IranInsight|Showcasing a Multifaceted Iran

Every year about 70% of the fatalities in Tehran are caused by respiratory and heart failure that is directly or indirectly associated with the air pollution. Nationwide, 80,000 people died prematurely due to pollution in 2012, according to official figures.

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Having spent only a week at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing a wholesale ban on travelers from Iran and six other Muslim-majority nations. His rationale: fighting “radical Islamic terrorists.”

Two days later, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) carried out a ballistic missile test. The White House responded to the move with harsh and threatening language reminiscent of President George W. Bush’s approach toward Iran.

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This week a photo of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared on social media in front of the ruins of Persepolis. Ahmadinejad’s supporters quickly spread the photograph on Facebook and Twitter with election-like endorsements, even though his candidacy for another term as president has been tacitly barred by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

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Iranians are in shock and dismay following the implementation of President Trump’s executive order halting refugee acceptance and banning entry of people from seven Muslim majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

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On December 1, 2016, Congress passed a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act. Tehran vowed to retaliate, and said it considered the extension a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed with six major powers in 2015 to restrict the development of Iran’s nuclear capability in exchange for global sanctions relief.

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No stranger to tragedy, Iranians renew their passion and compassion in the wake of calamities, such as the fire and collapse of the iconic Plasco Building in central Tehran on the morning of January 19.

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The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that went into full implementation a year ago had raised hopes that Iran might be able to realize a long-held desire to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani attends Iran's Assembly of Experts' biannual meeting in Tehran March 8, 2011. Rafsanjani lost his position on Tuesday as head of an important state clerical body after hardliners criticised him for being too close to the reformist opposition. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS)
Iran's former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, died on January 8. (Reuters/Raheb Homavandi)

Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the pragmatic centrist former president of Iran, who died Jan. 8 after a heart attack, was one of the pillars of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic.

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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Dec. 19 unveiled a long-awaited bill of rights for Iranians, a “Charter of Citizenship Rights.”

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The December 5 issue of the weekly Sobhe Sadeq, the political organ of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was filled with commentaries on the recent passage of the Iran Sanctions Extension Act (ISA) by the U.S. Congress that have important implications for Iran’s domestic politics as well as nuclear policies. 

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