• 2020-09-02

    […] Scholars have also discussed and critiqued modern prisons in Iran at length, from Ervand Abrahamian to Darius Rejali and recently Nasser Mohajer. Recently, Middle East activists and writers concerned with peoples incarcerated during the COVID-19 pandemic have added their voices to the global call for abolition. This roundtable adds to these efforts, asking does US-based research and activism organized around abolitionism provide insight into the condition of imprisoned Iranians in the Islamic Republic and abroad? Can and should the call to abolition prisons be a global one? Do these disparate settings need movements and languages attentive to their specificity?  We asked three scholar-activists of Iran and Iranians whose work concerns prisons and abolition transnationally to address these questions in conversation: Australian philosopher, translator, and community advocate Omid Tofighian and Jadaliyya Iran Page co-editors Golnar Nikpour and Naveed Mansoori. Their responses appear as a two-part roundtable.

  • 2020-09-01

    Nearly $100 billion in Iran’s capital accounts has left the country over the past decade, according to the Tehran-based 90-Eghtesad economics news website, citing a recent report by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). […] Financial corruption, nepotism, stringent laws, complicated licensing procedures, hyperinflation, and the rapid devaluation of the rial are the principal reasons investors are taking their money out of the country. Data suggests that the country experienced the largest exodus of capital during President Ahmadinejad’s two terms in office from 2005 until 2013. The trend has continued since President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013. Many people had hoped that the country’s economy would bounce back after the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal. However, that never happened. […] Besides the outflow of financial assets, Iran has also been experiencing a mass exodus of expertise in various fields. The financial and human capital flight will have dire consequences for the Iranian economy in the next few decades. […]

  • 2020-08-26

    One of the three key priorities for Iran – along with completing all of the phases on its supergiant South Pars natural gas field and expanding its value-added petrochemicals sector – is to increase the crude oil production and exports from its West Karoun cluster of giant oil fields. The West Karoun fields together contain at least 67 billion barrels of oil in place and, with an average recovery rate currently of only around 4.5 per cent (compared to over 50 percent at similar oil fields in Saudi Arabia), the potential to dramatically increase Iran’s crude oil revenues is enormous. With China remaining a willing buyer for all crude oil that Iran wants to sell it, Tehran last week announced a swathe of initiatives aimed at completing the production-transportation-export chain for West Karoun oil flows.

  • 2020-08-22

    A group of diplomats and foreign relations experts from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan, stressing the use of capacities of regional economic organizations to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations said cooperation between Iran's Chabahar and Pakistan’s Gwadar ports would enhance ties between the two states.

  • 2020-08-22

    Sternfeld offers a number of illuminating examples to prove that history is not black or white and that there is a disparity between the widespread, often simplistic, narrative and the complex reality. […] “It’s not a simple matter to be a Jew in Iran, and it would be naive to say otherwise, but it’s not simple to be an Iranian these days at all. There is some sort of assumption that if we portray complexity, we are acting as defense counsel for the Iranian regime and dismissing the suffering it is causing. My view is that when we present a complex picture, the criticism is far more focused and accurate. It is impossible to claim, as no few charlatans do, that Iran treats Jews the way Germany did in the 1930s, and as such presents an existential threat to Iran’s Jews and to Israel. There is plenty to be critical of in regard to the Iranian regime: about its attitude toward minorities, toward groups for political, religious or gender reasons. I don’t wish to dictate a different narrative, but to request a broad range of analyses and approaches to Jewish life and history in Iran.”

  • 2020-08-20

    An inspirational grassroots initiative called the “Working Group” has helped protect one the world’s most vulnerable communities from COVID-19 amid economic catastrophe and sanctions. As Iran simultaneously faced the pandemic, sanctions, and restrictions to humanitarian imports, its large community of people who use illegal drugs faced a looming disaster. 

  • 2020-08-19

    Despite the initial uproar against the China accord from a rather pro-western elite and population, a consensus seems to be emerging in Tehran, politically as well as within a frustrated private sector, that it is time to go East. 

  • 2020-08-18

    Authors of articles published by Imam Hussein University of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps see the real challenges the regime is facing from the unprivileged slumdwellers and the politicized middle class and its grievances.

  • 2020-08-14

    If there is an ongoing US-Iran backchannel, it may be similar to the one Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama conducted via Oman late in the term of former hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Those talks laid the groundwork for rapid diplomatic progress after Rouhani was inaugurated in 2013. Trump has said four times in the past week that he could reach a deal with Iran weeks after winning reelection. He could be hoping for similar results

  • 2020-08-14

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is facing one of the most difficult periods in its history. Recurring protests, labor strikes, and other forms of civil unrest have become common, drawing in Iranians from all classes, ethnic backgrounds, and regions of the country. Protesters decry the country’s faltering economy and systemic corruption while turning a deaf ear to the regime’s incessant blaming of all things wrong in Iran on U.S. sanctions. Many Iranians, in fact, see the regime, more than just the sanctions, as the primary cause of the country’s poor economic and social conditions.