• 2020-07-09

    Ever since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s January 22-23, 2016 visit to Tehran and the release of a joint statement following the signing of a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, rumors have been swirling as the parties finalize the details as to what the partnership will encompass. What are the exact terms of the agreement? What are the Islamic Republic’s motives for committing itself to this partnership? And what are the prospects for its realization?

  • 2020-07-08

    Tehran and Washington have butted heads in many parts of the Middle East, but they share common objectives in Afghanistan. Iran supported U.S. efforts following the invasion in late 2001, helping build the coalition that would replace the Taliban in Kabul. In early negotiations after the invasion, Iranian officials insisted on the importance of holding democratic elections in the post-Taliban era. Today, neither Iran nor the United States has any desire to see ISKP grow stronger in the country.

  • 2020-07-06

    Last August, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, paid a visit to his China counterpart, Wang Li, to present a roadmap on a comprehensive 25-year China-Iran strategic partnership that built upon a previous agreement signed in 2016. Many of the key specifics of the updated agreement were not released to the public at the time but were uncovered by OilPrice.com at the time. Last week, at a meeting in Gilan province, former Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad alluded to some of the secret parts of this deal in public for the first time, stating that: “It is not valid to enter into a secret agreement with foreign parties without considering the will of the Iranian nation and against the interests of the country and the nation, and the Iranian nation will not recognize it.” According to the same senior sources closely connected to Iran’s Petroleum Ministry who originally outlined the secret element of the 25-year deal, not only is the secret element of that deal going ahead but China has also added in a new military element, with enormous global security implications.

  • 2020-06-30

    The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced the arrest of Zam in October last year. The elite IRGC  described Zam, a former opposition figure who had lived in exile in France, as a "counter-revolutionary" who was "directed by France's intelligence service". The details of his arrest, however, remain unclear. Though he was based in Paris, Zam somehow returned to Iran, where he was detained by intelligence officials. A series of televised confessions have aired in recent months over his work.

  • 2020-06-29

    Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohsen Baharvand said Iran and France have finalized the date to read the black box of a Ukrainian plane that was mistakenly downed near Tehran.

  • 2020-06-29

    This essay focuses on how women use and negotiate public spaces in Tehran and how urban developments have shaped and transformed gendered experiences of the public realm. In the past two decades, the development of public spaces and expansion of public transportation and urban infrastructure have significantly changed Tehran. Together, these shifts have made it easier to move across the metropolitan area and new cultural practices and social norms have translated into more mobility in the city. Through observations, survey data, and interviews with users of public spaces, I explore how women use and negotiate public spaces within –and beyond– gender, class, and socio-spatial hierarchies. Moving beyond narratives of a controlling state and restrictive social and cultural norms, the essay shows the nuanced experiences of women as they navigate public spaces and explores some of the ways in which the city and its public spaces work as both prohibitive structures and emancipatory contexts.

  • 2020-06-29

    Researchers at an Iranian university have designed and built the largest 3D printer to produce fibre-reinforced composites in various industries.

  • 2020-06-29

    Marriage practices in the Islamic Republic of Iran have evolved in the twenty-first century as unfulfilled expectations of emotional intimacy in marriages which have caused an increase in divorce rates and the tendency to postpone marriage and engage in unsanctioned sexual relationships. Over the past decade, the emergence of white marriages, or cohabitation, has made some of these unsanctioned relationships more visible. In response, clerics and state actors publicly condemned the practice because it violates Islamic values, and potentially the law, given Iran’s hybrid Islamic-civil legal system. Still, some Iranians prefer this conjugal arrangement to sanctioned marriages. While scholars who address the question of gender and sexual politics in post-revolutionary Iran have addressed temporary marriage, Iranian women’s mobilization of the law, and the relationship between women, shari’a (Islamic law), and the state in negotiating rights, they have yet to examine white marriage. Through an analysis of narratives from legal experts and practitioners of white marriage in Iran, this article reveals the motives for electing this practice, and the ways in which it is made legally and socially navigable. This article finds that through their everyday practices, white marriage practitioners have sparked a public discussion on the politics of intimacy and have forced state actors, clerics, and law makers to revisit legal and Islamic debates about gender and rights. When situated within official state discourses and implementation of gender laws, this analysis brings to light the power and agency that Iranians have in controlling gender and sexuality norms and discourses.

  • 2020-06-29

    This essay offers an account of the contemporary treatment of transsexuals in Iran, situating the official process in a discursive nexus that includes the law and psychology as well as psychiatry, and is engaged in establishing and securing a distinction between the acceptable “true” transgender/sexual and other categories that might be confused with it, most notably the wholly unacceptable category of the “true” homosexual. In this process, the category of “transgender/sexual” is made intelligible as an acceptable form of existence by the condensed working of the legal, the Islamic jurisprudential [fiqhi], the bio-medico-psycho-sexological, and the various contingents of the forces of coercion – which we often call “the state” — that is, necessarily and simultaneously subject to it. The analysis suggests that this complex nexus constitutes and authorizes a category of non-normativity as a legitimate acceptable category, a process of subjection which is partly based on transgender/sexuals’ own actions and therefore also self-definitions and self-productions. In all of this, distinguishing between “trans-” and “homo-” has become a critical marker.

  • 2020-06-26

    France said on Friday it would download the black boxes from a Ukrainian airliner shot down by an Iranian missile in January, easing a stand-off over where they should be read. France’s BEA crash investigation agency said it was acting at the request of Iran, which remains responsible under global rules for conducting a formal accident probe after acknowledging that the Boeing 737 was downed by its forces.

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