Iran’s Implosion Would Bring Chaos to Eurasia

December 04, 2019

The last time Iranians staged a revolution, they overthrew the oppressive Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who ruled his country from 1941 to 1979 with an iron fist. Pahlavi was a staunch US ally, but his reign left millions disgruntled due to unemployment, corruption, soaring inflation and...

Was the Iranian Revolution Historically Inevitable?

February 18, 2019

While revolutionary protesters espoused diverse ideals and ambitions and worldviews, there was one objective that was almost universal: wholesale opposition to Western political exploitation. As Vladimir Lenin famously said, “The revolution does not need historians.” The Iranian Revolution...

Could Iran Be at Risk of Another Revolution?

February 11, 2019

Reformers have tried to modernize Iran for decades, but have failed mainly due to the country's powerful theocracy. Iran’s ruling clergy are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution, during which Shia Islamists, led by religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, toppled...

The Cultural Politics behind the Arrest of an Iranian Dancer

July 23, 2018

It appears that it was not only the dancing that was controversial, but the dancing with all of its “Western trappings.” In early July, a teenage dancer from Iran, Maedeh Hojabri, was detained for posting photos and videos of herself dancing on Instagram. There are several frameworks for...

US-Iran Relations: Can Pragmatism and Dialogue Triumph? (Part 1/2)

October 12, 2013

Despite antagonistic identity politics, US-Iran relations have a history of pragmatic dialogue. This is first of a two part series. Relations between the US and Iran have been compellingly described as a “Sisyphus act.” Sisyphus was a king in Greek mythology. As punishment for his...