlets delivered the news of Barack Obama's...

11/02/2012Iran Standard Time | A Taste of Tehran by Taxi

Iran Standard Time | A Taste of Tehran by Taxi

"I'll eat your liver!"...and other thoughts to chew on. [ dispatch ] As my taxi driver pulls onto the highway from Imam Khomeini International Airport, I ready myself for a...

10/30/2012Dispatch | Ali's Mobile Motorbike Repair and His Dreams of Sheep

Dispatch | Ali's Mobile Motorbike Repair and His Dreams of Sheep

A life spent fixing. [ profile ] Shoush Square is one of the oldest of Tehran's major squares. The rectangular plaza at its center is roughly the size of a...

10/25/2012Dispatch | Iranians Appear to Favor US Nuclear Talks, But Doubt They'll Happen

Dispatch | Iranians Appear to Favor US Nuclear Talks, But Doubt They'll Happen

A case is made that improved relations with the U.S. could benefit the opposition Green Movement. [ dispatch ] According to a story that appeared in the New York...

10/18/2012Dispatch | Tehran Talks: The US Election as Seen by Iranians

Dispatch | Tehran Talks: The US Election as Seen by Iranians

Deep interest and a wide range of opinion about American politics on the Iranian street. [ dispatch ] If there were global statistics regarding which nations have been paying...

10/17/2012Business | Iran's Economy: A Ball Rolling Downhill

Business | Iran's Economy: A Ball Rolling Downhill

Businesses endangered by frozen foreign-exchange market, new government rules. [ dispatch ] After the crisis in Iran's currency market two weeks ago and the accompanying street protests, there was...

10/12/2012Business | The Rial's Freefall: A Historical Perspective

Business | The Rial's Freefall: A Historical Perspective

International sanctions, the government's lack of fiscal discipline, and Iranians' memories of hardship combine for chaos. [ news analysis ] On October 3, the U.S. dollar reached a new...

10/09/2012Dispatch | President Rafsanjani?

Dispatch | President Rafsanjani?

The former chief executive appears to be maneuvering for a potential comeback. [ news analysis ] What does it signal if two children of a politician -- an old, severely...

10/03/2012Dispatch | The Hand of Iran: Syria's Civil War and the Islamic Republic's Role

Dispatch | The Hand of Iran: Syria's Civil War and the Islamic Republic's Role

Iranian citizens discuss their government's part in the ongoing conflict. [ dispatch ] Iranians anxiously watch the slaughter carried out by the government of Syria, the Islamic Republic's closest...

09/26/2012Dispatch | Iran's Muted Rentrée

Dispatch | Iran's Muted Rentrée

Three years later, Iran's universities continue to bear the brunt of the state's crackdown on dissent. [ dispatch ] As the Tehran autumn begins, dusk descends by seven and...

09/24/2012Dispatch | A New Turn for Rafsanjani and His Family

Dispatch | A New Turn for Rafsanjani and His Family

Detention of former president's prominent children another chapter in a long, complex tale. [ news analysis ] The saga of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's chief executive from 1989 to...

09/17/2012Profiles | Searching for Serenity: Fatima's Story

Profiles | Searching for Serenity: Fatima's Story

[ dispatch ] Cross-legged, hands up, eyes closed, and energy flowing freely -- these are the 16 attendees of a meditation class held in Tehran's impoverished Imamzadeh Hassan neighborhood....

09/11/2012Dispatch | Securing the Summit City: Reflections from a Tense Tehran

Dispatch | Securing the Summit City: Reflections from a Tense Tehran

"Something is different and it doesn't feel very nice." [ dispatch ] For anyone who might have traversed Tehran on Monday, August 27, it would have been easy to conclude...

09/08/2012Dispatch | 'Bad Omen': Iranians at Home, Abroad on Canada Severing Relations

Dispatch | 'Bad Omen': Iranians at Home, Abroad on Canada Severing Relations

"The Canadian government with one statement has changed the lives of many like me." [ dispatch ] On Friday, while attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Russia, Canadian Foreign...

08/31/2012Dispatch | A Cheating State of Mind

Dispatch | A Cheating State of Mind

The idea of infidelity in a changing society. [ society ] I'm sitting by a swimming pool chatting with a group of women: A., a teenager; M., her mum; and...

08/20/2012Dispatch | An Uncovered Earthquake

Dispatch | An Uncovered Earthquake

When compassionate action is tantamount to political protest. [ news analysis ] What does the Iranian government's delay in covering the August 11 earthquakes in East Azerbaijan indicate to the...

08/13/2012Behind the Curtain | Social Media Fills In for Muted State Media after Earthquakes

Behind the Curtain | Social Media Fills In for Muted State Media after Earthquakes

Many residents of Ahar spent Saturday night outside in tents (Fars News Agency). A visual appeal for aid (Stands with Fist). Arash Karami, a frequent Tehran Bureau contributor, tweets...

08/04/2012Dispatch | The Open Secrets of Ramadan

Dispatch | The Open Secrets of Ramadan

"I don't like to go outside anymore. It's not my country." [ essay ] I arrived in Iran during Ramadan, when it falls on the hottest month of the...

08/02/2012Dispatch | A Surprising Rehabilitation: The Shah in the Eyes of Young Iranians

Dispatch | A Surprising Rehabilitation: The Shah in the Eyes of Young Iranians

Many perceive a loss of "respect" in society since the monarchy's fall. [ dispatch ] More than three decades after Mohammad Reza Shah Phalavi's death and despite relentless official demonization...

07/26/2012Dispatch | The Underground Fire

Dispatch | The Underground Fire

Will June 2013 see another eruption? [ dispatch ] We will rise again. That's the message from supporters of Iran's opposition Green Movement less than a year before the...

07/22/2012Region | Syrians Start Ramadan, But Not Together

Region | Syrians Start Ramadan, But Not Together

The Syrian government follows Iran's lead and declares Saturday the first day of Ramadan. [ dispatch ] For Syrians, Ramadan is the latest battlefield. Some of the country's Muslims...

07/19/2012Business | Feeling the Pinch: Iran's Embattled Importers

Business | Feeling the Pinch: Iran's Embattled Importers

Disabled financial system also undermines manufacturers, small business owners. [ dispatch ] Seated behind a large wood-paneled desk in downtown Tehran, Mohammed irritably folds up his newspaper and asks the...

07/13/2012Diaspora | TD Cuts Off Financial Services to Iranian Canadians

Diaspora | TD Cuts Off Financial Services to Iranian Canadians

Unique interpretation of sanctions mandate has "devastating" effect on community. Sara Mojtehedzadeh is a journalist currently based in Canada. For three years, she worked on the politics and foreign desks...

07/09/2012Dispatch | Iranians Watch as Country's Economy Withers

Dispatch | Iranians Watch as Country's Economy Withers

Losing hope, longing for a "jolt." [ dispatch ] Even before the European oil embargo began on July 1, Iranian citizens have had to deal with an increasingly unstable economy....

07/07/2012Dispatch | Zafora, Born in Iran: The Life of an Ethnic Afghan Widow and Mother

Dispatch | Zafora, Born in Iran: The Life of an Ethnic Afghan Widow and Mother

A workweek without end and an unswerving dedication to educating her children. [ dispatch ] Along the edges of Tehran's age-old Farahzad neighborhood there are many well-known, expensive restaurants that...

06/20/2012Iran Standard Time | Warning: Neighborhood Watch Program in Force

Iran Standard Time | Warning: Neighborhood Watch Program in Force

Safety and security along a middle-class Tehran alley. [ dispatch ] Driving home on a Thursday afternoon around four o'clock earlier this month, I saw a group of people gathering...

06/18/2012Dispatch | Nuclear Talks a Pocketbook Issue for Iranians

Dispatch | Nuclear Talks a Pocketbook Issue for Iranians

[ dispatch ] Debates over Iran's nuclear program have generally consumed politicians, bazaar merchants, and the press in Iran. But now ordinary Iranians are increasingly engaged in these issues. The...

06/14/2012Dispatch | An Instrument Called 'Melody': The Street Musicians of Tehran

Dispatch | An Instrument Called 'Melody': The Street Musicians of Tehran

"Street music beautifies the city space," says one performer, but not everyone agrees. [ dispatch ] Prior to the 1979 Revolution that installed the Islamic Republic, Iranian cafés and...

06/07/2012Iran Standard Time | Friday Kind of Crimes

Iran Standard Time | Friday Kind of Crimes

Morality plays under Tehran's famous (dying) sycamore trees. [ vignette ] I like Friday mornings in Tehran. The streets are quiet. The sky, finally free from the weekday pollution, tends...

05/25/2012Iran Standard Time | Hitting the Turn

Iran Standard Time | Hitting the Turn

Not quite what Khomeini had in mind... [ society ] At a cursory glance, the Saadat Abad main road looks much like any other in north Tehran: policemen in starched...

05/15/2012Iran Standard Time | Down on Vali Asr: Encounters with Tehran's Street Children

Iran Standard Time | Down on Vali Asr: Encounters with Tehran's Street Children

Lives maintained with Band-Aids. [ field report ] Vali Asr is one of the longest streets in Tehran. It runs from Tajrish in the north to Meydan-e Rahahan in the...

05/04/2012Iran Standard Time | Desolation Day: 24 Hours in the Life of an ER Doctor

Iran Standard Time | Desolation Day: 24 Hours in the Life of an ER Doctor

"A country with such vast natural resources should be able to take better care of its people." [ dispatch ] Sickness and morbidity are conditions so universal that finding elements...

04/26/2012Behind the Curtain | Afghans To Be Expelled from Iranian Tourism Province

Behind the Curtain | Afghans To Be Expelled from Iranian Tourism Province

Afghan family being deported (ISNA/Amir Pourmand). Arash Karami is a frequent Tehran Bureau contributor. Negar Mortazavi is an Iranian journalist based in Washington, D.C. [ blog ] Afghan nationals...

04/23/2012Dispatch | Days Wearing Thin

Dispatch | Days Wearing Thin

For too many, too much work or none at all. [ dispatch ] The Nowruz hangover is under way. A ghost town has returned to life. The thousands of Tehranis...

04/19/2012Series | Cold Refuge: An Iranian Protestor's Two Years in Turkey

Series | Cold Refuge: An Iranian Protestor's Two Years in Turkey

Beginning the story of Kaveh Sanjabi and his long journey from home. [ series ] Overnight, the temperature in Nevsehir has dropped to 15 below zero Celsius. Waves of snow...

04/11/2012News | Tehran Bureau Makes Columbia's 100-Year List of 'Great' Journalism

News | Tehran Bureau Makes Columbia's 100-Year List of 'Great' Journalism

[ press release ] Tehran Bureau's coverage of Iran has been selected by Columbia Journalism School as one of the "50 Great Stories" produced by alumni over the past...

04/10/2012Dispatch | That Sweet Iranian Spirit

Dispatch | That Sweet Iranian Spirit

The pleasure, profit, and potential dangers of home distillation in a land where to drink is a crime. [ dispatch ] "We shall call this the Tehrooni," Reza smiles, holding...

04/06/2012Iran Standard Time | Nowruz on the Hormuz

Iran Standard Time | Nowruz on the Hormuz

A ship, a strait, a holiday afloat. [ vignette ] "This weather is terrible for chicken farmers," jokes Hossein, a dark, wiry man in his late 20s, as he looks...

04/05/2012Iran Standard Time | Two Hours on Bucharest Street

Iran Standard Time | Two Hours on Bucharest Street

"Iran Standard Time" is a new series about daily life in Tehran and around the country. [ vignette ] As I get into a taxi and ask to be taken...

04/04/2012Business | To Survive: Hope Hits the Bottom Line

Business | To Survive: Hope Hits the Bottom Line

Average Iranians endure mounting economic pressures as prospect of 50% inflation looms. [ dispatch ] When Iranians banks reopened on Monday, March 25, after closing for Nowruz, many people may...

04/04/2012Dispatch | Deprivation

Dispatch | Deprivation

Living with lack. [ society ] "You're still not a man," exclaimed my uncle, his wife nodding in agreement. "So living on my own, with my own money, managing...

03/22/2012Profile | Seyyed Hassan, Who Lives under the Stars

Profile | Seyyed Hassan, Who Lives under the Stars

One man's life on the streets of Tehran. [ dispatch ] Last April, the newspaper Iran, which is run by allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, published a series of shocking...

03/04/2012Dispatch | Tehranis Talk of the Elections' Stakes and Khatami's Shock Ballot

Dispatch | Tehranis Talk of the Elections' Stakes and Khatami's Shock Ballot

One vote really can make a difference. [ dispatch ] Many Iranians considered yesterday's Majles elections little more than an internal competition among conservatives, between those backing Supreme Leader Ayatollah...

02/29/2012Business | A Swift End for the Innocent: The Sanctions Hit Home

Business | A Swift End for the Innocent: The Sanctions Hit Home

Steps to cripple regime have growing impact on Iranian entrepreneurs and families. [ dispatch ] While Iranians rejoice over A Separation's unprecedented victory at the Oscars and the Iranian...

02/24/2012Dispatch | Tehran Drift: Between Omar Khayyam and the Void

Dispatch | Tehran Drift: Between Omar Khayyam and the Void

A fatalistic hedonism colors the spirit of the capital's residents. [ comment ] For about three weeks, I've been riding Tehran's communal taxis on fixed routes, listening to people's conversations....

02/17/2012Dispatch | Iranians May Vote, But Would They Fight?

Dispatch | Iranians May Vote, But Would They Fight?

Listening to the word on the streets, in the cabs, and at the dentist's office. [ first person ] Almost everybody I talk to is under financial pressure. Many contractors...

02/08/2012Dispatch | Mounting Economic Challenges Force New Monetary Moves

Dispatch | Mounting Economic Challenges Force New Monetary Moves

"The economy is finished," says one south Tehrani. [ business ] To stabilize the reeling Iranian economy, the government is creating parallel markets, promoting new market instruments, and forcing businesses...

01/31/2012Dispatch | At Low Point, Leader's Popularity Ebbs

Dispatch | At Low Point, Leader's Popularity Ebbs

"Agha" subject of Iranians' humor and scorn. [ news analysis ] Despite appearing to be solidly in control of the Islamic Republic, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is now faced...

01/27/2012Business | Iran's Economy: Déjà  Vu All Over Again

Business | Iran's Economy: Déjà Vu All Over Again

As the rial plummets, interest rates are hiked -- the latest step in a long tradition of economic trial and error. [ dispatch ] The volatility of Iran's currency market...

01/26/2012Media | With HispanTV, the Islamic Republic Habla Español También

Media | With HispanTV, the Islamic Republic Habla Español También

New IRI network aimed at Latin American viewership. [ dispatch ] Latin American TV is famous for its telenovelas, over-the-top soap operas that might feature a man competing with a...

01/18/2012Dispatch | Firewall Fears: Iran's Uncertain Internet Future

Dispatch | Firewall Fears: Iran's Uncertain Internet Future

Will a new 'national information network' sever Iranians' access to the global Internet? [ dispatch ] Ramin, a 30-year-old engineer who works in technical support, was 
frustrated several weeks ago...

01/17/2012Dispatch | Did Santorum Suggest Iran Wants Nukes to Bring Back Messiah?

Dispatch | Did Santorum Suggest Iran Wants Nukes to Bring Back Messiah?

[ dispatch ] With the exception of Ron Paul, Republican presidential candidates haven't been shy about expressing their hardline views on Iran out on the campaign trail. But as...

01/10/2012Business | Tomans in Turmoil, Gold Gone Wild

Business | Tomans in Turmoil, Gold Gone Wild

Stressed monetary markets prompt rank speculation, threaten rampant inflation. [ dispatch ] The first sign of trouble appeared in the gold market. There has always been a strong demand for...

12/31/2011Profile | The Canny General: Quds Force Commander Ghasem Soleimani

Profile | The Canny General: Quds Force Commander Ghasem Soleimani

A long history of quiet influence and power. [ profile ] "Why don't we kill them? We kill other people who are running terrorist organizations against the United States." This...

12/31/2011Dispatch | December in Tehran

Dispatch | December in Tehran

Oh, the weather outside is frightful... [ dispatch ] Christmas is not an official holiday in Iran, still it makes its presence known. While Armenians, Assyrians, and other Christian minorities...

12/23/2011Dispatch | Learning Farsi in Tehran

Dispatch | Learning Farsi in Tehran

[ dispatch ] The school bell rang early one morning at the International Center for Persian Studies, the renowned go-to institution for foreigners wishing to learn Farsi in Iran. An...

12/01/2011Dispatch | The Man to Watch in Iran?

Dispatch | The Man to Watch in Iran?

Ali Akbar Salehi: Iran's foreign minister...and future president? [ profile ] After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Islamic Republic's new leaders confronted the dilemma of what to do with the...

11/28/2011Dispatch | Iran and Qaddafi: Questions over the 'Chemical Warfare' Connection

Dispatch | Iran and Qaddafi: Questions over the 'Chemical Warfare' Connection

Claims that IRI sold Libyan dictator mustard-gas shells require more scrutiny. [ news analysis ] On November 20, iwatchnews.org, the online publication of the Center for Public Integrity, carried a...

11/22/2011Dispatch | The Water Pipe Wars

Dispatch | The Water Pipe Wars

Confusing rules, conflicting agendas. Sometimes a pipe is not just a pipe. [ dispatch ] "Who cares about the election? Will there even be one? I doubt that," the rough,...

11/20/2011Study | Iranians Have Abortions, Too

Study | Iranians Have Abortions, Too

[ dispatch ] New analysis published in the journal International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive reveals that despite severe legal restrictions, abortion is common in Tehran. This should come as...

11/10/2011Photos | In Plain Sight: Iran's Drug Problem

Photos | In Plain Sight: Iran's Drug Problem

Photos show drug dealers and addicts, including a prostitute, score as children play in a poor south Tehran neighborhood. Photos from contributor in Tehran. Text translated from a recent...

11/08/2011Tech | Iran's New 3G Mobile Network: Another Step to Curb Freedoms?

Tech | Iran's New 3G Mobile Network: Another Step to Curb Freedoms?

Popularization of smartphones enhances ability of regime to "track and control." But is that the motivation behind the new mobile network? By PAYAM FARAMARZI [ point ] As promised by...

10/17/2011The Conservative Rise and the Potential Fall of the Presidency

The Conservative Rise and the Potential Fall of the Presidency

Suggestion that elected executive office might be eliminated is part of larger trend. [ news analysis ] Iran's Supreme Leader gave a wide-ranging speech on Sunday in the western province...

10/06/2011How to Drive in Iran

How to Drive in Iran

Iranian Drivers' Guide: Shiraz, 1975. [ feature ] Sorting through my parents' university papers from the 1970s, I came upon a six-page typed document, "DRIVERS' GUIDE TO IRAN," by...

10/02/2011Grand Ayatollah on the Deteriorating State of Affairs in Iran

Grand Ayatollah on the Deteriorating State of Affairs in Iran

'It is strange that protecting Islam has been reduced to protecting one man.' [ religion ] Grand Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheib has written two critical letters to Ayatollah Mohammad Reza...

09/23/2011Ahmadinejad Scores Domestic Hit with Hikers' Release

Ahmadinejad Scores Domestic Hit with Hikers' Release

International impact ironically much less certain. [ news analysis ] After more than two years, Iranian authorities finally released Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two American hikers who were...

09/15/2011This is How We Party: Bacchanal in the Desert

This is How We Party: Bacchanal in the Desert

To avoid morality police, Tehran's party-goers increasingly head out of town...creating clashes of a different kind. [ dispatch ] Four chador-wearing village women, one of them no more than 12...

09/09/2011Iran's Fast, Furious, and Filthy Rich

Iran's Fast, Furious, and Filthy Rich

The high-end car as status symbol, emblem of inequality, and haute monde hot rod. [ dispatch ] On a typical Friday, the official day off in Iran, Asadollah Allam, a...

09/07/2011'Patriotic Hacker' Takes Credit for Internet Security Threat in Iran

'Patriotic Hacker' Takes Credit for Internet Security Threat in Iran

[ dispatch ] A hacker known as ComodoHacker has claimed credit for the recent hack on the Dutch certificate authority DigiNotar that left Google users in Iran vulnerable to espionage....

09/05/2011Internet Security Attacks on Iran Google Users Went Undetected for 2 Months

Internet Security Attacks on Iran Google Users Went Undetected for 2 Months

[ dispatch ] Update your browsers and change your passwords. A fake Internet security certificate issued in Google's name by a company in the Netherlands rendered the accounts of Google...

09/02/2011An Iranian Movie 'Masterpiece'... And Why It Might Not Make It to the Oscars

An Iranian Movie 'Masterpiece'... And Why It Might Not Make It to the Oscars

Politics may keep "A Separation" -- celebrated by critics and audiences alike -- out of the Academy Awards. [ dispatch ] Tehran's artistic circles are abuzz these days. The...

08/30/2011Tehran's Very Own 'Off-Broadway'

Tehran's Very Own 'Off-Broadway'

Experimental theater finds a home in Tehran. [ dispatch ] As night falls on east Tehran's Hassan Abaad, one of the neighborhood's old villas transforms into the setting of...

08/26/2011Scholars Remember Dr. Hossein Ziai: 1944-2011

Scholars Remember Dr. Hossein Ziai: 1944-2011

Ghazzal Dabiri on Ziai's role as mentor and "doktorvater." [ obituary ] The Iranian community and Iranian studies have suffered a great loss. On Wednesday, August 24, Professor Hossein Ziai...

08/21/2011Ramadan: A Time for Networking

Ramadan: A Time for Networking

The holy fasting month increasingly serves more temporal purposes. [ dispatch ] In Iran, Ramadan is a month for fasting, praying, reciting the Qur'an, and networking. What happens during this...

08/19/2011Politicizing Fruit and Fun

Politicizing Fruit and Fun

In need of an outlet. [ dispatch ] On the second Friday of Ramadan, the sound of live rock music undulated through north Tehran's "Ba Ferdows," a popular plaza...

08/10/2011Drafted: Diary of a Revolutionary Guard Conscript

Drafted: Diary of a Revolutionary Guard Conscript

Eight months inside Sepah. [ personal history ] Day -4: This is it In Iran, every man (or boy) has to perform military service when he turns 18. You can...

08/08/2011Water-Gun Fight Backfires

Water-Gun Fight Backfires

More like a wet-hejab contest. [ analysis ] Mixed-gender groups of young people in Tehran and, more recently, Bandar Abbas are raising the ire of Islamic hardliners by using...

07/30/2011Tales of Love and Sex in Iran

Tales of Love and Sex in Iran

[ dispatch ] Reza was 12 years old when he first fell in love. Although the object of his affection, the neighbors' daughter Golnar, didn't reciprocate his sympathies, he showered...

07/25/2011Bazaar Feels Sting of Economy

Bazaar Feels Sting of Economy

[ business ] "Everything is good, good," a nervous seller of sundry kitchenware tritely assures a customer when asked how business is going at the Grand Bazaar. At first glance,...

07/18/2011Compelling Nonsense: The Filmfarsi Paradox

Compelling Nonsense: The Filmfarsi Paradox

Seeing through the stereotypes in mainstream Iranian cinema. [ cinema ] Iranian filmmaking has attracted the attention of a global audience through the work of directors such as festival and...

07/12/2011IMF's Rosy Outlook on Iran's Economy: Off the Mark?

IMF's Rosy Outlook on Iran's Economy: Off the Mark?

'My cheeks look rosy because I slap them.' [ dispatch ] Last month, as a flood of exuberant economic forecasts poured on Iran on the back of an unusually...

07/10/2011Iran's Monday Night Football

Iran's Monday Night Football

An unlikely sports anchor rises to the top and challenges Iran's traditions. [ dispatch ] Iran's favorite television sports personality talks so fast he frequently winds up tongue-tied. He...

06/29/2011Ah, Summertime

Ah, Summertime

And the living is not so easy.... Amid the heat, state crackdown on nude forearms, heavy makeup, and overaccentuated curves, women find unusual ways to cope. [ dispatch ] Summertime...

06/21/2011Iran's New Economic Slump

Iran's New Economic Slump

[ business ] Iran's biggest economic problem is the growing production slump at its factories and workshops. For both workers and the business elite, Iran's domestic industrial troubles are far...

06/20/2011UPDATED: New Uproar in Regime over Foreign Ministry Appointment

UPDATED: New Uproar in Regime over Foreign Ministry Appointment

Naming of 'perverted group' insider to crucial post infuriates hardliners. [ dispatch ] The confrontation between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and their respective supporters has entered a new...

06/19/2011Tehran Prosecutor on 'Deviants Affair,' Attack on Karroubi Home, Other Cases

Tehran Prosecutor on 'Deviants Affair,' Attack on Karroubi Home, Other Cases

Dolatabadi says government acted properly in Saber and Sahabi deaths. [ dispatch ] In a press conference on Tuesday, Tehran Prosecutor-General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi made major announcements regarding the government...

06/13/2011'May Your Legs Be Broken for Kicking Our Sons!'

'May Your Legs Be Broken for Kicking Our Sons!'

Security Forces, Protesters Employ More Sophisticated Tactics [ dispatch ] It was rush-hour on Valiasr Street. Shopkeepers peeked out from behind half-shuttered doors as armed guards swelled the streets...

06/13/2011Reza Hoda Saber, Political Prisoner, Dies after 9-Day Hunger Strike

Reza Hoda Saber, Political Prisoner, Dies after 9-Day Hunger Strike

Jailed journalist denied medical treatment for six hours as he reportedly screamed from chest pain. [ dispatch ] Nationalist-religious journalist, translator, and political activist Reza Hoda Saber passed away in...

06/12/2011Anniversary Turnout Impaired by Security Forces

Anniversary Turnout Impaired by Security Forces

[ dispatch ] Overwhelming security presence marked the 22 Khordad protest. While comparable to the 1 Esfand (Feb. 20, 2011) demonstrations in terms of turnout, the protest was impaired...

06/08/2011Averting a Disaster in the Persian Gulf

Averting a Disaster in the Persian Gulf

Two U.S. military experts call for establishing dialogue between U.S. and Iranian military commanders. [ dispatch ] A former commander of the U.S. Central Command and a colonel who currently...

06/04/2011'Even Yazid Did Not Do This!'

'Even Yazid Did Not Do This!'

[ dispatch ] On a recent hot evening, a 68-year-old man stepped out of a supermarket on north Tehran's Mirdamad Street. He stood still to watch as government workers...

05/30/2011Insurance Companies Slam Plan to Double Death Reparations

Insurance Companies Slam Plan to Double Death Reparations

Executives claim hike in third-party payouts would cripple industry. [ business ] Insurance companies in Iran earn half of their total annual revenue of 4.5 trillion tomans from third-party liability...

05/26/2011The Little Art Gallery on Shah Avenue

The Little Art Gallery on Shah Avenue

Nurturing new talent, catering to a local market, staying close to its roots. [ dispatch ] It was 1968 when Wahed Khakdan took his first apprehensive steps into a...

05/26/2011Fans, Protesters, and Basijis at Hejazi's Funeral

Fans, Protesters, and Basijis at Hejazi's Funeral

[ briefs ] Approximately 25,000 mourners turned up to the funeral ceremony of Iranian football hero Naser Hejazi at Azadi Stadium on Wednesday, according to BBC Persian. Another thousand...

05/18/2011Vanishing Subsidies and the Middle-Class Bind

Vanishing Subsidies and the Middle-Class Bind

Economic reform plan puts the squeeze on already strained Iranians. [ dispatch ] One week ago, an employee of the Tehran Electricity Company rang the buzzer of an old three-family...

05/15/2011Breaking | Ahmadinejad TV Interview: Khamenei 'Like a Father to Our Society'

Breaking | Ahmadinejad TV Interview: Khamenei 'Like a Father to Our Society'

Iran Daylight Time (IRDT), GMT+4:30 1 a.m., 26 Ordibehesht/May 16 Here is Tehran Bureau's transcript of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's live interview Sunday night (and very early Monday morning) on...

05/07/2011Taxicab Confessions: Tehran

Taxicab Confessions: Tehran

[ dispatch ] In traffic-congested Tehran, no one has their ears closer to the beat of the city than the taxi drivers. Shared cabs are the modus operandi of personal...

05/04/2011Journalist Parvaz in Syrian Custody | Her Reflections on Iranian Identity Abroad

Journalist Parvaz in Syrian Custody | Her Reflections on Iranian Identity Abroad

Journalist Dorothy Parvaz, missing since her arrival in Syria last Friday, is being held by Syrian authorities, according to a press release from her employer, Al Jazeera. Parvaz flew from...

05/04/2011Conspiracy Theories, Double Standards: Iranians on Bin Laden

Conspiracy Theories, Double Standards: Iranians on Bin Laden

Death of al-Qaeda chief prompts many to question rationale of U.S. policy in region. [ dispatch ] As a correspondent for Tehran Bureau, many times I have asked my fellow...

05/01/2011Business as Usual in Tehran

Business as Usual in Tehran

[ dispatch ] A bit of confusion was felt among the Green Movement's rank and file in Tehran over the past week. Like all watchers of Iranian politics, they too...

04/29/2011A Grim Economic Outlook

A Grim Economic Outlook

HSBC, long a vocal proponent of Iran's investment potential, now holds dim view of its economic prospects. [ dispatch ] The insalubrious state of Iran's economy is hardly a secret,...

04/24/2011Will the Economy Rock the Boat?

Will the Economy Rock the Boat?

[ dispatch ] The dejected state of Iran's economy is increasingly a topic of public discourse. Facing what a local financial analyst for HSBC Bank describes as "the bleakest...

04/22/2011The Vicious Circle of Iranian Emigration

The Vicious Circle of Iranian Emigration

Brain drain reduces chances for change. [ dispatch ] In the job market of a rapidly developing country like Iran, 27-year-old Sami R., a freshly graduated engineer, should be a...

04/21/2011Crackdown on Sanction Violations: What It Means for Iranian Americans

Crackdown on Sanction Violations: What It Means for Iranian Americans

Check with the authorities before Grandmom sends those nuts -- no joke. [ Q&A ] If you're an Iranian American and you haven't heard of OFAC, you will soon according...

04/21/2011A New Channel for U.S.-Iran Communication

A New Channel for U.S.-Iran Communication

[ dispatch ] The State Department's recent naming of a Persian-speaking press spokesman, Alan Eyre (pictured), opens a potentially important channel in the long-stagnant U.S.-Iran relationship. The absence of contact...

04/18/2011Ahmadinejad, Khamenei Reported at Odds over Intel Chief's Resignation

Ahmadinejad, Khamenei Reported at Odds over Intel Chief's Resignation

President accepts resignation he may have sought. Supreme Leader reportedly demands minister remain in post. [ dispatch ] Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi has tendered his resignation, according to IRNA,...

04/17/2011New Year, New City?

New Year, New City?

A quiet start. [ dispatch ] If uncertainty and general turmoil marked the final months of 1389, Tehran has entered into the new year with stunning calmness. The Nowrouz...

04/16/2011Iranian Opposition's 'Grey Eminence' May Re-emerge

Iranian Opposition's 'Grey Eminence' May Re-emerge

Veteran of leftist politics, Ayatollah Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, may assume more prominent role following arrests of opposition leaders. [ dispatch ] Since the mass unrest that followed the June 2009...

04/12/2011War of Words over Bahrain Rattles Region

War of Words over Bahrain Rattles Region

[ dispatch ] A war of words has erupted between Iran and its Persian Gulf neighbors over the fate of Bahrain, catapulting unrest in the tiny island nation into a...

04/09/2011New Claims on Iran Nuclear Program Questionable

New Claims on Iran Nuclear Program Questionable

Dubious details, dearth of evidence, doubtful source. [ primer ] The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a longstanding opposition group, claimed on April 7 that the Iranian regime...

04/06/2011Iran Backs Libyan Rebels, Chastises West Over Oil, Bahrain

Iran Backs Libyan Rebels, Chastises West Over Oil, Bahrain

Islamic Republic's officials denounce Western "double standard." [ quote, unquote ] Libya's rebellion has put Iran in an awkward position. Tehran has tried to balance support for the Libyan opposition,...

04/02/2011Task Force to Push Iran Agenda by Focusing on Human Rights

Task Force to Push Iran Agenda by Focusing on Human Rights

[ dispatch ] A new task force, led by Andrew Apostolou of Freedom House and Josh Block of the Progressive Policy Institute, has been set up to push a human...

04/01/2011Funeral of Mousavi's Father Held amid Disruption by Security Forces

Funeral of Mousavi's Father Held amid Disruption by Security Forces

Funeral draws large crowd, condolence messages from many leading figures. [ dispatch ] The public funeral of Mir Esmail Mousavi, father of Mir Hossein Mousavi, was disrupted by security and...

03/26/2011UN Human Rights Council Appoints Investigator for Iran

UN Human Rights Council Appoints Investigator for Iran

Rapporteur assigned to scrutinize rights violations in Islamic Republic for first time since 2002. [ dispatch ] The United Nations Human Rights Council voted on March 24 to appoint a...

03/25/2011Bringing the Pilgrims to Qom

Bringing the Pilgrims to Qom

Islamic Republic's push to develop Shia holy city as a top Middle Eastern destination. [ dispatch ] Since the early 16th century, during the Safavid dynasty, the holy city...

03/23/2011Running to Stand Still: The Long Wait for Iran's Refugee Journalists

Running to Stand Still: The Long Wait for Iran's Refugee Journalists

Forced from work in their homeland, asylum seekers spend months, years, in Turkey awaiting resettlement. [ dispatch ] Nima biked to Turkey. He'd been in and out of the...

03/19/2011Iranian Navy Quietly Assertive

Iranian Navy Quietly Assertive

Controversial warship mission along Israeli coast passes without major incident. As tensions run high across the Middle East, two Iranian naval ships have sailed through the Suez Canal and back...

03/19/2011Tehran's Merchant Fleet Sails Close to Wind

Tehran's Merchant Fleet Sails Close to Wind

Staff at state shipping agency admit to changing ships' names, owners, and even paintwork to evade sanctions. [ dispatch ] The tall building occupied by Iran's shipping agency looks a...

03/16/2011Russia Balks at New Pressure on Iran

Russia Balks at New Pressure on Iran

Middle East uprisings, ratified U.S. nuclear pact yield policy shift. [ primer ] After a year of cooperation on Iran, Russia now opposes new sanctions or other tough measures to...

03/09/2011Women's Lives in Iran: New Confidence, Enduring Contradictions

Women's Lives in Iran: New Confidence, Enduring Contradictions

Two-thirds of all university students, but 'considered too emotional' to be judges. [ dispatch ] In a high-rise apartment building above the smoggy Tehran suburb of Karaj, 28-year-old Elham sets...

03/06/2011Ayatollah: Deeds in Islam's Name Are 'Against the Religion, Against the Law'

Ayatollah: Deeds in Islam's Name Are 'Against the Religion, Against the Law'

Major statement by Grand Ayatollah Mousavi Ardabili condemning "insults and baseless accusations" by regime members. [ dispatch ] Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abdolkarim Mousavi Ardabili issued a strong and highly critical...

03/04/2011Iran's Cities a Sea of Poverty

Iran's Cities a Sea of Poverty

Half Iranian urban population under poverty line says report. [ dispatch ] Between 44.5 and 55 percent of Iran's urban population lives under the poverty line, according to a new...

03/02/2011Iranian Students in US Mobilize to Change Single-Entry Visa Law

Iranian Students in US Mobilize to Change Single-Entry Visa Law

Virtually trapped in country for entire schooling, they take the issue to Congress. [ dispatch ] Nasim Sabounchi was ecstatic when she received her acceptance letter to Virginia Tech's Ph.D....

02/26/2011Solemn City: Tehran on the Eve of the Protests

Solemn City: Tehran on the Eve of the Protests

Beneath the gloom, a sense of something churning. [ passport ] Last month I finally got the chance to fly back to Iran for the first time since the June...

02/24/2011Mariam's Story

Mariam's Story

Arbitrary arrests -- cornerstone of a campaign of intimidation. [ dispatch ] Among all the Green Iranian youth I've met in Tehran, "Mariam," a 23-year-old student at the University of...

02/24/2011New US Sanctions on Iran for Human Rights Abuses

New US Sanctions on Iran for Human Rights Abuses

[ dispatch ] The United States imposed new sanctions on two top Iranian officials for engaging in "serious human rights abuses" since the disputed 2009 election. In a striking run...

02/21/2011What I Saw: 1 Esfand

What I Saw: 1 Esfand

[ dispatch ] I headed out around noon on Sunday to Haft-e Tir Square. Except for a slowly but steadily increasing number of guards and police, I did not...

02/16/2011Saneh Jaleh and the Battle for a Slain Protester's Memory

Saneh Jaleh and the Battle for a Slain Protester's Memory

Regime attempts to exploit legacy of theater student killed in 25 Bahman demonstrations. [ dispatch ] A day after a university student was shot to death during anti-regime protests in...

02/14/2011'Stay Together and Together Stay Strong': 3 Friends Prepare for 25 Bahman

'Stay Together and Together Stay Strong': 3 Friends Prepare for 25 Bahman

[ dispatch ] In the last two days, so many things have happened that it would require a large team of analysts to evaluate the causes and the effects....

02/13/2011'Door Door': Vignettes for Valentine's

'Door Door': Vignettes for Valentine's

"Delam tang shode" Literal translation: My stomach has become tight (for you) Used to express the feeling of missing somebody. One can refer to the stomach in several metaphorical...

02/08/2011Our Iranian Character

Our Iranian Character

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...

02/05/2011Virginity Still a Commodity in Iran

Virginity Still a Commodity in Iran

Iranians, Clerics Seek to Redefine Female 'Virginity' [ dispatch ] Social attitudes in Iran have changed greatly since the 1979 revolution, but the taboo on premarital sex remains, at...

02/02/2011'79/'11: Another Tottering Dictator, Another U.S. Dilemma

'79/'11: Another Tottering Dictator, Another U.S. Dilemma

Muslim Brotherhood's pragmatism suggests Islamic Republic not likely model for what comes next. [ comment ] Comparisons are being made between 1979 revolutionary Iran and the current uprising in...

02/01/2011Iranian Parliament Impeaches Minister of Transportation

Iranian Parliament Impeaches Minister of Transportation

Long-time Ahmadinejad associate dismissed in aftermath of IranAir disaster. [ dispatch ] Members of the Majles, Iran's parliament, impeached Minister of Transportation Hamid Behbahani today. The impeachment debate took place...

01/31/2011Which Uprising Is This?

Which Uprising Is This?

Iranian echoes on the streets of Cairo. But is it 1979 or 2009 redux? [ dispatch ] The sun is rising in Tehran. The city is beginning to stir and...

01/31/2011Iran's New Foreign Minister: Ali Akbar Salehi

Iran's New Foreign Minister: Ali Akbar Salehi

Three different looks at the new Iranian Foreign Minister: "Salehi's Turn," is written by our correspondent in Tehran; "Salehi's In Tray," by Gareth Smyth, formerly the Financial Times' bureau chief...

01/29/2011Mousavi Statement on Recent Events in the Arab World

Mousavi Statement on Recent Events in the Arab World

Mir Hossein Mousavi has issued a statement linking the events in Tunisia and Egypt to the aftermath of the Iranian presidential election in 2009. The English translation posted on his...

01/28/2011Ayatollah Amjad: 'Impossible to Be an Islamic Scholar and Call This Islam'

Ayatollah Amjad: 'Impossible to Be an Islamic Scholar and Call This Islam'

Addressing political prisoners' families, popular cleric decries what has become of the Revolution. [ dispatch ] Ayatollah Mahmoud Amjad Kermanshahi (born 1939) is a moderate and popular cleric. Up until...

01/27/2011Iran and Hezbollah: The Balance of Power Shifts in Lebanon

Iran and Hezbollah: The Balance of Power Shifts in Lebanon

[ Q&A ] w/ Emile Hokayem, senior fellow for regional security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. How does the selection of new Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati --...

01/25/2011Iran-India Oil Trade in Jeopardy

Iran-India Oil Trade in Jeopardy

Dispute over payments may foretell further retreat from relationship. [ business ] The month-long payment dispute over Iran's oil sales to India demonstrates how difficult it has become for foreign...

01/25/2011The Armageddon Haze

The Armageddon Haze

Deadly pollution temporarily abates, but sources of crisis remain unaddressed. [ dispatch ] Tehran's air pollution has become a year-round problem that has complicated life in this beast of a...

01/23/2011Sanctions Dull Tehran's Image

Sanctions Dull Tehran's Image

[ dispatch ] When Turkish reporters asked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently what impact international sanctions were having on Iran, he replied, "What sanctions are you talking about? If you...

01/21/2011Why Tunisia Can But Iran Can't

Why Tunisia Can But Iran Can't

Islamic Iran has no history of big protests over economic problems, and no consensus on who is really to blame. [ analysis ] The surprising rapidity with which Tunisians unseated...

01/18/2011Ukrainian by Birth, Tehrani by Marriage

Ukrainian by Birth, Tehrani by Marriage

A new diaspora takes shape in Iran's capital. [ dispatch ] Oksana B. has been compared to one of the Decembrist wives -- legendary Russian heroines who in 1835 voluntarily...

01/17/2011And Life Goes On: An Iran Snapshot

And Life Goes On: An Iran Snapshot

[ passport ] This past December, I had the chance to visit Iran. It had been two-and-a-half years since my last visit, and I was keen to observe what...

01/16/2011A Capital Murder

A Capital Murder

Street crime turns increasingly violent. Regime's answer? Public executions. [ dispatch ] On January 5, the tale of a notorious murder came to an end when the killer was hanged....

01/12/2011Mousavi: Regime Worse than Goebbels in

Mousavi: Regime Worse than Goebbels in "Distortion and Deceit"

Green leaders speak out ever more strongly as hardliners' prosecution threats ring hollow. Over the past few weeks the regime and its hardline supporters have been attacking the Green Movement...

01/12/2011Aftermath of the IranAir Crash: Burying the Dead, Asking Why

Aftermath of the IranAir Crash: Burying the Dead, Asking Why

[ dispatch ] On Tuesday, the people of Orumieh gathered to bury the remains of the victims of the IranAir Flight 277 crash. Streets were clogged by cars and...

01/11/2011Iranian Voices: The Crash of IranAir Flight 277

Iranian Voices: The Crash of IranAir Flight 277

The tragic deaths of 77 people in this Sunday's plane crash near Orumieh have infuriated Iranians. In person and on the web, they have been voicing strong reactions. Reading...

01/10/2011The IranAir Disaster: Mourning and Anger

The IranAir Disaster: Mourning and Anger

[ dispatch ] Last night an aging Boeing 727 left Tehran for Orumieh, a city in northwest Iran, where Armenians, Azeris, and Kurds have long lived together. Weather conditions were...

01/08/2011Iranian Voices: The Economic Overhaul, Person by Person

Iranian Voices: The Economic Overhaul, Person by Person

Iranians still have mixed reactions to the controversial subsidy elimination plan, nearly two weeks after it was officially started by the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many Iranians have...

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01/08/2011Muted Response to Iranian Subsidy Cuts

Muted Response to Iranian Subsidy Cuts

No protests as fuel and food prices rise at start of long-awaited subsidy reforms. [ dispatch ] The launch of cuts to food and fuel subsidies in Iran went off...

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01/04/2011Extra: Ali Reza Pahlavi, Shah's Younger Son, Takes His Own Life

Extra: Ali Reza Pahlavi, Shah's Younger Son, Takes His Own Life

Ali Reza Pahlavi, the second son and third child of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Shahbanu Farah (Diba) Pahlavi, committed suicide early Tuesday morning. Pahlavi, age 44,...

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01/02/2011Ahmadinejad Fires 14 Advisers in Major Shake-up

Ahmadinejad Fires 14 Advisers in Major Shake-up

Davood Danesh Jafari, Mojtaba Rahmandoust, Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh (Homepage: Mehdi Kalhor) Mashregh, the website that is close to Iran's fundamentalists and security forces, has reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...

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12/30/2010Iran's Growing Gray Market

Iran's Growing Gray Market

Off-the-books economy grows in response to disappearing subsidies. [ dispatch ] A week and a half has passed since apprehensive Tehranis turned up their TVs and radios to hear President...

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12/24/2010Iran's Jundallah Problem

Iran's Jundallah Problem

Concerns that volatile Sistan and Baluchistan province could be pushed into sectarian conflict. Iran is on the verge of emulating the U.S. tactic of shooting terrorists and insurgents inside Pakistan,...

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12/23/2010Grave Business in Iran

Grave Business in Iran

In Tehran cemeteries, rich and poor, loyal soldiers and dissidents are marked according to their status in death as in life. [ dispatch ] In the cemeteries of Tehran,...

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12/23/2010New Report Documents Abuse of Sexual Minorities in Iran

New Report Documents Abuse of Sexual Minorities in Iran

[ dispatch ] Last week, Human Rights Watch released a report documenting the systematic abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals by the Islamic Republic and called for...

3 Comments
12/22/2010Transportation Sector Reels from Subsidy Cuts

Transportation Sector Reels from Subsidy Cuts

From taxicabs to airlines, shock and dismay at effects of economic overhaul. [ dispatch ] The Iranian transportation sector is the first to feel the full burden of the new...

5 Comments
12/20/2010Legislators Express Deep Concerns over Subsidy Elimination Plan

Legislators Express Deep Concerns over Subsidy Elimination Plan

Administration employs last-minute announcements, threats of prosecution in attempt to control price increases. [ dispatch] Majles deputies are worried about the economic, social, and political effects of the sudden...

2 Comments
12/19/2010Subsidy Cuts Begin, Basic Commodity Prices Skyrocket

Subsidy Cuts Begin, Basic Commodity Prices Skyrocket

Price of gasoline ration to quadruple, electricity and water to triple. Flour up by factor of 40. [ dispatch ] In a nationally televised program Saturday night, President Mahmoud...

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12/18/2010Tehran Struggles to Claim Share of Caspian

Tehran Struggles to Claim Share of Caspian

Does Iran have much negotiating power? [ dispatch ] The latest top-level meeting on the Caspian Sea came and went last month without achieving visible progress on the vexed question...

3 Comments
12/15/2010Update: Jundullah Claims Responsibility for Suicide Bombing; 33 Dead

Update: Jundullah Claims Responsibility for Suicide Bombing; 33 Dead

[ dispatch ] Two suicide bombers killed at least 33 people and wounded over 83 in a mourning procession in Chabahar on Wednesday morning, according to news reports in...

13 Comments
12/12/2010Report: Iranian Ex-Deputy Defense Minister, Missing 4 Years, in Israeli Jail

Report: Iranian Ex-Deputy Defense Minister, Missing 4 Years, in Israeli Jail

Alireza Asgari case apparently tied to ongoing shadow war. [ dispatch ] Over the past decade Israel has been waging a war against Iran's nuclear program. In addition to an...

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12/10/2010Iran Nuclear Talks: A Widening Chasm

Iran Nuclear Talks: A Widening Chasm

[ Q&A ] with Robin Wright: There seems to have been a little progress during the two days of meetings in Geneva, but where's the emphasis? How "little" and how...

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12/09/2010Speech by Former Interior Minister Detailing Election Fraud Released

Speech by Former Interior Minister Detailing Election Fraud Released

Comprehensive report on disappearing ballot forms, back-room vote "count" emerges. [ dispatch ] Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour was minister of the interior in Mir Hossein Mousavi's cabinet in the 1980s....

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12/07/2010Student Day Marked by Nationwide Protests

Student Day Marked by Nationwide Protests

Video: University students protest in Ghazvin [ dispatch ] For the second time since the disputed presidential election of June 2009, Student Day in Iran was marked by a...

3 Comments
12/05/2010WikiLeaks, Rafsanjani, and Reading between the Lines

WikiLeaks, Rafsanjani, and Reading between the Lines

Story of Supreme Leader's supposed "terminal leukemia" part of a larger pattern. [ comment ] I was checking out Balatarin, the top Persian link-sharing website, this week to see...

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12/01/2010Stakes High in Upcoming Geneva Talks

Stakes High in Upcoming Geneva Talks

Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief; Saeed Jalili, lead Iranian nuclear negotiator [ Q&A ] with Ellen Laipson Why are the upcoming talks between Iran and the world's six...

5 Comments
11/29/2010Targeted Atom Scientists Had Close Ties to Victim of January Bombing

Targeted Atom Scientists Had Close Ties to Victim of January Bombing

Left to right: Majid Shahriari, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, Massoud Alimohammadi An Iranian nuclear scientist was killed and another was slightly injured in separate bomb attacks as they drove to...

4 Comments
11/29/2010What Are the Most Significant WikiLeaks Revelations?

What Are the Most Significant WikiLeaks Revelations?

U.S. cables "wiki-leaked" show Arab States of the Persian Gulf hawkish on Iran. [ Q&A ] w/ Afshin Molavi, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and a former...

9 Comments
11/28/2010Husband Murder on the Rise in Iran

Husband Murder on the Rise in Iran

[ dispatch ] Courtside stories about wives accused of murdering their husbands were once almost unheard of in Iran, but these days they are common enough to excite little attention....

11/23/2010Uncertainty Grows over Plan to Slash Subsidies

Uncertainty Grows over Plan to Slash Subsidies

Contradictory policies hamper administration efforts at reassurance. [ dispatch ] While the Iranian government and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have maintained a defiant posture regarding economic affairs, his administration's actions reveal...

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11/23/2010Analysis: The Nuclear Wrangle in a Nutshell

Analysis: The Nuclear Wrangle in a Nutshell

[ primer ] Q&A with Michael Adler The International Atomic Energy Agency -- the U.N. nuclear watchdog -- issued a report on Iran's controversial nuclear program on Nov. 23. What...

11/21/2010Hard Lives for Afghans in Iran

Hard Lives for Afghans in Iran

Official repression, private abuse, and widespread prejudice magnify plight. [ dispatch ] With rising unemployment and an increasingly strained economy, the Iranian government and many of the country's people seek...

15 Comments
11/18/2010Case of Sakineh Ashtiani Reflects Iran's Internal Divisions

Case of Sakineh Ashtiani Reflects Iran's Internal Divisions

[ primer ] Q&A with Haleh Esfandiari What is Iran trying to do or prove in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to be stoned to...

9 Comments
11/13/2010Why Ahmadinejad Lashed Out at Russia

Why Ahmadinejad Lashed Out at Russia

[ primer ] Q&A with Mark N. Katz Why is Ahmadinejad so publicly critical of Russia? Ahmadinejad has harshly criticized for Moscow for cancelling its previously agreed-upon sale of S-300...

2 Comments
11/12/2010Iran Ranked over Turkey, Brazil in UN Development Index

Iran Ranked over Turkey, Brazil in UN Development Index

[ primer ] Iranians are doing better in health and education than their counterparts in key countries in the developing world, according to a new U.N. report. The 2010 U.N....

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11/09/2010Politics and the Press in Iran II

Politics and the Press in Iran II

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...

11/09/2010Politics and the Press in Iran I

Politics and the Press in Iran I

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...

11/06/2010Iranian MPs Query Cash-For-Karzai

Iranian MPs Query Cash-For-Karzai

[ dispatch ] It was not just western governments that were taken aback by news that Tehran had been handing wads of cash over to Afghan president Hamid Karzai's office....

2 Comments
11/04/2010Iran's Fifth Five-Year Plan

Iran's Fifth Five-Year Plan

[ economy ] After months of wrangling, Iran's parliament finally approved the outline of a new five-year economic, cultural, and social plan on Oct. 30. Yet the vote underscored the...

11/03/2010Higher Education Made to Walk the Hardline

Higher Education Made to Walk the Hardline

Ideological correctness trumps academic performance. [ dispatch ] The recent dissolution of Iran University for Medical Sciences (IUMS) and the halt in developing new advanced degree programs in the social...

35 Comments
11/01/2010Oil and One-Upmanship: The Iran-Iraq Rivalry

Oil and One-Upmanship: The Iran-Iraq Rivalry

Vying reserve figures may point to future clashes over production. [ business ] Although friendly in tone, a public duel in early October over revised oil reserve estimates could point...

10/28/2010US Ramps Up Economic Pressure on Iran

US Ramps Up Economic Pressure on Iran

Obama adminstration sanctions 37 front companies connected to state-owned firm. [ business ] In the latest U.S. move to pressure Iran, the Treasury Department has sanctioned 37 German, Maltese, and...

10/26/2010'Conversations with Terrorists': Face to Face with the Bogeymen

'Conversations with Terrorists': Face to Face with the Bogeymen

Author Reese Erlich on the exploitation of a label and a deadly phantom war. Writing on "Politics and the English Language" in 1946, George Orwell offered a list of political...

2 Comments
10/23/2010Where Did Iran's Islamic Economy Come From and Where Did It Go?

Where Did Iran's Islamic Economy Come From and Where Did It Go?

Economist Sohrab Behdad speaks with Reza Talebi. Translator's note: Below are excerpts from an interview conducted with Dr. Sohrab Behdad, professor of economics at Denison University, Ohio, and co-author with...

1 Comment
10/20/2010Sanctions Pull Rug from Under Iran

Sanctions Pull Rug from Under Iran

U.S. bar on Persian carpets will hit Iranian weavers and traders hard. [ business ] Iran's famed rug industry faces a serious threat from the latest sanctions imposed by the...

4 Comments
10/18/2010Iran Primer: The Challenge of Iran

Iran Primer: The Challenge of Iran

An introduction to the Iran Primer. "The Iran Primer: Power, Politics and U.S. Policy" is an unprecedented project by 50 of the world's top scholars on Iran representing some 20...

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10/14/2010A Historic Letter by Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani?

A Historic Letter by Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani?

Complains of systemic abuses to Khamenei -- but is document authentic? [ iran media buzz ] JARAS, the pro-Green Movement website, has reported on a letter that Sadegh Larijani, the...

4 Comments
10/12/2010Video of Deadly Gunfight Emerges

Video of Deadly Gunfight Emerges

[ dispatch ] Footage recently posted on the Internet shows last week's gunfight in front of a police station in Sanandaj, Iran. The deadly battle on Thursday, October 7,...

10/09/2010Burial at Midnight

Burial at Midnight

Twenty-one surreptitiously interred in decrepit area of Behesht-e Zahra. [ dispatch ] One night in the middle of June, around midnight, a military truck brought 21 dead bodies to Behesht-e...

3 Comments
10/04/2010Currency in Commotion

Currency in Commotion

Regime pledges to rein in bucking rial, but no major fix to official overvaluation. [ business ] The Iranian currency market is a volatile arena these days. The Iranian rial...

30 Comments
10/02/2010'I Could Not Imagine What Peace Looked Like'

'I Could Not Imagine What Peace Looked Like'

Reflections of a generation raised in wartime. [ dispatch ] Three decades after the beginning of an eight-year-long war that altered the very fabric of Iran's society and political system,...

4 Comments
09/24/2010'Hail Cyrus!'

'Hail Cyrus!'

An extravagant cry echoes with irony. [ dispatch ] President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to New York this week to give yet another speech to the United Nations General Assembly and...

7 Comments
09/22/2010Bomb Kills 12 During Military Parade

Bomb Kills 12 During Military Parade

[ dispatch ] At least 12 people were killed in a bomb blast today during a military parade in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan province, according to various state and opposition...

1 Comment
09/12/2010The Iranian Diaspora in America: 30 Years in the Making

The Iranian Diaspora in America: 30 Years in the Making

A permanent, engaged community slowly takes shape. [ dispatch ] More than 30 years since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the United States has become home to the largest and...

23 Comments
09/11/2010Endless Infighting Yields Public Holiday

Endless Infighting Yields Public Holiday

Ahmadinejad defies Majles, extends Eid ul-Fitr recess. [ dispatch ] Despite Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei's repeated calls for cooperation between the Majles (parliament) and the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...

09/10/2010Mortazavi Still Standing

Mortazavi Still Standing

Worth a thousand words: As widely reported late last month, Saeed Mortazavi and two other judges were suspended for their roles in the in torture deaths of three students...

30 Comments
09/10/2010Fierce Reaction to Now-Cancelled Qu'ran Burn Plan

Fierce Reaction to Now-Cancelled Qu'ran Burn Plan

Grand ayatollah demanded Florida church "be closed forever." [ dispatch ] Calls by American pastor Terri Jones to burn the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist...

11 Comments
08/28/2010Suing Repression's Service Provider

Suing Repression's Service Provider

Nokia Siemens, meet the Alien Tort Statute -- a U.S. detour for justice. [ briefs ] On the phone, Ali Herischi, a lawyer in Maryland, is talking tough: "Nokia's decision...

3 Comments
08/26/2010Iranian Political Prisoners' Appeal to Lula

Iranian Political Prisoners' Appeal to Lula

Translator's Note: Five Iranian political prisoners including Mansour Osanloo, leader of the Tehran Bus Workers Union, and reformist journalist Isa Saharkhiz have called on President Lula da Silva of Brazil...

2 Comments
08/23/2010Ramadan Blues

Ramadan Blues

Heavy-handed enforcement of fast reflects conflict within regime. [ dispatch ] On the streets of Iran's major cities, this year's Ramadan is unlike any in memory. While fewer people are...

6 Comments
08/13/2010Meet the Duo behind Iran's 'Daily Show'

Meet the Duo behind Iran's 'Daily Show'

Nicety-free show finds no heroes, attracts broad audience. [ dispatch ] Kambiz Hosseini states that he has "no patience for ta'rouf." He states it very emphatically. In his book...

63 Comments
08/10/2010Shifting Gears, Wrestling Pride

Shifting Gears, Wrestling Pride

[ passport ] Riding a bicycle across Iran in the dead of summer is not unheard of -- some travelers do it every year, most of them on long...

3 Comments
08/09/2010The Iranian Influence in Afghanistan

The Iranian Influence in Afghanistan

Interests overlap with America's, but cooperation remains a distant dream. After spending several weeks in Kabul, one can hardly deny the extent of Iranian influence in Afghanistan. As a major...

23 Comments
08/03/2010A Vestige of Free Speech in Iran

A Vestige of Free Speech in Iran

In Iran, where all major opposition newspapers have been closed, where a small public gathering can lead to arrest, there remain few avenues of free speech. Of those few,...

11 Comments
08/03/2010What's Driving Iran's Soaring Stock Exchange?

What's Driving Iran's Soaring Stock Exchange?

Despite sanctions, Iran stocks hit all-time high. [ business ] As the 2005 presidential election approached, a broker active in Tehran's stock exchange was downbeat. "Pessimists look at the elections...

2 Comments
07/29/2010A Ride Home

A Ride Home

[ dispatch ] My aunt called me in the evening. She had help over, a certain lady, and was wondering if I would drop her off at the metro station....

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07/20/2010Crashes Without Consequences

Crashes Without Consequences

Since Iranian aviation's worst summer a year ago, little appears to have changed. On July 15, 2009, Caspian Airlines flight 7908, a Tupelov Tu-154M, departed from Imam Khomeini International Airport...

8 Comments
07/18/2010Just Like Facebook

Just Like Facebook

[ spotlight ] Tabnak, the news site affiliated with "pragmatic conservative" and presidential nominee Mohsen Rezaie, reported the launch of the first "social networking site dedicated to the lovers...

6 Comments
07/14/2010Tehran Bazaar Strike Enters Second Week

Tehran Bazaar Strike Enters Second Week

Update: Iran merchants and tax collectors end standoff. Tax protest significant blow to government agenda, says scholar. A large number of shops remain shuttered in the Tehran bazaar, even after...

31 Comments
07/12/2010'Hejab and Chastity Conference' Passes Quietly

'Hejab and Chastity Conference' Passes Quietly

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cModest-Con 2010www.colbertnation.comColbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News While the announcement of the Hejab and Chastity Conference has apparently created quite a stir internationally,...

1 Comment
07/09/2010Much Ado Over Sanction Vote

Much Ado Over Sanction Vote

Tehran vents, Moscow pretends not to notice. In the month since Russia voted in the U.N. Security Council for sanctions against Iran, Iranian officials have been struggling to maintain good...

6 Comments
07/04/2010Remembering Iran Air Flight 655

Remembering Iran Air Flight 655

[ comment ] On July 3, 1988, an Iranian aircraft registered on the radar screen of the USS Vincennes. The U.S. Navy officers on the bridge identified the approaching aircraft...

52 Comments
06/25/2010Photo Essay: Namaz Jomeh

Photo Essay: Namaz Jomeh

Twenty-first anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini. The women-only car on the Tehran subway was completely full, but at every station more black chador-clad bodies found a way...

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06/22/2010Letter from Tehran

Letter from Tehran

Where the Green Movement stands one year after the electoral coup. Friday Prayers marking the 21st anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, June 4, 2010. Photo by Gabriela Maj...

15 Comments
06/19/2010The Morning After

The Morning After

Birth of a popular uprising. I knew that a shockwave would sweep the country when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in the presidential election was announced. Practically everyone who had voted...

19 Comments
06/16/2010The Green Movement Charter

The Green Movement Charter

Mousavi issues historic document. On the first anniversary of the huge demonstrations that took place on June 15, 2009, protesting the rigged June 12 presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, the...

20 Comments
06/13/2010It Seems Like Old Times: Change of Tune or Same Old Song?

It Seems Like Old Times: Change of Tune or Same Old Song?

[analysis ] Ah, these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Fish are jumping (except if they happen to be in the Gulf of Mexico) and the cotton is high....

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06/12/2010Finding Greens in Tehran

Finding Greens in Tehran

Archive photos. [ dispatch ] "It is going to be a very eventful day," says Aram, 28, referring to the one-year anniversary of the Iranian presidential election on June...

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06/10/2010One Year On: The View from Washington

One Year On: The View from Washington

A Year Later, Iran More Authoritarian and Divided. Some of America's top Iran scholars marked the upcoming anniversary of Iran's contested election by discussing the growing role of the Revolutionary...

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06/09/2010Backstage at Friday Prayers

Backstage at Friday Prayers

Khomeini commemoration marked by heckling of grandson, blunders by Khamenei. [ analysis ] Whether or not street protests continue to define the struggle against dictatorship, the birth of the...

1 Comment
06/06/2010The Meaning of 'V'

The Meaning of 'V'

Reflections on a moral triumph. It was the sign of victory! I am waiting for a taxi in Vali Asr Square, my back toward the cinema on the southwest corner,...

8 Comments
06/05/2010Life Goes on in Tehran

Life Goes on in Tehran

We were delighted to see one of our favorite blogs, LifeGoesoninTehran.com, back up and running this month. Since the June election last year, it had come to a virtual halt...

13 Comments
05/30/2010The 'Lost' Generation of Iran

The 'Lost' Generation of Iran

A devoted audience finds social, political resonance in a popular TV fantasy. The show's European fans were excited that they were allowed to watch the grand finale at the same...

7 Comments
05/28/2010Swimming in a Bubble

Swimming in a Bubble

Middle-class inertia stalls hopes for swift change. It is almost one year after the Green Revolution in Tehran. Why has the change it seemed to promise been so slow in...

15 Comments
05/22/2010Mehdi Hashemi and the British Devil

Mehdi Hashemi and the British Devil

Rafsanjani clan under increasing pressure from regime. Ever since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the Rafsanjani clan of corruption in last year's presidential debates, the pressure has been mounting on the family...

5 Comments
05/16/2010Postcard from Armenia

Postcard from Armenia

Photo by Khashayar Zand Armenia: The New Iranian Tourist Destination Armenia is not your typical tourist destination. But in 2009, 44,297 Iranian tourists visited Armenia, according to the National...

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05/09/2010A Kafkaesque Realm of Cyber Censorship

A Kafkaesque Realm of Cyber Censorship

Draconian laws yield unintended consequences for hardline websites. In 2008, the Iranian government boasted of censoring five million Internet sites deemed potentially improper or immoral. The number of restricted sites...

6 Comments
05/05/2010The Tehran Bust Job

The Tehran Bust Job

Who done it? One expert eyes an unexpected culprit. All over the capital, bronze busts and full-length statues have been disappearing without a trace, right under the noses of Iran's...

4 Comments
05/02/2010Lovers Brace for Summer

Lovers Brace for Summer

Morality patrols return to threaten the innocence of youth, but the social dynamic has changed. In Tehran the other day, while riding in a taxi, I passed a shopping center....

35 Comments
04/30/2010May Day's Distress

May Day's Distress

Iranian laborers have little to celebrate on International Workers' Day. [ analysis ] May 1, International Workers' Day, will be observed in Iran with its leaders incarcerated by the Islamic...

6 Comments
04/28/2010The Middle Road of Hashemi Rafsanjani

The Middle Road of Hashemi Rafsanjani

Among all of the original leaders of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, there are few who have been more influential than Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Bahramani, universally known as Akbar...

8 Comments
04/28/2010Fred Halliday Reader

Fred Halliday Reader

Fred Halliday, preeminent scholar on Iran and the Middle East, died of cancer on Monday at the age of 64. As a tribute, a selected bibliography has been provided below....

04/24/2010Of Adultery and Earthquakes

Of Adultery and Earthquakes

Hardliners put a sinful spin even on geoscience. Recently, as Iranians were finally returning to their homes and workplaces after this year's exceptionally long holiday recess, they were treated to...

9 Comments
04/20/2010The Persian Version Perversion

The Persian Version Perversion

Want it or not, Iranian Americans are getting their MTV. While the 1972 screen version of The Godfather was in production, Italian American organizations rallied against yet another negative depiction...

18 Comments
04/15/2010Azeris & the Green Movement

Azeris & the Green Movement

Photo via Flickr, "Urmia Phone Center" by Siavash Laghai. A group of Azeri activists and intellectuals address the Green Movement. Translator's Note: During the past few months, several online...

46 Comments
04/02/2010Exploiting Martyrs for Propaganda

Exploiting Martyrs for Propaganda

Iran's military heroes, often forgotten while alive, are both valorized and cynically employed in death. April 10, 1999, dawned bright in north Tehran. Like thousands of others that spring morning,...

14 Comments
03/29/2010Tehran's Annus Mirabilis

Tehran's Annus Mirabilis

[ comment ] The stunning birth and flowering of Iran's democratic movement this past year has largely been the work of Tehran's courageous residents. These battle-weary street fighters are now...

5 Comments
03/27/2010Iran-US advisory group recommends technology-based policy

Iran-US advisory group recommends technology-based policy

An advisory task force comprising U.S., EU, and Iranian members was convened by The Century Foundation's Inside Iran project in collaboration with the National Security Network -- two policy research...

8 Comments
03/20/2010A Haus for the Islamic Republic

A Haus for the Islamic Republic

[ opinion ] On March 14, a week before Nowrouz, the Iranian New Year, a conference was held in Hamburg, Germany, to commemorate a new cultural project, Iran Haus. Rahim...

9 Comments
03/16/2010Videos: Chaharshanbeh Souri

Videos: Chaharshanbeh Souri

Iran Tehran 16 March 2010 Protest Chahar shanabe soori P1 16 March حملهٔ پلیس ضد شورش با موتور و سپر- شب چارشنبه سوری Iran - Exclusive Isfahan 16 March 2010...

3 Comments
03/14/2010Mojtaba Vahedi: Ahmadinejad-Khamenei Rift Widening

Mojtaba Vahedi: Ahmadinejad-Khamenei Rift Widening

A senior aide to opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi said today that Iran's supreme leader has cooled his support for president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mojtaba Vahedi, chief of staff to Mehdi Karroubi...

28 Comments
03/09/2010A Well-Lighted Place

A Well-Lighted Place

Tehran is a city inhabited by millions dashing, driving, and edging past one another every day. Those from smaller towns live to get to Tehran. Residents of Tehran would die...

6 Comments
03/07/2010On Fire

On Fire

Suicides plague a town grappling with modernization. May 2009 Ilam, a city near Kermanshah in western Iran, is surrounded by oak-covered mountains. It has very narrow streets and just a...

9 Comments
02/28/2010Mousavi: This is a Cult not a Political System

Mousavi: This is a Cult not a Political System

The latest from Karroubi and Mousavi. A few days ago, Mehdi Karroubi declared that the people have not backed down and that they continue to stand firm for their legitimate...

20 Comments
02/25/2010From Berlin Wall to Firewall

From Berlin Wall to Firewall

[ comment ] Those of us who grew up in the 1970s and early 1980s, before the disaster of the Soviet adventure in Afghanistan became clear, lived in a different...

12 Comments
02/24/2010Not Defeated

Not Defeated

[ comment ] The month of Bahman, the 11th in the Iranian calendar, has ended. Politics will pause for a moment while Iranians turn their attention to their beloved Norouz,...

15 Comments
02/20/2010Ahmadinejad's import mania

Ahmadinejad's import mania

Ahmadinejad's import mania drives farmers to bankruptcy; industrial workers arbitrarily denied wages. Over the last few months, as the economic downturn has picked up momentum, a new demand is increasingly...

8 Comments
02/20/2010The Militarized Death of the Republic

The Militarized Death of the Republic

This was first published by Tehran Bureau on July 6, 2009. The momentous June presidential election in Iran and its bloody aftermath will probably be remembered as a turning...

27 Comments
02/17/2010Why North Tehranis Don't Revolt

Why North Tehranis Don't Revolt

"So what's the talk among your colleagues?" a repatriate friend of mine asks, a reminder that he uses me as a measure for the sentiment among everyday Iranians. My situation...

79 Comments
02/16/2010UN, Human Rights and Union Activists

UN, Human Rights and Union Activists

[ briefs ] As the Seventh Session of the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review met Monday to asses the situation in Iran, reports surfaced that Mansour Osanloo (pictured),...

02/11/2010No Sleep

No Sleep

The sun set as always, gracefully in a haze of pollution over Tehran. Tomorrow it will be 22nd of Bahman, the twenty-second day of the 11th month of the Iranian...

15 Comments
02/10/2010My Own Private Jerusalem

My Own Private Jerusalem

[ dispatch ] On February 12, or 22 Bahman by the Iranian calendar, many thousands will gather for what is referred to as a demonstration to celebrate the Revolution, 31...

3 Comments
01/29/2010'Reflections on Democracy'

'Reflections on Democracy'

Reflections on Democracy, Non-Violence and Political Change in Iran [ analysis ] Struggles for democracy generally require three critical ingredients for success: effective and incorruptible leadership, a strategy for mass...

12 Comments
01/25/2010Will the Fajr Boycott Work?

Will the Fajr Boycott Work?

[ dispatch ] The annual Fajr Film Festival is the biggest cinematic event of the year. It was established two years after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The festival is sponsored...

7 Comments
01/18/2010What's monitored online?

What's monitored online?

A few tips. [ dispatch ] Iran has vowed to step up its efforts in digital censorship, claiming that the era of "mercy" is over. In a statement released by...

10 Comments
01/13/2010Who murdered Prof. Ali-Mohammadi?

Who murdered Prof. Ali-Mohammadi?

Dr. Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, a professor of physics at the University of Tehran, was assassinated in front of his home in northern Tehran on Tuesday. Reports indicate that a motorcycle parked...

53 Comments
01/06/2010Scenario Building for Iran

Scenario Building for Iran

[ analysis ] The political crisis in Tehran has four main possible outcomes. At issue is the struggle over the "Islamic republic" form of government. Islam itself is not at...

47 Comments
01/04/2010Statement by Five Religious Intellectuals

Statement by Five Religious Intellectuals

The hardliners' plan to exploit the events of Ashura to arrest the leaders of the Green Movement -- Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami -- appear to have...

32 Comments
12/28/2009A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

[ feature ] For two months, life in a religious family or for those in a small town in Iran seems to have come to a standstill. No weddings, no...

9 Comments
12/28/2009Religious holiday turns bloody

Religious holiday turns bloody

[ dispatch ]Iranian security forces opened fire on protesters during anti-government demonstrations on Sunday, killing at least nine people and arresting more than 300 demonstrators in what marked the largest...

4 Comments
12/27/2009Ashura updates

Ashura updates

Dec. 27, 2009 Reported deaths: 9 Videos posted here. Ashura Updates Source: Tehran Bureau Nurse: They brought a few of the injured today to the Al Zahra hospital in Isfahan....

4 Comments
12/20/2009Press Reports on Montazeri

Press Reports on Montazeri

Mousavi, Karroubi announce Monday national day of mourning Norooz | Dec. 20, 2009 Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi issued a joint statement in which they pronounced...

6 Comments
12/17/2009Ahmadinejad in Copenhagen

Ahmadinejad in Copenhagen

And Iran's right to nuclear energy. Today, at the Climate Summit in Copenhagen, the world's cameras will be watching and listening to the words of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many will want...

24 Comments
12/16/2009Khamenei lashes out at Opposition

Khamenei lashes out at Opposition

In an angry speech to young conservative clerics on Sunday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out at the opposition, accusing them of being behind tearing and burning posters...

9 Comments
12/15/2009Another Iranian Nuclear Negotiator Resigns

Another Iranian Nuclear Negotiator Resigns

On Tuesday December 15th, Dr Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of planning for the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEOI) and a member of Iran's nuclear negotiation team for the...

7 Comments
12/14/2009Tehran University: A glimpse inside the protests

Tehran University: A glimpse inside the protests

[ dispatch ] The University of Tehran has been in turmoil for nearly a week now. And this is saying a lot about a school that has been plagued by...

8 Comments
12/08/2009Students Day protests sweep campuses across Iran

Students Day protests sweep campuses across Iran

[ dispatch ] Thousands of student protesters clashed with basij militiamen and riot police at demonstrations staged at and around universities in Tehran and other cities throughout Iran on Monday,...

2 Comments
12/05/2009Stories from North Tehran

Stories from North Tehran

Arrival, July 13 I was worried as my plane descended into Imam Khomeini International Airport around 3:00 am. A month earlier, Iran had erupted in protests following the country's presidential...

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12/05/2009Gradual change more likely than revolution, experts say

Gradual change more likely than revolution, experts say

[ dispatch ] Everyone wants to know what's next for Iran. Since the June 2009 election, and subsequent protests, the mainstream media has asked, "Is this the beginning of another...

13 Comments
12/02/2009The View from China

The View from China

[ dispatch ] The most recent bombast from President Ahmadinejad, who called for an enormous expansion of Iran's nuclear enrichment program, has once again raised alarms in the United States,...

1 Comment
11/25/2009The Mysterious Death of a Kahrizak Doctor

The Mysterious Death of a Kahrizak Doctor

[ feature ] Iran has a long undistinguished history of prisons. The best-known is Evin prison, where hundreds of political prisoners were executed before, and thousands after, the 1979 revolution....

7 Comments
11/22/2009Metro-Sexual

Metro-Sexual

The Ease of Being Metro-Sexual in Tehran's Underground. [ dispatch ] The cellphone has become the ultimate arbiter of social class in Iran, replacing the car. A majority of Iranians...

6 Comments
11/18/2009The Face behind Mousavi's Facebook

The Face behind Mousavi's Facebook

[ dispatch ] On the night of Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony, a young graduate student in Aachen, Germany set up a Facebook support group for an Iranian politician rumored to...

14 Comments
11/15/2009What Happened to Ehsan Fattahian?

What Happened to Ehsan Fattahian?

In early morning of Wednesday, November 11, 2009, Ehsan Fattahian, a 28-year-old Kurdish activist, was executed in Sanandaj, the provincial capital of Kurdistan. He was a member of Komalah, a...

28 Comments
11/12/2009Full circle: Former hostage to tackle US-Iran relations

Full circle: Former hostage to tackle US-Iran relations

[ dispatch ] A quarter of a century ago, David Mack was the U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and serving under him as consul general in Dubai was...

14 Comments
11/05/2009Ahmadinejad -- Free Marketeer

Ahmadinejad -- Free Marketeer

[ comment ] It was hard to believe, but they were on television: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and three Iranian economists discussing subsidy policies and the administration's plan to remove subsidies within...

6 Comments
11/02/2009Gearing up for 13 Aban

Gearing up for 13 Aban

[ preview ] To the outside world, street protests in Iran appear to have 'died down' since summer ended. Yet the opposition movement, driven underground, has strategically slated mass...

12 Comments
10/30/2009The power behind the scene: Khoeiniha

The power behind the scene: Khoeiniha

The power behind the scene: Ayatollah Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha [ profile ] Divisions between Shia clerics existed from the beginning of the 1978-79 Revolution. But as a result of the...

17 Comments
10/26/2009Reading RAND in Tehran

Reading RAND in Tehran

Did anyone actually read this thing? [ analysis ] After two postponements and much controversy, a 50% plus one share of the state-owned Iranian Telecommunications Company was sold via Tehran's...

23 Comments
10/25/2009Blogging the Election with Broken Farsi

Blogging the Election with Broken Farsi

Karroubi in Arak. [ dispatch ] Nearly a year ago, after spending three months in Iran as an NGO volunteer learning Farsi, I lucked into a job reporting and...

5 Comments
10/24/2009The Week in Green with Hamid Dabashi

The Week in Green with Hamid Dabashi

[ spotlight ] Renowned Columbia University Iran scholar Hamid Dabashi debuted as the host of a new broadcast, "The Week in Green with Hamid Dabashi: A Window into the...

4 Comments
10/22/2009DC and Tehran agree:

DC and Tehran agree: "Don't Blame Us!"

[ comment ] An Iranian blogger called the past few months "Iran's aviation black summer," and he might be right. In the course of one month, Iranian airlines had two...

8 Comments
10/20/2009Mr. Mohajerani goes to Washington

Mr. Mohajerani goes to Washington

[ dispatches ] Ataollah Mohajerani's political career began in 1980 when he entered the Islamic Republic's first Majlis as a representative from Shiraz as its youngest member. He served...

13 Comments
10/18/2009Sitting Ducks

Sitting Ducks

A French magazine is the Israeli source for impending attack on Iran. [ dispatch ] Israeli broadcast and print media are reporting that an Israeli attack on Iran is taking...

10/15/2009The Death March

The Death March

[ analysis ] Iran's post-election turmoil and the ensuing human rights crisis entered a new phase this week, after authorities announced death sentences for four defendants following the mass trials...

3 Comments
10/11/2009Iranian blogosphere reacts to Obama's Peace Prize

Iranian blogosphere reacts to Obama's Peace Prize

[ dispatch ] Outside of the United States, the news that U.S. President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize resonated perhaps most strongly with Iranians. The traditional anti-US...

14 Comments
10/05/2009Rafsanjani's Deal?

Rafsanjani's Deal?

[ dispatch ] Politicians and officials linked to both Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani have released the draft of a plan to calm the crisis of...

6 Comments
09/29/2009When did Iran begin building the Qom nuclear facility?

When did Iran begin building the Qom nuclear facility?

Men with 'almond-shaped eyes' may hold a clue. [ analysis ] Iran's nuclear program is back center stage, dominating national and international headlines. After President Obama's press conference at the...

10 Comments
09/28/2009Breaking the Bond Between Mosque and State

Breaking the Bond Between Mosque and State

[ comment ] It was Quds Day - the last Friday of Ramadan. I do not recall ever going to a Quds Day rally before this year. In previous years,...

6 Comments
09/26/2009Hard to Keep a Good Thing Down

Hard to Keep a Good Thing Down

Iran's Supreme Leader, in his Friday Prayer sermon two weeks ago, declared that the annual Quds Day demonstrations would take place as usual, but that those who try to...

9 Comments
09/25/2009Ahmadinejad gives soft tone for tough times

Ahmadinejad gives soft tone for tough times

[ dispatches ] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad toned down his customary vitriol in his speech at the United Nations Wednesday night, outlining a vision of cooperation and a world...

6 Comments
09/18/2009Quds Day Updates

Quds Day Updates

Clashes erupt in afternoon Tehran Bureau | Sept. 18, 2009 Witnesses present at the Quds Day rallies held Friday in Tehran report that while security forces showed restraint early...

13 Comments
09/14/2009Censoring reformists out of existence

Censoring reformists out of existence

It didn't work for the apartheid government of South Africa -- but it's apparently inspired Iran's hardliners. By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 13 Sept 2009 When the...

4 Comments
09/10/2009Difficult Days Ahead

Difficult Days Ahead

Oddly, just about everyone has kept quiet about the recent arrests. By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 10 Sept 2009 Mir Hossein Mousavi, the main reformist candidate in...

16 Comments
09/09/2009The Nuclear Thing & Other Persian Riddles

The Nuclear Thing & Other Persian Riddles

Farsi provides a multi-dimensionality that allows its speakers to deny truth in a most truthful way.Dispatch from Tehran | 10 Sept 2009 Over the years, everyone has heard the...

7 Comments
09/06/2009Another Cultural Revolution?

Another Cultural Revolution?

The Iranian leaders should think twice about the failure of Islamization in the past three decades. By RASOOL NAFISI | 6 Sept 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] Ayatollah Khamenei met with...

6 Comments
09/05/2009Mousavi on the

Mousavi on the "Green Path of Hope"

Demonstrations during the Iranian revolution of 1978-79. By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 5 Sept 2009 Mir Hossein Mousavi, the main reformist candidate in Iran's presidential election of...

4 Comments
09/04/2009IRGC's deeply-rooted animosity for reformists

IRGC's deeply-rooted animosity for reformists

By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles As the author pointed out in a previous article, one goal of the second-generation conservative revolutionaries is the elimination of the reformists as...

5 Comments
09/03/2009Unstoppable

Unstoppable

Source: Alef, Conservative MP Ahmad Tavakoli's news site....

4 Comments
08/31/2009

Can Majles block Ahmadinejad's advance?

He doesn't want to hear it. Archive photo.Reporting from Tehran | 31 Aug 2009 Heads must have turned yesterday morning as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entered Iran's Majles accompanied by...

08/30/2009

Meet Etelaat and its "Nokias"

Caption: On June 22, a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal reported that the Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies Siemens AG, the...

8 Comments
08/26/2009

Principlist MP grilled by journalist about jailhouse visit

Tabnak | August 24, 2009 Farhad Tajari, the spokesman for the Majlis Judicial Commission Farhad, was one of two lawmakers allowed to visit Mostafa Tajzadeh. This is an interview...

8 Comments
08/20/2009

Nepotism & the Larijani Dynasty

Nikahang Kowsar's "Three Musketeers." Roozonline By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 20 Aug 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] Before the 1979 Revolution in Iran, one of the main grievances against...

24 Comments
08/17/2009

The Great Tehran Expo Privatization Scandal You've Never Heard Of

"Ahmadinejad didn't steal," spray painted, in part, across campaign posters of the other principlist candidate, Mohsen Rezaei. Photo/Erfan Dadkhah Factional politics, you say? By MOHAMMAD KHIABANI in Tehran |...

1 Comment
08/15/2009

Iran's Crumbling Judiciary

The breakdown of the judiciary has never been so glaringly visible. Photo: Ayatollah Shahroudi seated with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Date unknown. Update: Iran's supreme leader appoints Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani as...

9 Comments
08/13/2009

Iran's Next Minister of Intelligence?

Photo: There is talk of Ruhollah Hosseinian taking over at the Intelligence Ministry. By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles As first reported by the author, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired his...

7 Comments
08/12/2009

Ahmadinejad's Predicament and Iran's Political Crisis

By FARIDEH FARHI [IPS] With the confirmation of his re-election by Ayatollah Khamenei and his oath of office taken, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will begin his second term facing much steeper...

5 Comments
08/09/2009

The Turkish Misadventure

Fishy story: Images from Turkish television report. By AFSIN YURDAKUL in New York | 9 Aug 2009 In October 2008, an Iranian businessman named Esmael Safarian-Nasab shipped four containers...

3 Comments
08/05/2009

Reporting from Dubai

Close enough to feel the heat. By JASON REZAIAN in Dubai | 5 August 2009 Notebook In recent weeks, Dubai has become perhaps the best place where one can...

9 Comments
08/02/2009

Mousavi: Torture has reached the bone

By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 2 Aug 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] Mir Hossein Mousavi issued a new statement, blasting the sham trials that got under way yesterday. The statement...

22 Comments
07/30/2009

Reformists call for elimination of 'Coup Government'

By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 30 July 2009 Iranian hardliners and the political establishment were the target of a strongly-worded statement issued by the Islamic Iran Participation...

7 Comments
07/26/2009

An International Day of Action

Photo/Leila Darabi "The reason it is important that we stand here today in solidarity with those in Iran is that we may be demonstrating for them -- demonstrating our...

4 Comments
07/23/2009

Hunger Strike Draws Attention to Political Prisoners

By LEILA DARABI in New York | 23 July 2009 A group of 30 prominent Iranians in exile -- including academics, artists, actors and advocates -- commenced a three-day...

6 Comments
07/21/2009

Mousavi counters Khamenei

Rafsanjani's sermon prompts more threats from Khamenei. Mousavi shows no signs of relenting. By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 20 July 2009 Three days after Friday prayers, Ali...

11 Comments
07/20/2009

Khatami: Referendum a Solution to Crisis

From left to right: Mohammad Khatami; Mousavi Bojnourdi, a member of ACC, Mir Hossein Mousavi; Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha; and Mohammad Ali Ansari, a former member of Iran's parliament and...

10 Comments
07/17/2009Something to Eat

Something to Eat

[ dispatch ] Summers are hot in Tehran. The sun shines radiantly, and the heat can melt you down if you stay out during midday hours. People are sweating, swearing...

5 Comments
07/17/2009

Jamming devices?

From an Iranian source in the Middle East [unconfirmed] | "Satellite jamming devices (manufactured locally by Saberin Co., an IRGC company) installed on Milad Tower. "Now we know why...

29 Comments
07/17/2009

How Geeks (and Non-Geeks) Can Help Iranians Online

By CYRUS FARIVAR in Oakland | 17 July 2009 In the past few weeks, I've seen a surprising number of my non-Iranian friends utterly captivated by news coming out...

5 Comments
07/13/2009

LOL -- Iran's SMS Boycott

Iranians getting the last laugh? [TEHRAN BUREAU] Before the contested presidential election, Iranians shared millions of text or SMS messages every day. Then, just before the election, the state...

07/12/2009

State-Run TV Takes a Hit

Dispatch from Tehran | 12 July 2009 Iranian news outlets noandish.com and tabnak.com report that Iranian state television has been hurt by falling advertising revenue. Several companies have reportedly...

9 Comments
07/10/2009

18 Tir: Fight the Power

Cartoon caption: The people are ahead of Mousavi. "Wait for me to catch up with you," he says. The city was revved up for 18 Tir. Emails had been...

25 Comments
07/08/2009

'Them, Not Us'

No foreign hand: Iranians killing Iranians. Dispatch from Tehran | 8 July 2009 It was June 20. The day after Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had addressed tens...

7 Comments
07/07/2009

Legitimation Crisis

INTERVIEW: Lebanese intellectual Chibli Mallat outlines principles for non-violent change in Iran By GARETH SMYTH in Beirut [TEHRAN BUREAU] A leading academic authority on Shia Islam has put forward proposals...

1 Comment
07/02/2009

'God has liberated SMS,' but targets satellite dishes

Dispatch from Tehran | 2 July 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] Government officials are asking residents in north and northwest Tehran to choose: either keep their much prized -- but illegal...

23 Comments
07/01/2009

The Writing on the Wall

Dispatch from Tehran | 1 July 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] For visible signs of the post-election unrest which has gripped the city of Tehran, one has to read between the...

12 Comments
06/30/2009

No Refuge

Written by a University of Tehran graduate, from first-hand accounts | 30 June 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] We all have our memories of late-night cramming. The lights are low everywhere;...

16 Comments
06/29/2009

'Thank You'

From Iran | 29 June 2009 I was nine and we were watching a movie on then-banned VHS. It was a harrowing tale of a woman and her daughter's...

36 Comments
06/28/2009

Beheshti's Ghost

As the crackdown intensifies in Iran, the opposition is developing creative ways to fight back using the regime's own logic against it. Today, June 28, is the death anniversary...

19 Comments
06/28/2009

Mousavi remains defiant

By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 28 June 2009 Iran's Guardian Council -- the Constitutional body that vets the candidates and certifies the validity of the elections --...

30 Comments
06/26/2009

The War of the Ayatollahs

By HANA H. in Tehran | 25 June 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] The fact that there is a war going on between "two senior revolutionary clerics" is not a big secret....

20 Comments
06/25/2009

Ahmadinejad and the Press

By JASON REZAIAN in Dubai | 25 June 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] Two days after the June 12 election, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a press conference for the foreign media in...

8 Comments
06/24/2009

The Assembly of Experts

Rafsanjani and the Leadership The Iranian Constitution is a roadmap in which all roads lead to the Supreme Leader. He exercises control over all branches of the government and...

7 Comments
06/24/2009

The Abduction

By MICHELLE MAY in Tehran/Dubai | 24 June 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] The day after the Supreme Leader delivered his Friday prayer at Tehran University the streets of Tehran felt...

24 Comments
06/21/2009

Mousavi's Defying Statement to the Iranian Nation

By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 20 June 2009 In his Friday June 19 speech, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came down firmly on the side of...

1 Comment
06/18/2009

Grand Ayatollah Rejects Election Results

Girls holding posters of Ayatollahs Beheshti, Khomeini and Montazeri at a rally in Tehran, circa 1980. Photo/ J. Javid Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri Rejects the Results of the...

4 Comments
06/17/2009

Poll Indicating Legitimacy of Ahmadinejad's Victory Called into Question

*Analysis by Sharif University alum [TEHRAN BUREAU] The only major doubt in the western media over significant fraud in Iran's presidential election came with the publication of a poll...

7 Comments
06/16/2009

Turmoil follows silent protest

Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran: Article 27 [Freedom of Assembly] states that "Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that...

9 Comments
06/14/2009

Sunday Iran Alerts

From Tehran: you have no idea what is going on right now! Im in Zafaranieh (Pesyan) and I can hear the uproar from Valiasr -- honking and shouting and...

8 Comments
06/13/2009

Alerts from Tehran

*Hour/time given U.S. Eastern (unless otherwise noted) REFRESH THIS PAGE REGULARLY from Iran sent 10:15 PM sunday june 3 Tehran-time Telephone report from my wife - They are open firing...

37 Comments
06/12/2009

Snippets from Voters

*** This will be updated throughout the day. I just received three pieces of news from good sources in Tehran: 1. Mousavi's vote was 21 million more than AN....

2 Comments
06/11/2009In a Different Voice

In a Different Voice

[ dispatch ] It's 3:00 a.m. A friend and I are cruising the streets of Tehran, which have turned into virtual discos. The music ranges from Persian pop to rap...