Broken Taboos in Post-Election Iran

by Ziba Mir-Hosseini | published December 17, 2009

The on-camera martyrdom of Neda Agha-Soltan, the 26-year old philosophy student shot dead during the protests after the fraudulent presidential election in Iran in June, caught the imagination of the world. But the post-election crackdown has two other victims whose fates better capture the radical shift in the country’s political culture. One victim was the protester Taraneh Mousavi, detained, reportedly raped and murdered in prison, and her body burned and discarded. The other is Majid Tavakoli, the student leader arrested on December 8, after a fiery speech denouncing dictatorship during the demonstrations on National Student Day.

Caught in the Middle

Women and Press Freedom in Iran

by Persheng Vaziri | published February 16, 2001

Iran's Conservatives Face the Electorate

by Arang Keshavarzian | published February 1, 2001

In May, Iranians will go to the polls to pass judgment on the record of President Mohammad Khatami and the reform movement he symbolizes. Although observers of Iran typically characterize the Islamic Republic's factional divisions as a single left-right split dividing the regime into unified "reformist" and "conservative" blocs, a multitude of potential cleavages belie this simple dichotomy. Since the 1979 revolution, a variety of opinions have existed within the regime's accepted confines.

Iran's Reform Dilemma

Within and Against the State

by Ali Mudara | published September 12, 2000

Existing Political Vessels Cannot Contain the Reform Movement

A Conversation with Sai'id Hajjarian

by Kaveh Ehsani | published March 13, 2000

The following is the text of an interview with Sai'id Hajjarian that first appeared in Middle East Report 212 (Fall 1999). Hajjarian, a newspaper editor and key adviser to President Mohammad Khatami, was shot and severely disabled by political foes in March 2000.

Iranians Debate the 1953 Coup

by Malcolm Byrne
published in MER216

On  June 7-8, 2000, the Center for Documents and Diplomatic History of the Iranian Foreign Ministry hosted an international conference in Tehran on the subject of “Iran and the Great Powers, 1950-1953,” with the participation of scholars and archivists from several countries.

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The CIA Looks Back at the 1953 Coup in Iran

by Mark J. Gasiorowski
published in MER216

The 200-page CIA official history of the 1953 coup in Iran, obtained recently by the New York Times, adds considerably to our understanding of the coup. The history, written strictly for the US intelligence community by the late Donald Wilber, a well-known scholar who wrote many books about Iran, chronicles the coup d’état in which a team of CIA officers overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq. Wilber worked on a part-time basis for the CIA and was deeply involved in planning the coup and overseeing the propaganda campaign that accompanied it. [1]

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Deja Vu All Over Again?

Twenty Years Later, Iranian Demonstrations Surprise the US

by Haleh Vaziri | published July 20, 1999

Two decades after Iran's Islamic revolution of 1978-79, another US administration has been surprised by violent demonstrations on the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities. The Clinton Administration and members of Congress watched with alarm and some helplessness as Iranian student protests persisted and spread--despite official warnings, the brutality of religiously inspired vigilantes claiming to protect the Islamic Republic's interests and carefully orchestrated counter-demonstrations. The US Department of State has reacted cautiously to these developments, while members of Congress--usually eager to criticize the Clinton Administration's intelligence failures--have remained silent so far.

Report from Iran

by MERIP's Special Correspondent in Iran | published July 15, 1999

International press reports have not done justice to the complexity of recent dramatic events in Iran. What began as a genuine, spontaneous student uprising in defense of press freedoms and political reforms has now been appropriated by extremist religious paramilitaries and vigilantes aiming to discredit the students and provoke a crackdown by anti-reform elements of the regime. Khatami's call for moderation in the wake of street battles between students and security forces was not an "about face" on reform, but a demand consistent with several appeals for calm issued by leading pro-reform figures and groups, including the fledgling student "Unity Council."