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Iran: the Peacemaker

As tension between Iraq and Syria grows, it looks like Iran is stepping in to play the mediator role between the two neighbors. The already poor relationship between Iraq and Syria deteriorated further in the aftermath of August 19th suicide attacks in Baghdad that left 100 people dead.  Iraq has accused Syria of sheltering the […]

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A Glass Ceiling Broken

A Glass Ceiling Broken

For the first time in the 30-year history of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian cabinet will have a female minister. Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi won the approval from the Parliament to become the health minister.  She was one of 18 nominations for President Ahmadinejad’s new cabinet to be approved.  Two other women were among three rejected […]

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The Kurdish Issue

The Kurdish Issue

The recent announcement by the Turkish government that it is preparing a serious plan to address its Kurdish problem should also serve as a reminder to the Iranian government that it needs to address the Kurdish issue as well.  Iran, which contains the second largest population of Kurds, has also treated its Kurdish population egregiously.  […]

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A Sorry Spectacle

A Sorry Spectacle

The juxtaposition of the two images of former Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi – one before his arrest and the other at his hearing- show the absurdity of the trials taking place in Iran.  Abtahi, best known as the “blogging mullah,” is the ebullient cleric interviewed in the Daily Show. In the interview, as Jason Jones […]

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The Dual Voice of Iran

The Dual Voice of Iran

Iranian political system is characterized by its duality of power: In the executive branch we have the dual offices of the President and the Supreme Leader, in the legislative branch we have the Parliament and the Council of Guardians, and in the military we have the regular forces and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).  […]

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France and Germany Warn Iran

Looks like the United States will not be alone in pushing for tough sanctions on Iran.  Both French and German leaders have warned Iran that it could face new sanctions if it does not show a willingness to negotiate on its nuclear program.  Speaking after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin, the […]

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An Iranian Threat that is not Valid

An Iranian Threat that is not Valid

There are plenty of legitimate arguments as to why more sanctions on Iran should not be pushed- they will not work, they hurt ordinary people while strengthening the leaders etc.- but the argument that sanctions should not be pushed because Iran can retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz is not one of them.  The […]

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Iran: A Bargaining Chip in the Mideast Peace Process

Clinton tried it, but failed miserably.  Similarly Bush gave it a shot and was unable to get any results.  Now it is Obama’s turn.  But this time the U.S. administration is taking a different approach on the Israel- Palestine conflict.  The Guardian reported that the Obama administration’s strategy is to use Iran as a bargaining […]

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Global Appeal of Football

As an avid Italian football team fan, it is very hard for me to praise the Brazilian team.  But I will acknowledge this: No other team has the same global fan appeal as Brazil.  Brazilian football players are revered all around the world and Iran is no exception.  Brazilian football star Ronaldo, best known for […]

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Analyzing Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet Picks

Analyzing Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet Picks

President Ahmadinejad’s cabinet picks are both progressive and hard-line.  His choices upset both the clerics and the West.  On one hand, Ahmadinejad is breaking a taboo by appointing three women ministers to the cabinet.  On the other hand, he is continuing the same anti-West attitude by appointing a minister accused of bombing a Jewish center […]

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A Blow for the Reformist Movement

A Blow for the Reformist Movement

Iranian former President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani is best remembered for his Friday prayer sermon on July 17th 2009, which gave the reform movement a “powerful boost”.  In his sermon, he criticized the government for losing the trust of many Iranians, and called for the release of the protesters arrested since the election.  As the highest-ranking […]

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Ramadan Mubarak

As the month of Ramadan starts, here is President Obama’s message to Muslims all around the world: [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/1R4KfYuDrvU” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

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A Sign of Cooperation?

A Sign of Cooperation?

Iran allowed inspectors from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the nuclear reactor at Arak for the first time in a year and has also granted them greater monitoring of uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz. The accord breaks a months long impasse between Iran and the IAEA. As reported in the Wall Street […]

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Egypt: Another Country with Reservations

Egypt: Another Country with Reservations

A recent comment by the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, during his visit to the United States, has caused an outrage among some Iranian officials, once again highlighting the tense relationship shared between the two countries.  According to the Fars News Agency, addressing Jewish leaders in a closed meeting in Washington, President Mubarak said, “There is […]

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Iran: The Hundred Year War

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/DigrJOaQ0EI” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] Looks like a documentary worth watching on Iran.  The film unfortunately has not come out on netflix, but hopefully one of these days.

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About the Author

Sahar Zubairy

Sahar Zubairy recently graduated from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas- Austin with Masters in Global Policy Studies. She graduated from Texas A&M University with Phi Beta Kappa honors in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. In Summer 2008, she was the Southwest Asia/Gulf Intern at the Henry L. Stimson Center, where she researched Iran and the Persian Gulf. She was also a member of a research team that helped develop a website investigating the possible effects of closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf by Iran.

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