Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the United States has vacillated between engagement and confrontation with the Islamic Republic, with sanctions filling the gap. As Iran has moved closer to achieving its nuclear ambitions in recent years, tensions are rising once again. The latest round of U.S. sanctions, signed into law in 2010, has hurt the Iranian government by restricting finance for oil refineries and discouraging foreign companies from conducting business with it. Why Obama Should Highlight Iran's Human Rights Abuses
Juan Cole, The Iran Conundrum [ Note for TomDispatch Readers: Check out Anis Shivani’s interview with me , focusing on themes from my book The United States of Fear , just up at Guernica magazine (a great online read by the way). And remember, if you are an Amazon.com customer, arrive there via a TomDispatch book link, and buy anything whatsoever, book or otherwise, we get a modest cut of your purchase at no extra cost to you. It’s an easy -- and appreciated -- way to contribute to this site. Tom ] Negotiators for Iran, the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany are to meet in Turkey this Friday, face to face, for the first time in more than a year.
Washington, DC - In January 2009, just before Gary Samore left his position as Vice-President for Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, he summed up his rather cynical view of how Iran would conduct negotiations. "The logical position the Iranians are bound to take," he wrote in a post on the Council's website, "is: 'We're happy to talk forever, as long as we can keep building centrifuges.'" A few days later, Samore was named President Barack Obama's top adviser on nuclear proliferation, making him one of the most influential figures in the administration with regards to diplomacy toward Iran. Understanding Iran's diplomatic strategy
"Iran’s Last Chance?" by Javier Solana Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph MADRID – The latest round of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program between Iran and the so-called “5+1” group (the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members – the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China – plus Germany) has now begun. Following more than a year of deadlock, after negotiations in January 2011 led nowhere, this dialogue is for many the last chance to find a peaceful solution to a nearly decade-long conflict (in which I participated closely from 2006 to 2009 as the West’s main negotiator with Iran).
Exclusive: Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee on War, Peace and Nukes Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee’s spoke with Al-Monitor correspondents Barbara Slavin and Laura Rozen on July 10 2012. Read excerpts from the wide-ranging conversation. On the request of the P5+1 for Iran to take ‘the first step’ toward resolving the nuclear dispute: The first step is the issuing of the fatwa by the leader of Iran [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei]… That’s a very important announcement… In response, we would like to hear from the other side that they recognize the right of Iran for peaceful nuclear activity according to the NPT. On the request of the P5+1 for a ‘concrete’ step on the issue of 20% enrichment: The issue of the 20% enrichment is the first proposal of the 5+1 and the third proposal of Iran.
Iran: Quash Death Sentences for Drinking Alcohol (New York) – Iranian authorities should immediately suspend all use of the death penalty after reports that two death sentences for drinking alcohol issued by a lower court had been upheld. Iran should abolish the death sentence completely for crimes that are not considered serious and exceptional under treaties that bind it, and provide further public information regarding the case against these individuals. On June 25, 2012, the official Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported that the prosecutor general of Khorasan Razavi province, Hojjatoleslam Hasan Shariati, had confirmed that the Supreme Court had affirmed death sentences issued by a lower court against two people convicted of drinking alcohol.
The story of how an Iranian businessman helped his country develop the world's largest natural gas field, got involved with the president's depraved son, and ended up fighting for his life. A guard stands watch in Tehran's Evin Prison / Reuters Older Iranian homes usually have traditional squat toilets, porcelain holes in the ground with overhead flush tanks. Escape from Iran: One Man's Journey From Riches to the Torture Chamber to Freedom - Sohrab Ahmari - International
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meant to kick off his annual visit to the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York with the grand gesture of releasing two U.S. hikers held captive for over a year. Instead, he was humiliated in public by Iran's powerful judiciary, which stated on Wednesday that the president could not fulfill that promise. Nothing could more clearly symbolize Ahmadinejad's fading fortunes. Gone is the self-confident rhetorician of revolutionary outrage and nationalist fervor. In his place stands a broken man. The hikers' episode is only one more piece of evidence that the last eight months have proven to be the beginning to the end of the president's political career. Ahmadinejad's Impotence - By Geneive Abdo
Are Ahmadinejad’s tax reforms putting him on a collision course with clerics? In Iran, as in Greece, dodging tax is a national sport. As Ahmadinejad seeks to revamp Iran’s tax systems, Iran’s clerical class face a dilemma: should they support Ahmadinejad’s reforms and prioritise the government’s interests, or do they protect their own support base and prioritise their financial (and political) independence? President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has presented the clerical establishment with a taxing dillema Taxing Iran | The Majalla
Iran’s Elections: An elite split down the middle? Tomorrow’s elections in Iran will be seen as another round in the struggle between Ahmedinejad and Khamenei. Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will have much at stake in tomorrow's elections Iran’s Parliamentary Elections Preview | The Majalla
Epic or Farce: Preliminary Assessment of Iran's Parliamentary Elections (Part One) The 2nd of March marked Iran’s first nationwide elections since the widely disputed presidential race in June 2009 and its turbulent aftermath. They also hastened the decline of a “president” who owed his second term in office to a “miraculous hand,” a “hand” that, on 2 March, sought to curb Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s influence over the country’s affairs. The embattled head of the executive of branch, whose protégés have dominated Iranian politics for the past seven years, is slowly but surely coming to terms with the realities of Iran’s power structure, namely the will of the Supreme Leader ‘Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards. Prior to the election, and for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a near unanimous consensus had been reached within the opposition forces in the country to boycott the vote.
[Read Part On e here .] "Epic" Turnout After the 2 March polls closed, Khamenei said that the turnout had been “one of the highest” throughout the history of the Islamic Revolution. Epic or Farce: Preliminary Assessment of Iran's Parliamentary Elections (Part Two)
Official figures show a high turn-out for Iranian legislative elections, but opposition voices claim the numbers are much lower than stated. The failure of prominent clerics to vote suggests the controversial elections have not silenced critics of the government. An Iranian woman votes at Hosseinieh Jamaran polling station for the 9th parliamentary elections in Tehran, Iran, on March 2, 2012. (© Mohammad Mehdi Moazzen - IRNA) Iranian Elections and Ambiguities
“Y ou are not a wise man, you tyrant,” raps the Iranian female singer Bahar. “Why do your clothes smell like blood? . . . Why do you crush this cry for justice? The people don’t deserve such disdain.” Tehran Politics: Are the Mullahs Losing Their Grip?
Don't Throw Iran's Democrats Under the Bus - By Patrick Clawson You wouldn't know it from following the news, but the nuclear impasse is not the only issue dividing Iran and the United States. In his latest message to the Iranian people on the occasion of their festival Nowruz in March, U.S. President Barack Obama emphasized another: human rights. After describing at length how "the Iranian people are denied the basic freedom to access the information that they want," he announced measures to penetrate "the electronic curtain that is cutting the Iranian people off from the world." It's difficult, by contrast, to find any mention of Iran's human rights record in the many background briefings and on-the-record comments by officials of the P5+1 - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States -- ahead of Saturday's negotiations with Iran in Istanbul.
Crisis Guide: Iran
Iran Plays Nuclear Waiting Game | The Majalla
Ayatollah for a Day - By Karim Sadjadpour
Briefing: Iran's nuclear ambitions - science-in-society - 10 November 2011
Iran: false nuclear fears cloud the west's judgment | John Mueller | Comment is free
Iran on the Warpath - Joschka Fischer - Project Syndicate
Seyed Hossein Mousavian: The West is pushing Iran in the wrong direction | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Iran's Navy Threatens the Security of the Persian Gulf
Iran’s Rattling Saber - Mehdi Khalaji - Project Syndicate
Is Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz really just huffing and puffing?
Iran and Saudi Arabia Square Off
Iran delivers major blow to the CIA
Al Qaeda in Iran
Iran and al Qaeda’s Shadowy Relationship Could Firm Up This Spring
Owen Bennett-Jones reviews ‘Terror Tagging of an Iranian Dissident Organisation’ by Raymond Tanter · LRB 7 June 2012
Costs of killing Iran's nuclear scientists - opinion - 12 January 2012
Why Iran Assassinations Are Backfiring, Aiding Nuclear Program
Iran's nuclear scientists are not being assassinated. They are being murdered | Mehdi Hasan | Comment is free
Sanctions Against Iran Are Overrated
Obama's Counterproductive New Iran Sanctions
Hooman Majd on Iranian Sanctions & Society
Sanctions Won't End Iran's Nuclear Program
The European Union's Counterproductive Iran Sanctions
Sanctions Are Only a Stop-Gap
"The Iranian Nuclear Threat Goes Global" by Itamar Rabinovich
Nuclear proliferation: Bombing Iran
So What If Iran Has The Bomb?
No Nuclear Compromise
Diplomatic Dead End
"The Nixon Option for Iran?" by William H. Luers and Thomas R. Pickering
International negotiators to offer detailed confidence-building proposal to Iran | The Back Channel
"The Persian Knot" by Joschka Fischer
Introduction to Roundtable on Iran Crisis
Iran talks resume in Baghdad after “difficult” first day | The Back Channel
In-Fighting at the Iran Nuclear Talks
'Intense' Iran Nuclear Talks End With Agreement to Meet Again
"Iran’s Nuclear Grass Eaters" by Shlomo Ben-Ami
How Close Is Iran to Exploding Its First Nuclear Bomb?
Iran's Growing Stockpile - By Olli Heinonen
Iran's nuclear question: a wider lens
Should we give Iran the bomb
Sanctioning Iran | The Majalla
Game Over | The Majalla
Sanctions Against Iran: A Duplicitous "Alternative" to War
Playing With Fire | The Majalla
Saving Face and Peace in the Gulf - Anne-Marie Slaughter - Project Syndicate
How to Engage Iran
Tahrir is playing into the hands of the regime
"The Ayatollah Contemplates Compromise" by Mehdi Khalaji
Backed Into a Corner - By Hossein Mousavian
Holding Hormuz Hostage | The Majalla
Do We Even Need the Strait of Hormuz? - Hamed Aleaziz & Robin Mills - International
Not Time to Attack Iran
The Case For Regime Change in Iran
Answering Iran - Richard N. Haass - Project Syndicate
The Iran Debate: To Strike or Not to Strike
Is regime change in Iran the only solution? - By Alireza Nader
Misreading Tehran - By Jason Rezaian
All Silk Roads Lead to Tehran - By Neil Padukone
Testing the Waters
Iran’s Changing Calculus: Will it Strike Inside the United States?
"Disarmament Wars" by Jonathan Schell
A View Inside Iran - Alan Taylor - In Focus
Iran Government Suspected in Cutting Off Internet to Quell Protests
Why Iranian Public Opinion Is Turning Against the Nuclear Program - Dina Esfandiary - International
Iran Watch: What's with all the wheat?
How Iran's revenge bomb plot over nuclear programme took shape | World news
Pankaj Mishra reviews ‘Patriot of Persia’ by Christopher de Bellaigue · LRB 21 June 2012
Christmas is No Time for an Iranian Revolution
Supreme Loser - By Ali Vaez
Supremely Irrelevant - By Colin Kahl
Bad at chess
Love me, Love me Not | The Majalla
Myths about Iran
The Iran-Turkey Showdown
Iran Pledges Aid to Lebanon In Recent Diplomatic Visit
A Quiet Relationship
Covering Iran's Ninjas
Iran's Spymaster Soleimani Counters U.S. Moves in the Mideast
The Ayatollah Under the Bed(sheets) - By Karim Sadjadpour
Q/A with David Albright: Iran should come clean about past research | The Back Channel