Water and Conflict in Iran

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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  

Trump and the Iran Protests

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by John Feffer The last time Iranians went out onto the streets in large numbers, they were protesting what they thought was a stolen election. It was 2009, and hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had convincingly won the presidency with roughly 63… Continue Reading  

Iranian Protests and the Working Class

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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

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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

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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