• Haddad-Adel, Soft War, and the Islamic Republic’s generational divide

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    Published October 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm - No Comments At the inauguration of the Toranjestan-e Behesht, a store selling Iranian and Islamic cultural products, senior parliamentarian Gholam-Hossein Haddad-Adel discussed the Islamic Republic’s growing generational divide, its implications for the regime, and how to address it. It is an understatement to say that the generation of Iranians who made the Iranian and later Islamic Revolution differ in outlook from their children, who are sometimes referred to as the “burnt-out generation” (nasl-e sookht-e). Broadly speaking, the former came of age during a period of rapidly rising material affluence under Shah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi but were more interested in grand political ideologies and tended to be more idealistic in their outlook. […]

    Haddad-Adel, Soft War, and the Islamic Republic’s generational divide
  • Sadegh Kharazi and Iranian Reformism 2.0

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    Published October 9, 2014 at 12:36 am - No Comments A group led by foreign policy establishment figure Sadegh Kharazi is trying to revive the fortunes of the reformist movement, albeit in a new form. Amidst all of the turmoil of Iranian domestic politics and foreign policy issues in the center of the international media spotlight today, an attempt by a group of reformists to revive their political current, which has largely fallen outside of the mainstream of Iranian politics since the end of the Green Movement demonstrations, has gone relatively unnoticed. This revival effort has been led by Sadegh Kharazi, among the few reformists in Iran’s senior foreign policy establishment. Kharazi, an accomplished diplomat, has served as […]

    Sadegh Kharazi and Iranian Reformism 2.0
  • Iran Cyber Front: The battle over WhatsApp, Viber, and Tango

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    Published October 2, 2014 at 12:11 am - No Comments In a mark of the ongoing struggle between President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected on a platform of reform over one year ago, and conservative adversaries who dominate much of the Iranian political system, the Iranian judiciary has called on the presidential administration to ban or at least bring under stricter control a number of popular social networking and communication applications. This week the responsible minister and head of the judiciary both weighed in on the issue. One of the most recent episode in the clash between President Hassan Rouhani’s reform agenda and Iranian conservatives has been on the cyber front, specifically on the queston of what to […]

    Iran Cyber Front: The battle over WhatsApp, Viber, and Tango
  • Senior Rouhani admin official: We are no match for IRGC construction arm

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    Published September 23, 2014 at 10:35 pm - No Comments Recent comments by Akbar Torkan, a senior official in the Hassan Rouhani administration, may indicate underlying tensions between the government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) construction and engineering unit and how over a year since the new president’s election, the organisation retains its strong position within the Iranian state. In a recent interview with ILNA, Akbar Torkan, Secretary of the Council of Cooperation of Special and Free Zones, made statements that may be indicative of tensions between the Hassan Rouhani administration and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), at least in the economic sphere. In his statements Torkan highlighted the Persian Gulf Bridge of Gheshm Island, […]

    Senior Rouhani admin official: We are no match for IRGC construction arm
  • Jafari: Goal of anti-ISIL coalition to destroy Syrian regime

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    Published September 17, 2014 at 9:52 pm - No Comments In a recent speech, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Majour-General Aziz Jafari laid out the Islamic Republic of Iran’s reasoning for not entering the anti-Islamic State coalition under the leadership of the United States, and also touched on a range of other issues relating to the ongoing and increasingly overlapping civil wars in Iraq and Syria. Speaking on the anniversary of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s order forming the three military branches (Ground Force, Navy, and Air/Aerospace force) of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) this past Tuesday, Majour General Mohammad-Ali Jafari discussed the United States-led anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or […]

    Jafari: Goal of anti-ISIL coalition to destroy Syrian regime
  • Higher education minister Faraji-Dana faces impeachment efforts by parliament

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    Published August 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm - No Comments Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s domestic reform program looks set to take yet another blow from conservatives, this time in parliament where an effort to impeach Minister of Education, Research, and Technology Reza Faraji-Dana is gaining momentum. According to ISNA,  51 members of the Iranian parliament have signed a letter to the speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani asking Minister of Education, Research, and Technology Reza Faraji-Dana to be brought before the parliament for an impeachment vote. Their letter lists a number of grievances, including: Re-hiring professors who were fired: This likely refers to the reinstatement of prefers who were ousted from their positions for political reasons Changing the […]

    Higher education minister Faraji-Dana faces impeachment efforts by parliament
  • Interview – IranPolitik w/ IranWire on Iran-Syria relations

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    Published July 17, 2014 at 2:27 am - No Comments IranPolitik co-founder and managing editor Farzan Sabet recently conducted an interview with IranWire on Iran-Syria relations and Iran’s role in the Syrian civil war. The interview can be found on IranWire, with excerpts below: “When Arab Spring protests reached Syria in 2011, Iran took a similar approach to Syria. “Iranian elites took a wait and see position,” says Farzan Sabet, managing editor of the website IranPolitik and author of The Islamic Republic’s Political Elite & Syria. “One early position they took was to distinguish what was happening in Syria from the Arab Spring, which they labelled an “Islamic Awakening” inspired by Iran’s own Islamic Revolution.” Iranian press reports, he says, suggest there may […]

    Interview – IranPolitik w/ IranWire on Iran-Syria relations
  • New wave of “reforms” hitting political science in Iran causes uproar among scholars

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    Published July 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm - One Comment Recent planned reforms to Islamise political science in Iran has professors in an uproar and afraid that the discipline will be irrevocably damaged. In a recent interview with Tasnim News Agency Manouchehr Mohammadi, head of the political science group at the Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute, laid out the proposed plan for reforming the political science discipline in Iran. Mohammadi completed his graduate work at the University Wisconsin-Madison and the University of South Carolina in international relations (IR). the Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute which employs Mohammadi is headed by the arch-conservative Ayatollah Mohammad-Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, who is also the nominal head of the hardline principalist Persevering […]

    New wave of “reforms” hitting political science in Iran causes uproar among scholars
  • Three snapshots of how Rouhani’s domestic reform agenda is being stopped in its tracks

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    Published June 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm - No Comments Even as EU3+3-Iran nuclear negotiations advance and some progress is made on the core issues, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s domestic reform agendas continues to face obstacles, even from conservatives who ostensibly support his handling of nuclear talks. This past week three snapshots of contemporary politics in Iran help show that while President Hassan Rouhani has been able to advance his foreign policy initiative of resolving the nuclear crisis in the framework of the EU3+-Iran nuclear negotiations with broad support from across the Iranian political spectrum, he is facing persistent obstacles on his domestic reform agenda. Sadegh Zibakalam sentenced to 18 months in prison University of Tehran Professor Sadegh […]

    Three snapshots of how Rouhani’s domestic reform agenda is being stopped in its tracks
  • Ali Saeedi on the media attacks on Rouhani and IRGC’s role in the economy

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    Published June 12, 2014 at 8:31 pm - No Comments In recent comments Ali Saeedi, representative of the supreme leader to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), appeared to acknowledge Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces Chief of Staff Majour-General Hassan Firouzabadi’s statements admonishing IRGC-linked media for their attacks on President Hassan Rouhani. However, this should not necessarily be seen as reflecting warming ties between Rouhani and the IRGC. At a press conference at the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) public relations center, Ali Saeedi, representative of the supreme leader to the IRGC, acknowledged comments by Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces Chief of Staff Majour-General Hassan Firouzabad, who recently admonished IRGC-linked media for their attacks on President […]

    Ali Saeedi on the media attacks on Rouhani and IRGC’s role in the economy

Haddad-Adel, Soft War, and the Islamic Republic’s generational divide

October 18, 2014 in Analysis, News, Soft War

At the inauguration of the Toranjestan-e Behesht, a store selling Iranian and Islamic cultural products, senior parliamentarian Gholam-Hossein Haddad-Adel discussed the Islamic Republic’s growing generational divide, its implications for the regime, and how to address it. It is an understatement to say that the generation of Iranians who made the Iranian and later Islamic Revolution differ in outlook from their children, who are sometimes referred to as the “burnt-out generation” (nasl-e sookht-e). Broadly speaking, the former came of age during a period of rapidly rising material affluence under Shah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi but were more interested in grand political ideologies and tended to be more idealistic in their outlook. […]

Sadegh Kharazi and Iranian Reformism 2.0

October 9, 2014 in Analysis, News

A group led by foreign policy establishment figure Sadegh Kharazi is trying to revive the fortunes of the reformist movement, albeit in a new form. Amidst all of the turmoil of Iranian domestic politics and foreign policy issues in the center of the international media spotlight today, an attempt by a group of reformists to revive their political current, which has largely fallen outside of the mainstream of Iranian politics since the end of the Green Movement demonstrations, has gone relatively unnoticed. This revival effort has been led by Sadegh Kharazi, among the few reformists in Iran’s senior foreign policy establishment. Kharazi, an accomplished diplomat, has served as […]

Iran Cyber Front: The battle over WhatsApp, Viber, and Tango

October 2, 2014 in Iran Cyber Front, News

In a mark of the ongoing struggle between President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected on a platform of reform over one year ago, and conservative adversaries who dominate much of the Iranian political system, the Iranian judiciary has called on the presidential administration to ban or at least bring under stricter control a number of popular social networking and communication applications. This week the responsible minister and head of the judiciary both weighed in on the issue. One of the most recent episode in the clash between President Hassan Rouhani’s reform agenda and Iranian conservatives has been on the cyber front, specifically on the queston of what to […]

Senior Rouhani admin official: We are no match for IRGC construction arm

September 23, 2014 in Analysis, News

Recent comments by Akbar Torkan, a senior official in the Hassan Rouhani administration, may indicate underlying tensions between the government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) construction and engineering unit and how over a year since the new president’s election, the organisation retains its strong position within the Iranian state. In a recent interview with ILNA, Akbar Torkan, Secretary of the Council of Cooperation of Special and Free Zones, made statements that may be indicative of tensions between the Hassan Rouhani administration and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), at least in the economic sphere. In his statements Torkan highlighted the Persian Gulf Bridge of Gheshm Island, […]

Jafari: Goal of anti-ISIL coalition to destroy Syrian regime

September 17, 2014 in Ayatollah's Praetorians, News

In a recent speech, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Majour-General Aziz Jafari laid out the Islamic Republic of Iran’s reasoning for not entering the anti-Islamic State coalition under the leadership of the United States, and also touched on a range of other issues relating to the ongoing and increasingly overlapping civil wars in Iraq and Syria. Speaking on the anniversary of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s order forming the three military branches (Ground Force, Navy, and Air/Aerospace force) of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) this past Tuesday, Majour General Mohammad-Ali Jafari discussed the United States-led anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or […]

Faraji-Dana’s impeachment and the ‘great divide’ in Iranian politics

August 21, 2014 in Analysis, News

Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Reza Faraji-Dana, seen as being among the most reformist figures in President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, has been impeached by the Iranian parliament over his efforts to reform the higher education system in Iran. While this is by no means the end of Rouhani’s domestic reform project, the president and Faraji-Dana’s handling of the affair does not bode well for the future of this project. This episode highlights the “great divide” in Iranian politics in which there is a tentative regime consensus on moderating foreign policy, especially in nuclear negotiations with the West, no consensus exists on introducing domestic reforms on the pressing […]

Higher education minister Faraji-Dana faces impeachment efforts by parliament

August 13, 2014 in Analysis, News

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s domestic reform program looks set to take yet another blow from conservatives, this time in parliament where an effort to impeach Minister of Education, Research, and Technology Reza Faraji-Dana is gaining momentum. According to ISNA,  51 members of the Iranian parliament have signed a letter to the speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani asking Minister of Education, Research, and Technology Reza Faraji-Dana to be brought before the parliament for an impeachment vote. Their letter lists a number of grievances, including: Re-hiring professors who were fired: This likely refers to the reinstatement of prefers who were ousted from their positions for political reasons Changing the […]

Ghalibaf’s segregation plan and Rouhani’s isolation on the domestic front

August 11, 2014 in Analysis, News

A recent controversy involving Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf and his municipality’s plans to segregate male and female work-places has created a new battle for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The latter was elected on a platform of resolving the nuclear crisis, improving Iran’s economy, and expanding domestic social, political, and cultural freedoms, and while he has had successes on the first two issues, the conflict with Ghalibaf shows that success on the third eludes him yet. In July 2014 it was revealed that the municipality of Tehran, run by the conservative leaning Mayor Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, had decided to segregate male and female offices. Supporters and detractors of President Hassan […]

Interview – IranPolitik w/ IranWire on Iran-Syria relations

July 17, 2014 in Announcements, Syrian Front

IranPolitik co-founder and managing editor Farzan Sabet recently conducted an interview with IranWire on Iran-Syria relations and Iran’s role in the Syrian civil war. The interview can be found on IranWire, with excerpts below: “When Arab Spring protests reached Syria in 2011, Iran took a similar approach to Syria. “Iranian elites took a wait and see position,” says Farzan Sabet, managing editor of the website IranPolitik and author of The Islamic Republic’s Political Elite & Syria. “One early position they took was to distinguish what was happening in Syria from the Arab Spring, which they labelled an “Islamic Awakening” inspired by Iran’s own Islamic Revolution.” Iranian press reports, he says, suggest there may […]

Military Intervention, Iranian Style

July 17, 2014 in Announcements, Holy Defense Wonk

IranPolitik co-founder and managing editor Farzan Sabet has published an article on Iran’s approach to military intervention in War on the Rocks: “The Islamic Republic of Iran today is being confronted by existential attacks on its alliance system, the axis of resistance, on two fronts: first Syria, and now Iraq. While it has largely contained the Syrian civil war—having reversed the tide in favor of Bashar al Assad’s regime after three years of sustained military, political, and economic support—the crumbling of the Iraqi state and the possibility of a Sunni resurgence has elites in Iran alarmed. Iran is now in the uncomfortable position of planning to stage a […]