• 2020-01-17

    Three years before the current crisis, when peaceful progress still seemed possible, civil society activists mounted an impromptu and self-organized push to get out the vote ahead of the 2016 parliamentary elections. They deployed an arsenal of memes, videos, and articles through social media platforms such as Telegram, aimed at holding the line against the worst elements of the regime. Voting, they argued, was neither poison nor treatment, but a palliative, a way to resist through acts of abeyance. “Prevention is better than a cure.” They approached their task with an air of resignation and pragmatism, an unembarrassed lowering of stakes. 

  • 2020-01-17

    This is a two-part roundtable convened by Arash Davari, Naveed Mansoori, and Ziad Abu-Rish on the regional backdrop and (admittedly short-term) fallout from the US assassination of Soleimani. Part 1 features scholars of Iran reflecting on the place of Soleimani and the IRGC in the political and institutional dynamics of the Iranian state. They also address the reactions in Iran to the assassination and their intersection with various instances of popular mobilization, including the most recent one against the downing of Flight 752. Part 2 features scholars of regional states reflecting on the specific nature of Iranian policy and reaction to Soleimani’s assassination in those states. 

  • 2020-01-11

    The Iranian Armed Forces General Staff admitted that its air defenses inadvertently shot down the Ukrainian flight PS 752 shortly after it took off on January 8 in Tehran

  • 2020-01-10

    The attacks also bring to life the idea of new regional security architecture which could be created as the US military winds down its combat presence in the Gulf. Iran has suggested its Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE), but there are other versions of the same idea, such as the Russian and Chinese versions.  This week, at a conference of diplomats arranged by the Iranian foreign ministry in Tehran, HOPE got a surprisingly enthusiastic reception from senior officials from Iraq, Qatar, Oman, Pakistan and China. Even western diplomats present did not write it off. As Zarif himself has repeatedly said in conferences like this in Doha and Rome over the last few months, no one state in the region should be fooled into thinking it can buy its own security. Security of one state can only be obtained by the security of its neighbour. 

  • 2020-01-08

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has opened an investigation into reports that scores of Iranian-Americans were stopped and questioned at US points of entry, possibly in violation of their constitutional rights.

  • 2020-01-08

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a cable to all US missions overseas ordering diplomats not to meet with Iranian opposition groups without specific approval because it could further exacerbate tensions with the Iranian regime. [...] The cable lists a number of Iranian opposition groups, including Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, known as the MEK, and five other Iranian opposition groups that are off limits without specific approval. John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, has previously said the MEK is a "viable opposition" to the current Iranian regime. Last month Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, met with Iranian opposition groups that are linked to the MEK. Bolton and Giuliani have also given paid speeches on the group's behalf. During one of those speeches last year, Giuliani called for regime change in Iran.

  • 2020-01-07

    NICK MUZIN, a controversial Republican lobbyist and loyalist to President Donald Trump, holds a contract to provide programming services for Voice of America Persian, the American government-backed media outlet set up to produce journalistic content for the Iranian community around the world. 

  • 2020-01-07

    Conclusion: A US president committed to war crimes. A failing  “War on Terrorism” narrative. Weakened military command structures. Failing alliances. Sleeping with the enemy. Unpredictable foreign policy analysts. Deception and mistakes. At this juncture: The US’ most powerful weapon remains dollarization, neoliberal economic reforms and the ability to manipulate financial markets.

  • 2020-01-06

    The Washington Post published an op-ed on Monday by Alinejad, and while it originally did not disclose her VOA affiliation, it later amended the article to reflect her employment there. Media outlets should be following the Post in disclosing that Alinejad is being paid by the U.S. government and works for the increasingly pro-Trump Voice of America.

  • 2019-12-10

    The supergiant Azadegan oil field, comprising major north and south sites, is as important to Iran’s overall strategic plan to survive the current sanctions environment and to prosper when they are lifted as the flagship South Pars supergiant gas field and the added-value products of its petrochemicals sector. Last week Iran’s Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) announced that five new development wells and an appraisal well are to be spudded in North Azadegan to maintain current production levels. OilPrice.com understands from various senior energy sources in Iran that this is only part of the picture, with much bigger plans having been agreed for rollout in the coming six months with the help of China and Russia.