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

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    Published August 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm - One Comment 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 […]

    Faraji-Dana’s impeachment and the ‘great divide’ in Iranian politics
  • 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
  • Ghalibaf’s segregation plan and Rouhani’s isolation on the domestic front

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    Published August 11, 2014 at 2:22 am - No Comments 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 […]

    Ghalibaf’s segregation plan and Rouhani’s isolation on the domestic front
  • 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
  • Rouhani’s running battle with conservatives over heaven and the afterlife

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    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

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 […]

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 […]