• 2021-01-25

    The hajj—that is, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca—was a subject of deep personal resonance and ethical symbolism for Ali Shariʿati. Born in 1933 in provincial Khorasan, Shariʿati was one of Iran’s most influential twentieth-century intellectuals. The crux of his thought, Ervand Abrahamian argued, was the project of refiguring Islam—and Shi’ism, in particular—from being understood as a “conservative, fatalistic creed” or “apolitical personal religion” into a mass “revolutionary ideology that permeate[d] all spheres of life."[1] In deconstructing Islamic rituals, symbols, and beliefs—in addition to drawing upon existentialist, anticolonial, and Marxist intellectual traditions—Shariʿati articulated a charismatic and original vision of Islam as a form of liberation theology. In attempting this supposed “ideologization of Islam,” there is perhaps no place in which Shari’ati expressed himself as passionately than in his writings on hajj. 

  • 2021-01-25

    Bordering Iran on the northeast, Turkmenistan is a Central Asian country with a population of 6 million. What Turkmenistan lacks in population it makes up in enormous energy reserves. Domestically produced natural gas accounts for 80 percent of the feedstock used for electricity production. In 2006, discovery of the world’s second largest natural field, Galkynysh, saw the country become the country with the fourth largest natural gas reserves worldwide. […] Considering the difficulties associated with facilitating exports to Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and China, Turkmenistan and Iran have an opportunity to enter new gas deals on the basis of clear mutual benefits. Iran’s strategy to become the natural gas hub of the region depends on developing several gas corridors with its neighbors—gas-rich Turkmenistan ought to be a key partner in this strategy.

  • 2021-01-24

    In August 2019, Mike Pompeo took something of a victory lap. Speaking to MSNBC, he declared that the Trump administration had “managed to take almost 2.7 million barrels of [Iranian] crude oil off of the market.” A few months prior, the United States had reimposed secondary sanctions on Iran’s oil sector, revoking eight waivers that allowed Iran’s major oil customers to temporarily continue purchasing Iranian oil. Without the waivers, just one major buyer remained—China. At the time of Pompeo’s boast, China was buying a negligible volume of Iranian oil in direct violation of US sanctions. Beijing protested loudly about the extraterritorial impact of US sanctions, but proved unable or unwilling to instruct its major refiners, banks, and tanker companies to sustain the previous level of imports from Iran. 

  • 2021-01-22

    Water scarcity in Iran threatens not just its agricultural self-sufficiency but may also strain its energy exports in the long term, two sectors it hopes to rely on to weather new economic sanctions.

  • 2021-01-22

    The director of Iran’s Department of Environment (DoE) Isa Kalantari has said the public must reduce its gas consumption or face frequent power outages. In comments reported by the Tehran-based Tejarat News on Jan. 4, Mr. Kalantari explained: “Our nation could expect electricity shortage, or we may be forced to use fuel oil [heating oil, kerosene]. People must either reduce their gas consumption or use heating oil.” “A significant increase in household gas consumption during the winter months has caused a severe drop in gas supply to industries and power plants,” Kalantari noted. “Industries and power stations, which produce electricity, cannot operate without gas, so they may have to use heating oil.” “There are some exceptions regarding the use of heating oil,” Kalantari said. “The Headquarters for Fighting Coronavirus has banned the use of heating oil in major cities, including Tehran, Karaj, and Isfahan. However, other cities will be forced to use heating oil because of the gas shortage.”

  • 2021-01-21

    Iran has opened a sprawling refinery in its oil-rich province of Khuzestan to collect gas flares that are normally burnt and wasted during crude production. The Persian Gulf Bidboland Gas Refinery, a mega-project launched in the southwestern city of Behbahan, came on line on Thursday upon an order by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who used a video conference call to open the facility. Construction of the refinery began in 2015. It has cost $3.4 billion, of which $2.3 billion has come from Iran’s sovereign wealth fund. Some 15,000 people contributed to the construction process which included works for over 1,000 kilometers of pipelines to collect flares from oilfields in three southern provinces of Khuzestan, Bushehr and Kohgiluyeh & Boyer-Ahmad.

  • 2021-01-15

    The sugarcane workers of Haft Tappeh are still struggling with various problems and the officials; the government, parliament and the judiciary have not taken effective action to address these issues. Currently, the last wage paid to workers is for October. The workers were not paid for the months of November and December. It is merely claimed that they have been paid. Workers will be paid till December 30, but it is unclear whether this claim will be implemented. Although, January has arrived, there is no news of reed harvesting production [...]

  • 2021-01-15

    Women in Place constitutes the intertwinement of the personal, the political, and the professional for me. I begin the book by describing a scene from 1995, which I experienced personally: the opening ceremony of the Students’ Sports Olympiad, which took place in Isfahan, Iran, one of the first times when male and female students were allowed in the very same stadium together, albeit in separate sections. This was a formative experience for me, because living these events brought home an apparent “paradox” that permeates my book.

  • 2021-01-13

    In his recent public speech, delivered on the anniversary of the January 9, 1978 uprising sparked by the people of Qom, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution explicitly announced that importing American and English vaccines to the country is forbidden. He also mentioned France, saying: “I do not trust the French either.” In this op-ed, Khamenei.ir examines the reasons behind the Iranians’ and the Leader’s distrust of the US and some European countries.

  • 2021-01-08

    The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) says the import of American Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines has been cancelled against the backdrop of a national address by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who banned the purchase of coronavirus vaccines produced by the United States and Britain.