Senate and Iran: Good Guys Versus the Bad Guys

A look at American Senators to see who supports diplomacy and who supports the potentially disastrous policy of imposing more sanctions. [Read more...]

King Abdullah (1924 – 2015): Let’s Not Make Black and White Judgments


King Abdullah was not a significant reformist but a conservative absolute monarch, that being said, he wasn’t the villain some portray him to be, he was effective and relatively moderate in the context of the region. And please, don’t say dangerous things like “the west should end its alliance with the Saudis”. [Read more...]

What Sartre Means to an Iranian Democracy Activist


We like many western philosophers here in Iran, but if no other philosopher has been as influential and as widely read by multiple generations of Iranians as much as the existentialists Jean-Paul Sartre. Few other philosophers’s thoughts are so miraculously Iranian – few of them seem to be directly talking to a repressed nation under a repressed regime, few of them seem to have looked so squarely at our ailments and had written a prescription we sorely needed. [Read more...]

Will the Tyrants Ever Stop Playing Dick Measuring Contests with Their People’s Livelihoods?

Russian economy is tanking and Iranian nuclear talks have faced obstacles because of the “pride” of their rulers. It seems all these tyrants have one thing in common and that is that their version of “national pride” and “resistance” completely excludes all concern for people actually living in those nations. [Read more...]

Middle East Needs All Kinds of Feminism

There’s usually a rather unconvincing argument leveled against certain feminist arguments and it involves comparing the experience of Western women to that of Middle Eastern women. One of the most famous examples is Richard Dawkins. The basic argument is that western feminists are prioritizing in a wrong way, since there are larger problems in the world. But Dawkins is wrong because Middle Eastern women also face the same kinds of problems. So when feminists, whether American or Middle Eastern, try to raise awareness of these issues, try to make sure everyone understands consent and private space and personal boundaries, they are not distracting from the fight against Islamists, a very necessary fight, and it doesn’t mean it’s solely a “first world problem”, it is our problem too – we just lack the awareness, and we need much more activism to get where west is now today, even considering those “lesser” problems. Middle East needs feminism, all kinds of it. [Read more...]

Maryam Namazie Frequently Publishes Misrepresentations about Iranian Politics


It happens often that Iranians who have lived outside Iran for decades or less portray a very misleading and dishonest picture of Iranian politics. Maryam Namazie is one of the worst offenders. She basically gives voice to a narrative that is not only false, but dangerous if people were to believe it. This narrative is that there is no difference between reformists and fundamentalists, and what Iran needs is a revolution that overthrows the regime, and that when that revolution happens, a secular democratic utopia is just around the corner. But those factions are not the same and a revolution might be very disastrous for Iran. Her position in the atheist movement should not enable her to speak about Iran. Because her views are inaccurate and dangerous. [Read more...]

GOP Overtake of Senate: What Does It Mean for Iran Negotiations?


The Republicans completely defeated the Democrats in Midterm elections, and the GOP took over the Senate as well and that means that Mitch McConnell will become the Majority Leader of the Senate. This is especially bad news considering that United States is right now negotiating with Iran as part of the P5+1 to solve the nuclear issue peacefully and diplomatically. Maybe if the Congress wants to pass a new sanctions bill after January 3rd, it’s very likely that the Senate will have the 66 votes to bypass Obama’s veto. Harry Reid was one of the few allies Obama had on this issue, and he used his leadership position to help the diplomatic approach.We know that McConnell will do no such things, and this in itself will make the situation worse. [Read more...]

An International Perspective: Americans, Please Vote Tomorrow

Tomorrow American Midterm elections are held. It seems that in spite of dissatisfaction with the current leadership, the Republicans are going to easily hold the House and also gain the Senate, and based on most reports that I read this is mainly because of gerrymandering and low turn-out. However, living in Iran in the tyrannical system of the Islamic Republic I has taught me that voting always helps and not voting always makes things decidedly worse. Boycotting elections has never made anything better, and Americans need to learn from this international experience and vote. [Read more...]

Link Round-Up 10/26/2014

From IS to Truman Copote, from Hirohito to Malala Yusafzai, this is the most recent round of link-round-ups. [Read more...]

Iranians Pour Into Streets to Protest Against Acid Attacks Against Women


Four women were attacked by acid last week in Isfahan. Iranians are now protesting in the streets against this violence against women. [Read more...]