Foreign Policy Blogs

Archive by Author

Iran Nuclear Talks: Elephants in the Room

Iran Nuclear Talks: Elephants in the Room

 
Iran and world powers gather in Geneva to resume nuclear talks.
Iran and the six world powers of P5+1 (the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain plus Germany), meet today, November 20 in Geneva to resume the stalled nuclear talks. Represented by …

read more

Iran’s Egyptian Paradigm

Iran’s Egyptian Paradigm

 

Egypt’s recent political shifts are likely to have mixed mixed implications for Iran.
Egypt’s turmoil that was marked with the overthrow of President Mohammed Mursi on July 3, 2013 is unsettling for the volatile and war-weary and Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. Iran’s rival, Saudi Arabia has been cheering for recent …

read more

Iran’s Presidential Election: An Equation with too Many Variables

Iran’s Presidential Election: An Equation with too Many Variables

As the Islamic Republic of Iran approaches its eleventh presidential elections in June 2013, ambiguity and uncertainty have clouded analyses and projections regarding its potential outcomes and implications. On one hand, Iran’s election should not be entirely unpredictable given its restricted democratic attributes that do not allow for free and fair …

read more

When Censorship Turns Against Itself: The Story of Artistic Resistance in Iran

When Censorship Turns Against Itself: The Story of Artistic Resistance in Iran

Strict censorship of arts and culture in Iran emerged shortly after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Through various tactics, rules and regulations the Islamic Republic managed to successfully instill fear and control mainstream arts and culture in an attempt to “purify” the society of westernization and bring …

read more

Sketches of Iran: Putting a Human Face to Human Rights Crisis in Iran

 

In spite of international hype about Iran, the country’s real stories remain underreported. When it comes to struggles against human rights, for instance, we only hear about the noble work of Iranian activists, lawyers, journalists when they are imprisoned, on hunger strike, exiled or seen in mass protests such as …

read more

The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble: The Human Cost of a Military Strike Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble: The Human Cost of a Military Strike Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

 

 
It is  close to a decade that Iran’s controversial nuclear program has been at the forefront of foreign policy debates. The U.S. has considered an array of options such as threat of a military strike, diplomatic efforts and most recently tightened sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nevertheless, the …

read more

The Paradox of Development in Iran

The Paradox of Development in Iran

Looking at the Human Development Index (HDI), the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) seems to have done relatively well in three key areas of health, education and income. While Iran’s score is far from perfect, it is indicative of a rather constant improvement in development areas. In HDI (2011) Iran …

read more

Havaar: Shedding Light on the Ordeals of Iranian Diaspora in the Midst of Political Tensions

Havaar: Shedding Light on the Ordeals of Iranian Diaspora in the Midst of Political Tensions

The recent tightening of the sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) as a way to deter the country’s nuclear program continues to be among news headlines. Yet, the US sanction regime against Iran is nothing new and is more than three decades old. In addition to the …

read more

Transitional Justice in the Arab World

Transitional Justice in the Arab World

The Arab Spring, or rather the Arab Uprising, has made history.  Future generations will study this brave series of uprisings as a new chapter in the history of the Middle East-North African (MENA) region. Current generations are both proud and anxious as they watch history unfold before their eyes. Governments …

read more

The Bahrain Share of “Spring”

The Bahrain Share of “Spring”

 
The “Arab Spring” that began with the self-immolation of a vendor in the streets of Tunisia spread potently throughout the Middle East-North Africa (MENA). The small country of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf was also hit by the wave of the regional quest for political transformation in 2011. Due to …

read more

Visiting Mousa in Abu Mousa

Visiting Mousa in Abu Mousa

 
I recall having a hard time remembering all the Southern islands of Iran for exams during school years. I remember the name of “Abu Mousa” from those years. I had never thought about this island ever since. When I read the news about President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Abu Mousa, I …

read more

The Art of Public Diplomacy

The Art of Public Diplomacy

 
 

 
Some days, as ordinary as they may seem, become revolutionary in our personal and professional life.  June 20, 2009 was such a day for me; and perhaps for many other Iranians. It was the day that a girl was shot to death in the streets of Tehran allegedly by forces …

read more

About the Author

Azadeh Pourzand
Azadeh Pourzand

Currently a program manager at an international development institution focusing on the Middle East-North Africa region, Azadeh holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS) and an MBA from the Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

The editor-in-chief of Women's Policy Journal at Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2009-2010, her writings have appeared in places such as International Herald Tribune, CNN International and the Huffington Post.

Born and raised in Iran, in the past years she has worked and studied in the US, Mexico, Argentina, Bangladesh, China and the Netherlands and India. While in India, she worked at a Mumbai-based foreign policy think-tank, Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, where she co-authored a comprehensive policy paper that explored India's view of the Arab uprisings.

Azadeh is the founder and president of a start-up organization (The Siamak Pourzand Foundation), promoting freedom of expression for artists, writers, journalists and creative minds in Iran and beyond.

GreadDecisions in foreign policy discussion group ad v2