The World Cup Tool: Improving Iran’s Image?

June 26, 2014

Rouhani is likely to benefit from the success of the Iranian soccer team at the World Cup. It didn’t take long for it to emerge that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shared an understanding of soccer’s political unity with his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose militant and...

Poetic Struggles: On Writing and Censorship in Iran (Part 2/2)

June 22, 2014

Writers, poets and intellectuals have always felt the pressure of censorship in Iran. Sepideh Jodeyri, an exiled Iranian poet, talks to Fair Observer about the history of literary censorship in Iran, as well as her personal experience with censors. She remembers the names...

Saadi Qaddafi and the Dark History of Libyan Soccer

March 10, 2014

Saadi's trial is likely to shed light on a dark and brutal era in the history of Libyan soccer. It was only a matter of time before Al-Saadi Qaddafi, the notorious, soccer-obsessed third son of toppled Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi, would be extradited to Libya by Niger. His trial is likely...

Iran’s Interests in the Nuclear Negotiations

December 04, 2013

Iran’s goal in the nuclear negotiations is not just an easing of sanctions. Iran’s catastrophic economic situation is seen by many observers as the Rouhani government’s central motive to end the nuclear standoff – and the sanctions against Iran – as quickly as...

A Few Thoughts on Iran’s New President

August 05, 2013

Whether Rouhani is a dealmaker depends partly on the actions of Obama and Congress. The Ahmadinejad era has officially come to an end. Rest assure, few in Iran are mourning this occasion. But questions still remain as to whether the new president, Hassan Rouhani, can usher in a new era. Here are a...

Iran: Democracy, Rouhani and the Green Movement (Part 2/2)

July 24, 2013

Under Rouhani, it will be a lot harder to demonize Iran. This is the last of a two part series. Read part one here. Manuel Langendorf: Was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ally, Rahim Mashaie, excluded from the election because he is an opponent of Khamenei and the conservative establishment? Was...

Iran: Democracy, Rouhani and the Green Movement (Part 1/2)

July 18, 2013

Under Rouhani, It will be a lot harder to demonize Iran. This is the first of a two part series. After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's eight years in office, Iran elected Hassan Rouhani as the country’s new president on June 15. Rouhani, an early supporter of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,...

Rouhani: Learning From Khatami’s Experience?

July 10, 2013

Rouhani’s presidency is likely to represent progressive reform in Iran. Iran is likely to change substantively under Hassan Rouhani’s leadership. Allow me to qualify "change". Change is not regime change, nor is it change toward a more secular, liberal political system...

Iran’s Foreign Policy: No Substantial Change With Rouhani

July 06, 2013

Rouhani is likely to impact the style but not the substance of Iranian foreign policy. The victory of a new reformist Iranian president has been welcomed by the international community. For many, President-Elect Hassan Rouhani's pragmatism breaks with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hard line, and...

Rouhani: New Blood For the Old Regime (Part 2/2)

July 06, 2013

Rouhani's win shows the supreme leader’s hunger for a new domestic and foreign policy agenda. This is the last of a two part series. Read part one here. First of all, the election result in Iran shows that main power brokers believe in a need for change on the domestic and foreign policy...

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