Saying Goodbye

Is it time to write the political obituary of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose second and final term in office as the President of Iran is coming to an end in a few weeks? Not necessarily. But it is time to take stock of the man and his eight-year presidency. All the more so because he is […]

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Iran’s Presidential Hopefuls

After the huge protests that followed the 2009 election, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may have hoped June polls would quietly install a loyal conservative president, but the surprise candidacies of two major independents may scupper that. Both Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, the nationalist protégé of rabble-rousing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former […]

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Power Struggle Begins in Iran As Election Looms

On June 14, Iran will hold a presidential election. If the acrimony and fraud of the 2009 election was not enough to cast a pall over this vote, then the ongoing power struggle between Supreme Leader Aytollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surely is. Term limits prevent Ahmadinejad from running for reelection, but he […]

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Ruhollah Khomeini And His Iranian Dream

At the end of the Second World War, an anonymous pamphlet surfaced in the seminaries of Qom, the bastion of Shia learning. The Unveiling of Secrets accused Iran’s monarchy of treason…It’s unlikely that anyone outside Qom read The Unveiling of Secrets; even inside the seminaries few would have embraced its programme. Yet just three decades later the pamphlet’s […]

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Does Obama Want War With Iran?

First, and most importantly, while Obama seems willing to go to war with Iran, if he feels he must, he appears far from eager to do so. When George W. Bush talked about finding a peaceful solution to America’s stand-off with Iraq, one that would not involve regime change or the use of force, it […]

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Meet The American Who Wants To Be Ahmadinejad.

Hooshang Amirahmadi is not your typical candidate for the Iranian presidency. A tenured professor of public policy at Rutgers University in New Jersey and a decidedly snazzy dresser, Amirahmadi is literally worlds away from the man he hopes to succeed: the virulently anti-American Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But the fact that he hasn’t lived in Iran for nearly […]

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Zardari’s gesture of defying the US rings hollow

When Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari travels to Iran on Monday to oversee the formal inauguration of an ambitious gas pipeline project from Iran to Pakistan, his gesture of defying US pressure on this issue will be seen broadly as a hollow one. With just days before the tenure of his elected government ends, Zardari […]

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Why Iran Won’t Budge

No one really believed that the latest round of international negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program would produce a breakthrough. So it was no surprise that itdid not, despite the concessions that were made at the meeting in Kazakhstan by the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany). […]

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The Ball is in Iran’s Court

For the first time, United States and Iran appear to have begun real negotiations. Though no agreement has been reached yet, the meeting in Kazakhstan this week was a relative success. Previous rounds of talks resembled stare-offs before boxing matches. They centered on coercion: the main motivator for concessions was the threat of new sanctions […]

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