The Predictability of Unpredictability: The Era of Coercive Diplomacy Under Donald Trump

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

America First: The Business Case for Engaging Iran Post-JCPOA

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

As Strong As Our Signal: An Evolving Novelty

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

Toward a Human Rights and Democracy Agenda for Iran

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

The Way It Is

As a child and all through my adolescence, the long summers in Iran seemed like nothing more than a cruel punishment. Summer vacation away from my friends? From my television shows? Previous to #IranElection, there wasn’t anything that made Iran worthwhile to me. It was hot, Tehran’s smog and pollution were suffocating, and the pasdar … Continue reading The Way It Is

Dreaming in Mashhad

The summer of '95 was one of the every-other-extremely-hot-and-dry-summers my family spent in Iran. Mom assured me that there were four weddings waiting for us, and though that fell through to several funerals, our days were still spent traveling through the vineyards of Shiraz, the mists of Northern Esfahan, the deserts of Ahvaz, the taxi … Continue reading Dreaming in Mashhad

Iran Brief: Prominent Journalist Sentenced to Three Years in Prison – August 12, 2016

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 Brief: Spate of Executions Raises Concerns of UN, Rights Groups – Week of August 5, 2016

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.