On February 1st to 11th, 2014, the Islamic Republic of Iran held its 32nd Annual Fajr International Film Festival. Despite restrictive state policies and limited financial support for the arts since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the arts scene in Iran is nonetheless very dynamic. Iranian cinema in particular has been a key source of cultural exports since the revolution and won acclaim around the globe. Historically, many of Iran’s best films have been showcased at the Fajr festival, with the best films receiving Iran’s equivalent of an “Oscar,” known as a “Crystal Simorgh.” Despite being a state-backed event, the Fajr festival continues to show-case high quality and […]
Could the Islamic Republic of Iran be taking a new approach to cyberspace, and some media freedoms more broadly? It is perhaps too soon to tell, but recent comments by the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati have raised hopes that the regime may in fact be moving in this direction. Speaking to Mehr News Agency at the sideline of a “digital media activists conference”, Jannati was asked about the filtering of social networking websites such as Facebook . He responded that this was an issue under the oversight of the website filtering committee, an independent body in which the culture ministry only has a single […]
Since 2009 Green Movement demonstrations, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s factional politics have been in a state of flux, from the left to the right of the political spectrum. On the left, the story has been dominated by the rapid rise and equally rapid repression of the Green Movement, which advocated more radical reforms than its parent Second of Khordad (Reformist) Movement. The latter has also been the subject of considerable repression. Centrists, once equally reviled by the left and right, are now in the ascendency with their own Hassan Rouhani elected as president in June 2013, thanks in part to the policies and failures of the Mahmoud […]
This has not been a good week for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose tenure began on a very optimistic note in August 2013. Despite a significant, albeit short-term, diplomatic victory in Geneva with the signing of the P5+1-Iran Joint Plan of Action, Rouhani has had less success on the domestic front when it comes to socio-cultural reforms important to a key bloc of his supporters. As we have noted in the past, on the issue of reforms Rouhani is caught between his largely Green Movement/Reformist-oriented social base on one hand and his Traditional Principalist allies and Neo-Principalist adversaries on the other. Of course, like most newly elected leaders […]
As IranPolitik has noted in the past, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a major economic player in Iran, with interests in nearly every economic sector, most notably Iran’s strategic petroleum industry. This situation has arisen for a variety of reason, including the IRGC’s experience in construction projects from the Iran-Iraq War, the weakness of Iran’s private sector in the post-war period and today, international economic sanctions, and the body’s political clout, both within the regime generally and with the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad administration between 2005 and 2013 specifically. Most notably, under the last administration Rostam Ghassemi, former commander of the IRGC’s construction arm the Khatam al-Anbia Construction […]
January 25, 2014 in Analysis
IranPolitik co-founder and managing editor Farzan Sabet recently conducted an interview with Italy’s L’Indro on the conference in Syria this week taking place in Geneva, Switzerland. Excerpts of the interview can be found in Italian on L’Indro’s article page. For an English translation of the interview, please see below. Barbara Ciolli: The power and influence of Iran in Syria, and generally in Middle East, is great, greater than Russian influence. Additionally, UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon underlined the necessity for Teheran’s participation in the Geneva II conference on Syria. Moreover, representatives of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey (big supporters of opposition) will be present. Could there be credible […]
Many see the Islamic Republic of Iran’s negotiations with the United Nations Security Council permanent five members plus Germany (P5+1) as perhaps the most difficult test facing the Hassan Rouhani administration. And, perhaps from a purely foreign policy standpoint, this is true: Rouhani, and his Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif, must extract as many concessions from the P5+1 as possible (especially relief from economic sanctions) while giving as little as possible in exchange (mainly in terms of preserving the core elements of the Iranian nuclear program). While the negotiations face obstacles from both domestic actors within the P5+1 (the U.S. Congress) and foreign allies without a seat […]
In November 2013 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had a foreign policy success which has eluded his two predecessors: He took a major, concrete, step toward resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis by signing an interim-agreement with the United Nations Security Council permanent five members plus Germany (P5+1). While the agreement is temporary, it goes a long way toward fulfilling his campaign promises, namely ending Iran’s international political isolation and rescuing its sanctions stricken economy. Yet even before he can savour this victory, he is confronted with the important domestic issue of human rights which is rapidly taking on international dimensions. On 18 December 2013, the UN General Assembly accepted […]
IranPolitik co-founder and managing editor Farzan Sabet spoke today on the recent P5+1-Iran interim agreement with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Initiative based at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Topics of discussion included the provisions of the interim agreement, economic sanctions on Iran, and the geo-political dynamics of the MENA region. To learn more please visit the Facebook event page.
IranPolitik co-founder and managing editor Farzan Sabet recently conducted an interview with Italy’s L’Indro on the the P5+1-Iran nuclear negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, and the interim agreement reached on Sunday 24 November 2013. Excerpts of the interview can be found in Italian on L’Indro’s article page.