• 2020-10-24

    The Iranian government has amended its regulations on cryptocuurencies to allow them be exclusively used for funding imports at a time of increased pressure on the country’s normal use of hard currencies.

  • 2020-10-22

    “Public welfare” and “social justice” have been key slogans of the Islamic Republic’s political narrative. However, sanctions, corruption, and inadequate government policies have accelerated the rate of poverty in Iran.

  • 2020-10-20

    The PTI news agency has quoted ‘sources’ in New Delhi to the effect that the Farzad-B gas field project in Iran is slipping out of India’s hands. The curtain seems to have come down on the negotiations between the ONGC Videsh and Iran’s National Iranian Oil Company. The official narrative is that there was a gap in pricing that couldn’t be bridged. Others say Iran lost interest. Oil and gas are strategic minerals and it is only very rarely that ‘friendly price’ is offered. If at all, it will be for political reasons of an exceptional nature.  When it comes to Farzad-B gas fields, three other factors also come into play. One, the gas fields contain massive reserves (estimated to be around 21.7 trillion cubic feet.) That is to say, even tiny price variations can make exponential difference to Iran’s income. 

  • 2020-10-20

    The 22 September marked the fortieth anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War. When my mother tells me how a blast from a missile claimed her uncle’s life in Khuzestan, I know the war is still with her. She still remembers how her family’s home in Tehran became a refuge to dozens of our relatives who had fled aerial bombardment in the country’s southwest, how my grandmother suddenly became responsible to shelter and feed forty people, beleaguered loved ones uprooted and displaced as a result of a war that claimed five hundred thousand lives. This year, the United States came the closest it has ever been to launching an all-out war on Iran. As in most wars, primarily working-class people on both sides would pay the heaviest price, sent to the frontlines to fight each other. But contrary to what proponents of a US invasion of Iran would have us believe, working-class Iranians and Americans are actually not each other’s enemy. In fact, they have more in common with each other than they do with their respective political leaders.

  • 2020-10-17

    Within minutes of the death of the Iranian vocalist Mohammad Reza Shajarian last week, thousands streamed into the streets surrounding his hospital in Tehran, openly wept and sang his songs in unison. […] For more than 40 years, Mr. Shajarian channeled the hopes and frustrations of Iranians and became the “people’s voice.” He delved into the country’s rich poetic heritage and sang verses that directly addressed people’s political and social problems. This turned his concerts into one of the few public places where crowds of strangers could get together and openly express their discontent through music. 

  • 2020-10-15

    Shirin Ebadi, a former judge who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for pioneering the rights of children, women and refugees in Iran, has joined a campaign led by human-rights activists and athletes to ban the Islamic Republic from international sports tournaments, following Iran’s state execution of champion wrestler Navid Afkari. The viral campaign, United4Navid, was launched by anti-compulsory hijab campaigner Masih Alinejad on Twitter last Friday. 

  • 2020-10-14

    The leak of a document attributed to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made waves on social media in June 2020. The document outlined a statement of intent to pursue a strategic partnership between China and Iran that would enhance political, military, cultural, and economic cooperation between the two nations. Called a "deal," a "pact," and even an "alliance" as it filtered into the mainstream media, this news has been received in the United States with predictable panic. Foreign policy commentators proclaimed it was the beginning of an "Iran-China axis" between "totalitarian twins" that plans to "dominate the Middle East" through "defying the U.S," a plan that would be "bad news for the West" and make China "the Middle East arbiter." Despite the document's nebulous nature, commentators asserted that the agreement would fundamentally alter geostrategic calculations in the Middle East. Comments on social media were similarly outraged, with some comparing the alleged deal to Iran's past exploitation by imperial Britain and Russia. These alarmist predictions stand in contrast to analysts like Jacopo Scita, Lucille Greer, Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, Julia Gurol, Maysam Behravesh, and Jonathan Fulton. Through careful quantitative analysis, they have pointed out several inconsistencies between the reality of the proposed agreement and the response it has generated

  • 2020-10-09

    In this interview, Malihe Razazan spoke to Human Rights Watch (HRW) Iran Researcher Tara Sepehri Far about Nasrin Sotoudeh's hunger strike and the criminalization of peaceful protests in Iran. Sotoudeh is an Iranian human rights lawyer, who was arrested in 2010 and started her second hunger strike this year in August to protest the inhumane treatment of Iranian political prisoners during the COVID pandemic. Courtesy of Voices of the Middle East and North Africa (VOMENA).

  • 2020-10-08

    India is seeking to remain involved in the development projects at Iran's ports, especially since Chabahar Port helps India gain access to an important geopolitical region. […] Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar both visited Tehran last month, on separate occasions but within the same week. Though the purpose of the meetings — according to official statements — was aimed at “strengthening bilateral cooperation” and discussing some “important regional issues,” the agenda likely included the handling of Chabahar Port in Iran.

  • 2020-10-08

    Iran has released prominent rights activist Narges Mohammadi, according to a report by an Iranian news agency, which said her 10-year sentence had been reduced.