• 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
  • Military Intervention, Iranian Style

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    Published July 17, 2014 at 2:13 am - No Comments 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 […]

    Military Intervention, Iranian Style
  • Iranian Deputy FM denies military involvement in Iraq, lashes out against Kurdish secession

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    Published July 8, 2014 at 6:09 am - No Comments Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, speaking with the Arabic language Al-Alam news network, denied any Iranian military involvement in Iraq or cooperation with the United States there, came out strong against Kurdish succession, and criticized the Saudi role the conflict. In a recent interview with the Arabic language Al-Alam news network, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian laid out the Islamic Republic of Iran’s official position on the ongoing crisis in Iraq. He strongly refuted claims suggesting that Iran had military advisers in Iraq, saying that rumours about Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Jerusalem Force (JC) commander Majour General […]

    Iranian Deputy FM denies military involvement in Iraq, lashes out against Kurdish secession
  • 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
  • Ali Motahari casts doubt on prospect for Green Movement leaders’ release

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    Published July 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm - No Comments According to maverick parliamentarian Ali Motahari we should not expect Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavar to be released from house arrest anytime soon. Motahari, in an interview with Khabar Online, said that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told him in a recent meeting that the leaders of the Green Movement have been treated gently given the gravity of their actions and, if taken before a court, could expect a severe sentence. Recent comments by maverick Iranian parliamentarian Ali Motahari may dash hopes that Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Zahra Rahnavard will be released from house arrest anytime soon. […]

    Ali Motahari casts doubt on prospect for Green Movement leaders’ release
  • 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
  • Rouhani’s running battle with conservatives over heaven and the afterlife

    http://www.iranpolitik.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Hassan-Rouhani-heaven-and-hell.jpg

    Published June 10, 2014 at 11:54 pm - No Comments Rouhani has been engaged in a running battle with Iranian conservatives over heaven and the afterlife, just one piece of his larger conflict with them over a number of contentious domestic policy issues. The last few weeks have seen Iranian President Hassan Rouhani engage in a running battle with Iranian conservatives over heaven and the afterlife, the subtext of the whole discussion being the state’s role in enforcing religiously based laws and norms regulating people’s social and cultural lives. While Rouhani has, at least in his public rhetoric, opted for a less restrictive approach which gives greater choice to Iranian citizens, conservatives see this as the road to […]

    Rouhani’s running battle with conservatives over heaven and the afterlife
  • IRGC commander Jafari: Election of a reformist was a ‘red line’ in 2009

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    Published June 1, 2014 at 1:28 am - One Comment A leaked video, whose veracity and date have yet to be confirmed, purports to show IRGC commander Majour-General Mohammad-Ali Jafari discussing his organization’s political preferences and strategy toward the controversial 2009 Iranian presidential election and the post-election crisis.  In a leaked video posted on the Facebook account of Iranian opposition figure Mohammad Nourizad, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Majour-General Mohammad-Ali Jafari can be seen discussing his organization’s response to the Green Movement demonstrations in an open and frank manner with what appears to be members of that body’s senior leadership. Nourizad is a former journalist for the conservative Kayhan daily newspaper who was arrested after writing a […]

    IRGC commander Jafari: Election of a reformist was a ‘red line’ in 2009
  • Rouhani and Iranian conservatives’ battle over cyberspace escalates

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    Published May 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm - No Comments Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recent speech on cyber-freedoms is significant and unprecedented in the Islamic Republic. But he will have to go beyond mere words to prove his administration’s commitment to keeping his cyber-promises, even in the faces of strong conservative obstruction, if he is to maintain the support of Iranian moderates. Rouhani makes unprecedented call in support of cyber-freedoms Speaking to an audience at the Fourth Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Festival, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made an unprecedented call for greater cyber-freedoms in Iran. Invoking Marshal McLuhan’s concept of the ‘global village,’ he remarked that “Once the discussion was on that we are moving towards a […]

    Rouhani and Iranian conservatives’ battle over cyberspace escalates

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 […]

Iranian Deputy FM denies military involvement in Iraq, lashes out against Kurdish secession

July 8, 2014 in News

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, speaking with the Arabic language Al-Alam news network, denied any Iranian military involvement in Iraq or cooperation with the United States there, came out strong against Kurdish succession, and criticized the Saudi role the conflict. In a recent interview with the Arabic language Al-Alam news network, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian laid out the Islamic Republic of Iran’s official position on the ongoing crisis in Iraq. He strongly refuted claims suggesting that Iran had military advisers in Iraq, saying that rumours about Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Jerusalem Force (JC) commander Majour General […]

New wave of “reforms” hitting political science in Iran causes uproar among scholars

July 6, 2014 in News, Soft War

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 […]

Ali Motahari casts doubt on prospect for Green Movement leaders’ release

July 2, 2014 in Analysis, News

According to maverick parliamentarian Ali Motahari we should not expect Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavar to be released from house arrest anytime soon. Motahari, in an interview with Khabar Online, said that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told him in a recent meeting that the leaders of the Green Movement have been treated gently given the gravity of their actions and, if taken before a court, could expect a severe sentence. Recent comments by maverick Iranian parliamentarian Ali Motahari may dash hopes that Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Zahra Rahnavard will be released from house arrest anytime soon. […]

Three snapshots of how Rouhani’s domestic reform agenda is being stopped in its tracks

June 27, 2014 in Analysis, News

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 […]

IRGC dep-com Salami: Our management must be rejuvenated

June 24, 2014 in Analysis, Ayatollah's Praetorians, News

In recent comments, IRGC Deputy Commander Majour-General Hossein Salami discussed the need for his organization to rejuvenate its management to better meet future challenges. As the Islamic Republic of Iran’s premier national security body, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) derives much of its effectiveness as an organization from its strong corporate identity and cohesiveness. This is in large part derived from the joys and agonies of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). This is especially true in the senior ranks of the IRGC officer corps today, where many current leaders served in field commands side-by-side in the trenches. Over the course of eight bloody […]

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

June 12, 2014 in Analysis, Ayatollah's Praetorians, News

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 […]

Rouhani’s running battle with conservatives over heaven and the afterlife

June 10, 2014 in Analysis, News

Rouhani has been engaged in a running battle with Iranian conservatives over heaven and the afterlife, just one piece of his larger conflict with them over a number of contentious domestic policy issues. The last few weeks have seen Iranian President Hassan Rouhani engage in a running battle with Iranian conservatives over heaven and the afterlife, the subtext of the whole discussion being the state’s role in enforcing religiously based laws and norms regulating people’s social and cultural lives. While Rouhani has, at least in his public rhetoric, opted for a less restrictive approach which gives greater choice to Iranian citizens, conservatives see this as the road to […]

Does Rouhani have any real support in the IRGC leadership?

June 2, 2014 in Analysis, Ayatollah's Praetorians

Do recent comments by Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces chief-of-staff Majour-General Hassan Firouzabadi, in support of President Hassan Rouhani, represent the views of a lone figure or a broader strain of thinking in the IRGC’s leadership? The recently leaked video of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Majour-General Mohammad-Ali Jafari speaking to senior leaders of the organization raises questions about the level of support President Hassan Rouhani has in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces, and specifically the IRGC. In the video, whose veracity and date remain unknown, Jafari appears to indicate that during the controversial 2009 Iranian presidential election and post-election crisis the IRGC (or at least […]