The Iran Deal is Dead, Long Live the Iran Deal


by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj With the news that John Bolton will be Trump’s new national security advisor, the death of the Iran Deal is all but assured. Bolton has vocally advocated for war with Iran, which he sees not as an… Continue Reading  

Water and Conflict in Iran


by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj The most important sentence in the Persian language is arguably “Baba ab dad.” The sentence means “father gave water.” It is the first sentence taught to Iranian children when they are learning to read and write. Beyond… Continue Reading  

Iranian Protests and the Working Class


by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj In February of 2017, I wrote about Iran’s “forgotten man,” the member of the working class who seemed invisible in the talk of the country’s post-sanctions recovery: What has been lost is an appreciation that the “normalization”… Continue Reading  

Rentierism and Rivalry Between Riyadh and Tehran


by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj In response to the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the United States has long pursued a strategy of counterbalancing, extending its security umbrella to cover the kingdom and the GCC states. But as promises of security… Continue Reading  

Iran Sanctions Policy Increasingly Throttles Free Trade in Ideas


by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj In 1988, as legislators were creating the legal basis for the modern use of economic sanctions as a tool of American foreign policy, an important amendment was added to two laws, the Trading With the Enemy Act… Continue Reading