Holly Dagres

  • Dagres Quoted in Al Jazeera on Iran


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  • The Books the Trump Administration Should Read to Understand Iran

    When US President Donald Trump delivered his Iran strategy speech in October 2017, rather than focus on the important points that were being made, most Iranians zeroed in on him referring to the Persian Gulf as the “Arabian Gulf.” It was seen as a major insult by many Iranians who proudly view the body of water as part of thousands of years of their history and national identity.

    Months later in July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered his “Supporting Iranian Voices” speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in California. The speech didn’t offer much nuance or shift in US policy on Iran from its almost four-decade trajectory. If anything, as Ambassador John Limbert—a hostage during the 444-day Iran hostage crisis—...

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  • Why on Earth Is Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tweeting?

    “Freedom has no limits; ideas and thoughts should never ever be limited … Any type of restrictions on ideas and beliefs especially on Social Media will lead to chaos and dictatorship.”

    Probably the last person a Jeffersonian-style tweet would be connected to is former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Irony seems to be lost on Ahmadinejad, given that social media—Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube—were banned under his presidency after the 2009 post-election protests known as the Green Movement. For almost a decade now, Iranian internet users have had to rely on circumvention tools to bypass censorship, while the former hardline president tweets like it’s his day job—which is more and more becoming the case.

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  • Dagres Quoted in Deutsche Welle on US Sanctions on Iran


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  • Discrimination and Past Due Payments: Some of the Problems Iranian Workers Face

    Since the December 2017 nationwide protests in Iran, there have been countless strikes and labor protests. During the months of June and July alone, railroad workers and truck drivers went on strike in over two dozen cities across the country. Unionization is banned in Iran and security forces constantly crack down on labor rights activists, quelling any ability for Iranian workers to voice their concerns about working conditions and government policies that impact their livelihood, especially since the economic situation will further worsen with the reimposition of US sanctions. Iranian activists are often the target of scrutiny by the Iranian government, and also face obstacles when gathering information.

    Due to these complications, Zamaneh Media—a Persian language media organization based in the Netherlands—has stepped in to monitor labor developments. This month they published “Labor Rights in Iran,” Zamaneh Media’s first bi-monthly report on the issue. The report...

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  • Rage against the Elite: How Iran’s Nouveau Riche Profits from Sanctions

    “Iran suggested to me a massive Potemkin village, a facade with people at the top partying and people below struggling,” a cable from the US Embassy in Tehran read during the late 1970s.

    Not much has changed since the turban replaced the crown in 1979, except that now the party is behind closed doors and the wealth is displayed on social media for much of Iran to scroll through.

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  • Dagres Joins TRT World to Discuss Iran Sanctions


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  • Dagres Joins BBC World to Discuss Iran


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  • Dagres Quoted in the Independent on Syrian War Impact on Iran


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  • Tehran’s Foreign Policy Originates from the Iran-Iraq War

    Every so often, the Iranian Committee to Find Missing Soldiers of the Iran-Iraq War announces the return of soldiers’ remains. A funeral procession of coffins draped with the Iranian flag—sometimes only containing a dog tag—is followed by hordes of Iranians wailing and mourning, as if the eight-year war only ended yesterday.

    To this date, tens of thousands of Iranian and Iraqi families await news of their shahid-e gomnam, nameless martyrs. These images are a reminder of the sacrifices made thirty years ago and tells of a country in perpetual mourning about that very war. It also speaks to a reality: Each recovered shahid-e gomnam reinforces Iran’s foreign policy today.

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