Foreign Policy Blogs

Iran

This Is Not a Review of “This Is Not a Film”

This Is Not a Review of “This Is Not a Film”

This Is Not a Film, the 2011 documentary by Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, recently and belatedly worked its way to the top of my Netflix queue. The film was smuggled out of Iran for submission to the 2011 Cannes Film Festival before Panahi’s six-year prison sentence and 20-year ban from filmmaking was upheld late that […]

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Iran and the Sanctions Dilemma

Iran and the Sanctions Dilemma

On August 6, 1945, President Truman announced the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. He said: It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East. Before 1939, it was […]

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A Candid Discussion with Abbas Milani

A Candid Discussion with Abbas Milani

Abbas Milani on the Islamic Republic’s Declining Fortunes Dr. Abbas Milani, is the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University and a Professor in Division of International, Comparative, and Area Studies. He is considered one of the leading experts on Iranian contemporary history and politics. Dr. Milani is also one of the […]

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A Candid Discussion with Hooman Majd

A Candid Discussion with Hooman Majd

Hooman Majd on Iran’s Potential for Change    Hooman Majd is one of the leading observers of Iranian politics known for his on-the-ground view of events taking place in Iran’s complex political system. The grandson of a prominent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, Mr. Majd’s writings have challenged Western stereotypes around socio-political […]

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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 elections. On the other hand, […]

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A Candid Discussion with Barbara Slavin

A Candid Discussion with Barbara Slavin

Barbara Slavin on Iran’s Regional Dynamics Barbara Slavin is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and Washington correspondent for Al-Monitor.com, a website devoted to news from and about the Middle East. The author of a 2007 book, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation, Ms. Slavin is a regular commentator […]

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Argo Controversy

Argo Controversy

  From heading to the theater to see the newest release to watching Academy Awards that honor the year’s best pictures, many Americans enjoy the multifaceted components of the movie industry. For approximately two hours, people have the opportunity to experience fantasy worlds, the lives of fictitious characters overcoming obstacles, and occasionally learn something about […]

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Testimony at Congress Raises Awareness on the Persecution of Bahais in Iran

Testimony at Congress Raises Awareness  on the Persecution of Bahais in Iran

On Friday, March 15 Kenneth E. Bowers, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the United States, testified at a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC). The hearing featured testimony on the current state of religious freedom in Iran, and highlighted systematic human rights violations against Iran’s Bahai and Christian communities. […]

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Russian Roulette: Ahmadinejad Style

Russian Roulette: Ahmadinejad Style

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest contributing piece by Mitchell Belfer. Mr. Belfer is Editor-in-Chief of Central European Journal of International and Security Studies. He is based in Prague, Czech Republic. _____________________________________________________________________ by Mitchell Belfer Iran’s upcoming 14 June elections will likely be a somber affair. After suffering four years of wanton suppression including leadership incapacitation, the torture […]

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The Defense Secretary and Iran: Hagel Who?

The Defense Secretary and Iran: Hagel Who?

A controversial nomination, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel was sworn in as Secretary of Defense on February 27, 2013. Prior to assuming office, questions regarding the Republican’s perspectives and policy prescriptions for critical Middle Eastern issues were paramount in opposition’s hesitation for Mr. Hagel to join President Obama’s administration. While the 24th Secretary of Defense […]

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The Politics of Managing Elections in Iran

The Politics of Managing Elections in Iran

  Iran’s presidential election will be held on June 14. Under Iran’s election law, observation of the voting process is a crime unless this monitoring is pre-approved. Generally, presidential candidates are only allowed to have one representative at each polling station to monitor the process. In 2009, it was claimed by Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the presidential […]

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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 back Islamic and revolutionary values […]

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Red Line: Iran, Israel and the Bomb

Red Line: Iran, Israel and the Bomb

Foreign Policy Association’s 2013 “Great Decisions in Foreign Policy” on PBS, a series of half hour documentaries providing background information for and evaluation of leading contemporary issues, airs this March. The forthcoming series includes a segment on Iran’s controversial nuclear ambitions. “Red Line: Iran, Israel, and the Bomb” begins with the same powerful introduction as […]

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A Candid Discussion with David Crist

A Candid Discussion with David Crist

Dr. David Crist is the author of the book “The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran.” Dr. Crist currently serves as historian for the federal government. As an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, he saw first-hand the war against Al Qaeda and the confrontation with Iran. He served in the […]

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North Korea, Iran and Obama’s Big Bluff

North Korea, Iran and Obama’s Big Bluff

North Korea’s nuclear test this week, coming on the heels of last December’s launch of a long-range ballistic missile along with reports (here and here) that Pyongyang is developing a mobile missile launcher, underscores a point I’ve argued in earlier posts (here and here): It is exceedingly difficult for Washington to stop a rogue regime […]

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