Category: Soft War

Banning of “He Who Said No” and the undermining of Iranian culture

The withdrawal of Ahmad-Reza Darvish’s “He Who Said No”, an acclaimed film about revered Shi’a figure Imam Hossein, from Iranian cinemas this past week highlights how censorship in Iran continues to be an obstacle to the indigenous production of culture. This past week director Ahmad-Reza Darvish’s award winning film Rooz-e Rastakhiz (entitled “He Who Said…



The Islamic Republic’s quixotic quest to create “Islamic human sciences”

Former Speaker of Parliament Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel recently highlighted efforts to create “Islamic human sciences” to counter what he sees as the harmful impact of Western humanities and social sciences on the country’s youth. But as past-experienced has shown, this may be prove a quixotic quest in the long-term. Introduction In the early-to-mid 1980s, Iran underwent…



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

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…



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

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…



Khamenei’s Nowruz address highlights Iran’s culture war

This past week Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave his annual address in Mashhad, after having unveiled that the Iranian calendar year of 1393 will henceforth be known as the year of “Economy and Culture with National Determination & Jihadi Management” in his annual Nowruz television address. These names are supposed to give each…



Soft War: The 2014 Fajr International Film Festival

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…



Soft War: Senior Democrat calls on Obama not to fix Iran’s planes

According to Global Affairs, the Hill’s International Relations blog, Representative Brad Sherman (D-California), a senior Democrat on the House of Representative’s Foreign Affairs panel, this Tuesday expressed his opposition to the provision in this weekend’s P5+1-Iran Interim Nuclear Agreement which would allow Iranian airlines to refurbish their aging fleet of airplanes. According to the relevant…



When it comes to fighting the “Soft War”, Iran only has hard tools

In an interview with Etedaal News Analysis Agency on 21 April 2012, Seyed Javan Zamani, spokesman for the social affairs committee of the Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majlis (Iran’s legislature), severely criticized the Iranian government’s current approach to dealing with illegal satellite dishes. Illegal satellite receivers, which transmit television programming from around the world to…



United States’ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview with Kambiz Hosseini of VOA

The Obama administration’s “soft power” strategy on Iran

Source: ISNA , Date: 29 October 2011 In interviews with Voice of America (VOA) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), United States’ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the launch of a number of initiatives which appear to be aimed at reaching out to the Iranian people. These initiatives include the creation of a “Virtual Embassy”…