Under the Veil of Ideology

The Israeli-Iranian Strategic Rivalry

by Trita Parsi | published June 9, 2006

When Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” in October 2005, the world appeared to be light years away from the end of history. It seemed that ideologues had once more taken the reins of power and rejoined a battle in which there could be no parley or negotiated truce—only the victory of one idea over the other.

Iran’s Nuclear File

The Uncertain Endgame

by Farideh Farhi | published October 24, 2005

Iranian Women Take On the Constitution

by Mahsa Shekarloo | published July 21, 2005

Activists for women’s rights are prominent among the many Iranians who fear a reinvigorated crackdown on personal and social freedoms in the wake of the surprise election of the ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency of the Islamic Republic. Though Ahmadinejad sought to soften his image on gender issues during the week before the runoff on June 24, 2005, even speaking against “sexist attitudes,” his electoral base on the far right continually agitates for a harder line. His base is particularly offended by the looser standards of “Islamic dress” for women and the freer mixing of the sexes in public places that have slowly developed over the two terms of President Mohammad Khatami, who will vacate his office on August 4.

Iran’s Nuclear Posture and the Scars of War

by Joost Hiltermann | published January 18, 2005

In waging war on Iraq, one of the points the Bush administration sought to prove was that President Bill Clinton’s policy of dual containment had failed -- that despite a decade of threats, sanctions, military action and UN-led disarmament, Iraq had continued to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Iraq, of course, was not the only target of dual containment. So was neighboring Iran, which likewise was suspected of having secret programs for building weapons of mass destruction and was seen as a destabilizing force hostile to US interests.

Iran and the Middle East

Foreign Policy and Domestic Change

by Fred Halliday
published in MER220

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Nature Has No Culture

The Photographs of Abbas Kiarostami

by Shiva Balaghi , Anthony Shadid
published in MER219

In April 2000, Abbas Kiarostami received the Akira Kurosawa Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Francisco Film Festival. While in the United States, Kiarostami visited New York City, where the Andrea Rosen Gallery mounted the first US exhibition of Kiarostami’s photographs. The photographs, which were shown in a stark white loft space, appeared without titles, dates or labels. Anthony Shadid and Shiva Balaghi spoke with Kiarostami about his art photography.

Iranian Cinema

Art, Society and the State

by Ziba Mir-Hosseini
published in MER219

Following the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the inauguration of the Islamic Republic, many predicted that new restrictions would kill off Iran's cinema. But Iranian film has survived, undergoing remarkable transformations in parallel with the wider changes in Iranian culture and society. Today, Iranian cinema is recognized as one of the most innovative and exciting in the world, and films from Iranian directors are being screened to increasing acclaim at international festivals. The key to resolving the apparent contradiction between Iran's repressive image and the renaissance of Iranian cinema is to understand the relationship that developed between art, society and the state after the Islamic revolution.