Iran Insight

  • Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s Celebrity Warlord

    Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds (Jerusalem) Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, is among the most popular public figures in Iran, where supporters see him as a selfless national hero who has been fighting Iran’s enemies.

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  • Poor Quality Gasoline Deadly for Iranians

    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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  • US-Iran Tensions Could Boost Hardline Presidential Candidates

    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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  • Iran Symposium: Does the Iran Nuclear Deal Help or Harm US Interests in the Middle East

    On Monday, January 30, 2017, the South Asia Center’s Future of Iran Initiative co-hosted a half-day symposium with The Iran Project. The event focused on the record of the Iran nuclear deal and its likely fate under the Trump administration. The intent was to help forge a bipartisan path forward that will preserve the non-proliferation gains of the accord while finding a resolution for other Iranian activities that are of concern and contributing to conflict resolution.

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  • Iranian Attitudes About US-Iran Relations in the Trump Era

    On Wednesday, January 25, the South Asia Center’s Future of Iran Initiative co-hosted a panel discussion entitled Iranian Attitudes on Iran-US Relations in the Trump Era with the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies, featuring Dr. Ebrahim Mohseni, Research Scholar, Center for International and Security Studies, University of Maryland, Ms. Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini,Co-Founder and Executive Director, International Civil Society Action Network, and Dr. Paul Pillar, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University. Acting Director of the Future of Iran Initiative, Barbara Slavin welcomed attendees, introduced the panelists, and moderated the discussion.

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  • Trump Order Initiates Unnecessary Conflict and Ends a New Horizon with Iran

    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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  • The U.S. is Pushing Iran Toward China

    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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  • Iran’s Plasco Tragedy: Flames Put Out by Tears

    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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  • Will Trump Block Iran Bid to Join World Trade Organization?

    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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  • What does the death of Rafsanjani mean for Iran’s political landscape?

    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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