When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Why Inflation In Iran Is Hitting Even Harder

Inflation is nothing new in Iran. But its staggering rise is pushing millions of Iranians toward abject poverty.

-Analysis-

As inflation in Iran spikes to record heights, President Ebrahim Raisi and his Economy Minister Ehsan Khanduzi insist the government is working to curb the price hikes wreaking havoc on household budgets. Yet there is very little in Raisi's year-long record to indicate earnestness in getting a grip on inflation or mitigating its impact on the poor. The endemic inflation of the last four decades, and particularly the explosive inflation of the last three years, are forging a frightening picture of daily life for many Iranians.

Watch Video Show less

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

Keep reading... Show less

Protests In Iran Risk Spreading As Ukraine War Triggers Global Food Crisis

After a break in late March, small protests have broken out all over Iran over wages and pensions. A higher cost of living caused by the war in Ukraine may be the final straw for exasperated Iranians.

In Iran, workers and pensioners have resumed protests over dismal wages and work conditions, after a two-week lull for the Persian new year holidays. Amid dire conditions for many Iranians in an economy that has become perennially dysfunctional, one economist has warned there could be another explosion of public rage against the Islamic Republic within months.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Iranians have reasons enough to be angry: unemployment, inflation, unpaid or meager wages (when paid) that barely meet bread-and-butter costs, and a regime that persists with a nuclear program that has earned the country little more than sanctions. And now, the regime's sinister ally, Russia, is provoking a spike in food prices after invading Ukraine.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Iranians Are Burning Statues Of Khomeini And Soleimani, Heroes Of The Revolution

With increasing frequency, Iranians are destroying or defacing the monuments of revolutionary and clerical leaders that they have come to loathe as symbols of oppression. It is a dangerous act of protest against the regime, which has called the vandalism "vile."

There has been a sustained — if furtive — trend among disgruntled Iranians to deface, vandalize or destroy monuments raised in honor of prominent figures of the Islamic Republic, in power since 1979. It is a residual form of protest under a regime that allows none. However, rest assured, no harm is done to the country's cultural heritage: It is safe to say the structures in question have no aesthetic value at all.

Keep reading... Show less
Geopolitics
Roshanak Astaraki

Iran's Alliance With Russia And China Will Carry A Heavy Price

Iran's clerical regime is handing over vital economic sectors to its "allies," Russia and China. But future generations may end up paying the real price for the country's "Look to the East" philosophy.

-Analysis-

LONDON — Soon after the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran turned the popular chants of "Neither East Nor West But An Islamic Republic" and "Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic" (Esteqlal, azadi, jomhuri-e eslami) into official slogans and cornerstones of its ideology. These conveyed the new regime's desire to be firmly non-aligned in its goals and affiliations. The government even placed the first slogan over the gates of the foreign ministry in Tehran.

In actual fact, the regime has based its foreign policy on a distinctly "Not Western" foundation. The assault on the U.S. embassy in Tehran late in 1979 was a clear indication of its leanings, even if the regime did seem to sway Westward at particular and sensitive points over the next 40 years. It has been years, however, since it displayed any independence from the emblematic powers of the Eastern block, Russia and communist China.

Watch Video Show less
Ideas
Yusef Mosaddeqi

After The Revolution, What Happens When Iran's 1979 Generation Fades Away

Iran's dismal conditions are not ultimately about sanctions or the lack of reforms, but for the criminal ignorance of the revolutionaries of 1979 who replaced a flawed but technocratic regime with medieval despotism. What happens when those responsible begin to fade away or die?

-Editorial-

February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran, has become a recurring, and unrelenting, pain in the hearts and minds of Iranians the world over. While the number of veteran revolutionaries and participants in that calamity goes down by the year, and generations born since entering middle age, Iranians have become ever harsher in their judgment of those parents and grandparents who bequeathed them a catastrophe.

Besides the Islamic Republic's own, loutish nomenklatura and hirelings who — for the state salaries paid to them — cherish the date and heap abuse on dissenters, the former revolutionaries now close to senility or death react differently to the admonishments of generations that have seen their lives and hopes torn to shreds. Their response often depends on personal levels of realism or awareness of the costs of their revolution.

Watch Video Show less
Geopolitics
Ahmad Ra'fat

Out of Cash, Iran Puts Dream Of Shia Empire On Pause

Under sanctions and deprived of funds, Iran's clerical regime has placed its dreams of regional supremacy on hold, at least until it can reach a multilateral pact on its nuclear program.

-Analysis-

It has been two years since a U.S. drone strike on a convoy in Iraq killed the Iranian Revolutionary guards commander Qasem Soleimani and 10 others, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, one of the heads of the Iran-backed militia, Hashd al-shaabi.

In spite of his efforts and backing from his government, Soleimani's successor as head of the Revolutionary guards' Quds force, Ismail Qaani, has failed to prevent the depletion of the Axis of Resistance.

Watch Video Show less
Geopolitics
Shahram Sabzevari

Don't Underestimate Russian Influence Over Iran's Military

Russia's role in in Iranian affairs goes to the highest levels of its military and security structures. But will anyone in Iran dare question Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in spite of the grave risks to the country's national security?

-Analysis-

LONDON — Several sources recently reported on the sale of 24 Russian Su-35 fighter jets to Iran. These were initially to be sold to Egypt, but that deal was thwarted by the threat of U.S. sanctions on Egypt. Since 15 of the planes were reportedly ready for delivery, they may be sent to the Iranian regime in early 2022.

Reports of sales of Russian commercial or military planes to Iran are not new, though some now qualify them as a consolation for Tehran to make amends for Russia's suspected approval of the strikes that have targeted Iranian Revolutionary guards bases, allied militias and Iranian war material in Syria.

Watch Video Show less
Ideas
Roshanak Astaraki

A Dry Question For Iran: Can A Water Crisis Take Down The Islamic Regime?

The Iranian government is responding to peaceful protests with batons and bullets. Their brutality and criminal incompetence are galvanizing protestor solidarity and resistance, which might finally prove fatal to the ruling elite.

-Editorial-

LONDON — On November 26, Iranian authorities crushed public protests that had been denouncing the state's water policies for a fortnight in and around the city of Isfahan in the center of the country. But while such protests are essentially political, and ultimately the result of four decades of criminal incompetence by the Islamic Republic, local farmers and residents were also specifically demanding their right to water and to the natural environment where they were born.

Watch Video Show less
Society

Iran To Offer Master's And PhD In Morality Enforcement

For those aiming to serve the Islamic Republic of Iran as experts to train the public morality agents, there are now courses to obtain the "proper" training.

Iran will create new "master's and doctorate" programs to train state morality agents checking on people's public conduct and attire, according to several Persian-language news sources.

Mehran Samadi, a senior official of the Headquarters to Enjoin Virtues and Proscribe Vices (Amr-e be ma'ruf va nahy az monkar) said "anyone who wants to enjoin virtues must have the knowledge," the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported, citing reports from Iran.

Watch Video Show less
Geopolitics
Ahmad Ra'fat and Hamed Mohammadi

Plan B? Why Iran Thinks It Has The West Cornered On Nuclear Deal

The U.S. is calling for "imminent" return to talks. But Tehran has made advances on its nuclear program that could force the West to accept, in a new pact, its bomb-making capacity, which Iran will "freeze" if Western powers lift sanctions.


-Analysis-

It was a declaration of excessive optimism. Speaking in Doha on Sep. 30, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, said that nuclear negotiations with Iran would resume "within an acceptable period of time." Talks on reviving the 2015 pact to keep checks on Iran's nuclear program had ground to a halt before June's election of the very conservative Ibrahim Raisi as Iran's president. That has left the country under international sanctions, and its contested nuclear activities without outside supervision.

Watch Video Show less
EXPLORE OTHER TOPICS