When Chinese President Xi Jinping sat down with U.S. President Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago last month to enjoy “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake ever seen,” his expectation was likely not that dessert would be interrupted by news of a U.S. missile strike in Syria. But amidst conversations about militarization in the South China … Continue reading The Predictability of Unpredictability: The Era of Coercive Diplomacy Under Donald Trump
Despite increased economic and strategic relations, India and China face a number of key issues that will dictate their relations today and for years to come. Moreover, their relations will establish a more or less stable South and Southeast Asia, as the two navigate their economic and security aspirations in the region. But much of … Continue reading Tenuous at Best: The Future of India-China Relations
“A little hyperbole never hurts,” Trump writes in his book, The Art of the Deal. And in his stance towards Iran, Trump is employing just this. Almost two years have passed since the P5+1 and Iran inked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which promised an easing of economic sanctions on Iran in exchange … Continue reading The Art of the Signal: Trumping Cheap Talk on Iran
In July 2015, the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran inked a landmark deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which distanced Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons and ushered in key economic opportunities for both Iran and the world’s economic powers. Under the Trump administration, however, the deal is now at risk of … Continue reading America First: The Business Case for Engaging Iran Post-JCPOA
This piece was originally written for and published in the Spring of 2011 in the first issue of Arseh Sevom's zine “The Civil Society Magazine.” This first issue was focused at looking at networks and networking, including traditional, social, and digital platforms. Read the full zine here. To many social media is a novelty: something … Continue reading As Strong As Our Signal: An Evolving Novelty
Executive Summary October 2012 - In contrast to the global attention and investment to the democratic transitions of the “Arab Spring” and Burma, the world’s response to Iran’s 2009 pro-democracy uprising was feeble at best. Over the past decade, the international community has been largely focused on curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions at the expense of … Continue reading Toward a Human Rights and Democracy Agenda for Iran
Shahram Amiri - an Iranian scientist who allegedly provided the United States with information about Iran’s nuclear program – was executed for treason last week. A spokesman for Iran’s judiciary told reporters [Pr] that “through his connection with the United States, Amiri gave vital information about the country to the enemy.” The spokesman elaborated on Amiri’s death sentence, saying [Pr], ”Amiri had access to the system’s top secrets and had gotten connected with our number one enemy the Great Satan” and that “the Iranian High Court reviewed this decision with extreme care given the allegations of espionage.”
Iran executed as many as 20 prisoners this week, including Kurdish prisoner Shahram Ahmadi, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Reports suggest that Ahmadi, a Sunni Kurdish activist, was executed despite claims that the case built against him was based on a forced and false confession. He was sentenced to death for the charge of “moharebeh” (enmity with God) after being accused of being a member and providing support for a terrorist group. Ahmadi endured 34 months of solitary confinement and despite attempts to appeal his death sentence, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the sentence at the end of June.
ISNA media outlet reported [Pr] that Iran’s 2017 president elections will take place on May 19, 2017 (29 Ordibehesht in the Persian calendar). Iranian officials are reportedly slating the election to take place a month earlier than usual to ensure the voting does not coincide with the holy month of Ramadan.
A new Amnesty International report claims that Iranian authorities regularly mistreat political prisoners by denying them medical care. The report found that prison staff often withhold medical treatment to punish, humiliate, and intimidate prisoners. Withholding medical care is often used, Amnesty reported, to coerce prisoners into making false confessions. The 45-page report also underscores the role of Iran’s judiciary and prison administrators in preventing prisoners from receiving adequate access to medical care.