Iran

Iran’s Most Famous Political Prisoner Still Awaits Justice

Fariba Amini

He is the longest held prisoner of Iran, sometimes referred to as the Iranian Nelson Mandela. He was on a leave of absence, which is part of a prison furlough system in Iran. His name, Abbas Amirentezam, should be familiar to anyone who knows the history of the U.S. Embassy take-over in 1980 and the plight of the American hostages held for 444 days. He is not referred to in the film Argo. Amirentezam became the other hostage. 

From Salman Rushdie to Sam Bacile: Why Fanatics Are Easily Offended

Sandip Roy

A mysterious man in California hires a soft porn director and tricks some low-rent actors into making a trashy movie about the Prophet Muhammad. Now an Iranian foundation ups the price on Salman Rushdie's head saying that if he had been killed earlier for blasphemy, this newest anti-Islam film would never have been made. We are expected to believe that Salman Rushdie is the slippery slope that has led to Sam Bacile. The logic is so ludicrously tortured that it should be the butt of jokes. Instead it turns deadly serious and leaves a US ambassador and others dead in Libya and a gathering storm of mobs from Pakistan to Yemen.

Obama’s Middle East Dilemma

George Abraham

The killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya, on the anniversary of September 11 should provoke a similar examination of the Obama presidency. Here was a quintessential ambassador – an Arabic speaker, popular among ordinary Libyans, who had worked with the revolutionaries to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi – killed in the line of duty.  It was a colossal failure, marking a nadir in a presidency that boasted a break with Bush-era unilateralism and a promise to “commit ourselves to an effort – a sustained effort – to find common ground” with the Muslim world. 

The Religious Fundamentalists of Iran Now Warn Against the Perils of...Chicken

Behrouz Saba

The world continues to keep a wary eye on Iran’s nuclear program, in nearby Syria the pro-Iranian government of Bashir al-Assad is on the brink of collapse and Tel Aviv accuses Tehran of being behind the fatal suicide bombing of a bus in Bulgaria which carried Israeli tourists. Yet chicken, or lack thereof, makes daily front-page headlines and is the obsessive subject of scores of cartoons that appear in both state-owned and independent media in Iran.

 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Iran Cozies Up to Latin America

Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived on Sunday night in Caracas in the first stop of a four-nation tour of Latin America. Besides Venezuela, the Iranian leader will also visit Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Cuba during a week-long tour of the region. Ahmadinejad’s visit comes at a critical time for Iran as it faces the possibility of new sanctions by the European Union over its controversial nuclear program. It is no surprise that the four countries that Ahmadinejad will visit are the most vociferous in their anti-Washington rhetoric and initiatives, particularly Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Castro government in Cuba.

Escaping Iran, One University Graduate at a Time

Behrouz Saba

From New America Media: When Washington announced recently that it had uncovered an Iranian plot that allegedly targeted the Saudi ambassador to the United States, efforts began in earnest to devise new ways to punish Tehran. Such efforts, however, overlook one glaring fact: Iranians have long been their own worst enemies, allowing their best and brightest to leave the country in droves to the sole benefit of corporate America.

 

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