• 2020-11-29

    Nostalgia is both temporal and geographical; like young Iranians’ sentimental contemplations of their parents’ era, mobility and migrations generate reevaluation from afar. Edward Said describes the formulation of his Palestinian identity at a New England boarding school: “The fact that I was never at home or at least at Mount Hermon, out of place in nearly every way, gave me the incentive to find my territory, not socially but intellectually” (Out of Place, 1999). Writing about Shahin Armin and Sohrab Daryabandari’s film, “Iran’s Arrow: the Rise and Fall of the Paykan” (2017), from my vantage point as an Iranian-American who has never been to Iran, elicits a similar experience of removal from the “original.” It also provokes self-recognition elsewhere. Absorbed with Iran’s iconic car, the Paykan, I am revisited by my mother’s experiences of working as a child in the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a chapter of her life recounted in slivers so minute that I was never able to form a picture of the whole. Iranians’ attachment to the Paykan feeds my own cultural yearning.

  • 2020-11-23

    Joe Biden's victory in America may herald a measure of de-escalation with Iran, but the Supreme Leader is unlikely to be moved. Ayatollah Khamenei does not really distinguish between Democratic and Republican intentions—after all, he agreed to a nuclear deal with the Obama administration only to see President Trump tear it up, impose unrelenting sanctions, and kill Iran’s most revered general. Meanwhile, the regime has its own election to worry about: a June 2021 vote that will give Khamenei an opportunity to seat a more pliable replacement for President Hassan Rouhani and cement his legacy as a totalitarian. In this Policy Note, Iran expert Mehdi Khalaji analyzes the domestic and foreign implications of the coming election in Iran, including its potential impact on future nuclear talks with the United States. He also suggests ways the Biden administration can support Iranian civil society, such as removing barriers to intellectual content and honoring the dignity of Iranian citizens.

  • 2020-11-19

    The privatization of education is hotly debated across the world. It hardly represents a uniform set of policies with experts, economists, civil society organizers, and state officials weighing potential gains and losses. Iran has been no exception to this pattern. As most theoretical literature predicts, the privatization of education in Iran has caused harm. According to experts, it exacerbates class divisions, consolidates social gaps, and leads to serious detrimental consequences in the classroom. With over a century of experience with institutions of modern education, Iran has its own unique history of debate and struggle over privatization and its implementation. This article provides an overview of that history and an assessment of the current state of education in Iran.

  • 2020-11-16

    This article is part of a roundtable on the relationship between engineering, technopolitics, and the environment in the Middle East and North Africa.  […] My research is concerned with the technopolitics of water infrastructures and the constitution and expansion of state power in Cold War Iran. I focus on projects of dam construction, rural development, and agricultural transformation in the province of Khuzestan from the 1950s through the 1970s. Khuzestan is widely known for its rich oil reserves. But it also contains one-third of Iran’s surface water resources, fed by five main rivers in northern Khuzestan. Iranian officials often consider it the “breadbasket” of the nation due to its large agricultural production. One of Khuzestan’s major infrastructural projects during this time period was the Dez Dam, christened the Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi Dam at its inauguration ceremony.

  • 2020-11-12

    A group of German lawmakers released a signed statement on Thursday demanding the "unconditional" permanent release of Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was named a Right Livelihood Laureate last month. The 38 signatories included Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth, Dr Anton Hofreiter (Chairperson of the Green Parliamentary group), Gyde Jensen (FDP), Bärbel Kofler (SPD), Gysi Gregor (Die Linke) and Michael Brand (CDU).

  • 2020-11-12

    Iran once boasted one of the greenest governments. But persecution, paranoia, and war have sunk the Middle East’s most vital conservation programs.

  • 2020-11-11

    he fertility rate in Iran has been declining over the past eight years, the lowest of which was related to the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2019- March 2020) with the birth rate of 1.2, according to the data recently published by the Statistics Center.

  • 2020-11-06

    This week, Iranian leaders suggested that the U.S. election does not matter for Iran nor will it affect the government’s policies.

  • 2020-11-05

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has opened a mega project for transferring desalinated sea water to arid deserts in the Iranian Plateau, the first in the history of a country where water shortage has always been a major impediment to economic development. 

  • 2020-10-27

    With the victory of an anti-imperialist president in Bolivia, Iran-Bolivia relations seem to be heading toward a new phase that could result in the two countries resuming diplomatic relations and strengthening their economic ties.