Holly Dagres

  • So Much for US-Iran Amity

    Trump administration pulls out of 1955 treaty with Iran

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration said on October 3 it was terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran. Announcing the decision, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted “the absolute absurdity” of remaining in the treaty given the prevailing high tensions between the United States and Iran.

    Later, speaking at the White House, US National Security Advisor John Bolton accused Iran of having made a “mockery” of the treaty “with its support for terrorism, provocative ballistic missile proliferation, and malign behavior throughout the Middle East.”

    “Theater is part of diplomacy,” said William F. Wechsler, interim director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

    “In this case, we have a largely symbolic US action regarding a mainly obsolete treaty in response to another largely symbolic Iranian action regarding a generally ineffectual...

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  • Dagres Quoted in the Guardian on Netanyahu Speech


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  • Dagres Quoted in DW on Ahvaz Attack


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  • Dagres Quoted in Middle East Eye on Iran's Opposition


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  • 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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