Giorgia Perletta

  • Beyond Westoxification and Orientalism: How to Read Iranian Politics

    Using fixed categories to describe Iranian politics is often a risk. Western readings are frequently imbued with misconceptions and prejudices due to an Orientalist approach. At the same time, the official narrative of the Islamic Republic reflects a self-representation in conscious reaction to Western views of Iran. These two readings clash with each other at the expense of a deep and fair understanding of Iranian politics.

    The Western interpretation of Iran’s politics and domestic dynamics is often based on a dichotomous reading that confines spaces and actors within two confronting dimensions. Political debates are described as a constant clash between conservatives and reformists, pragmatists and radicals, or moderates and hardliners. 

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  • New Wave of Sanctions Spurs Iranian Political Repositioning

    While ordinary Iranians struggle to find imported medicine and buy basic foods due to re-imposed sanctions, the political debate inside the Islamic Republic is anything but static.

    As announced, the new wave of US secondary sanctions came into force on November 5. This came after unsuccessful efforts by Europe to dissuade President Donald Trump from unilaterally quitting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and despite efforts to persuade European countries to retain...

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  • Iranians Await New Sanctions With Stoic Pessimism

    Tehran – President Donald Trump’s all-cap Twitter threats that Iran would “suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before” if it got into a war with the United States has only compounded a sense of gloomy expectation in the Iranian capital.

    Judging from this author’s recent visit to Tehran, Iranians are resigned to life getting even worse and are at a loss as to how to prevent that.

    The imminent reintroduction of secondary sanctions has dashed expectations that life would improve in the wake of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord. Prices of essential goods have almost doubled compared to a year ago, mainly due to the devaluation of the currency caused by the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and...

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  • How Recent Protests Could Revive Ahmadinejad’s Fortunes in Iran

    Until recently, few observers inside or outside Iran gave much weight to the notion of a comeback for discredited former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    The disqualification of Ahmadinejad and his former top aide, Esfandiyar Rahim Mashaei, for the presidency in 2017, followed by the arrests of Mashaei and former vice president Hamid Baghaei on charges of corruption and misuse of public funds, seemed to signal the complete defeat of Ahmadinejad’s  “deviant current” (Jaryan-e enhefari), the label that conservative factions had given to his group.

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