Place: Iran
Long Live the Tyrant!

The Myth of Benign Sanctions

They aim to bring recalcitrant tyrants to their senses, to put an end to their external as well as internal malefaction. With surgical precision, they pull the noose ever closer around the tyrant’s neck, so that in hopeless despair he is compelled to behave reasonably in foreign affairs while, enfeebled, he lifts his bloodied hands from the throat of the oppressed people. It is a morally justified decapitation of evil, the salutary removal of a swelling tumor.

Havaar on the 2013 Iranian Presidential Elections

      Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression is a grassroots group of Iranians, Iranian-Americans and allies who have joined together to categorically oppose any military action and the U.S.-led sanctions against Iran. They stand in solidarity with the Iranian people’s struggle against war and sanctions and against state repression; all of these forms of violence, they insist, hurt the lives and aspirations of ordinary Iranians.

Audacity and Insolence

       According to the Israeli government, two Iranian warships plan to sail through the Suez canal en route to Syria. Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, declared that “this is a provocation that proves that Iranian audacity and insolence are increasing.” The international community, warned Lieberman, “must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations.”

End the War Threats and Sanctions Program Against Iran; Support the Struggle for Democracy Inside Iran

We, the undersigned, oppose the U.S.-led campaign to impose harsher sanctions on Iran, and the ongoing threat of war against that country. Despite Washington’s claims, its policy is clearly not animated by a genuine concern for protecting the world from the threat of nuclear war; otherwise how could Washington support such nuclear-armed states as India, Israel, and Pakistan, or maintain its own huge nuclear arsenal? Nor is U.S. policy driven by the goal of defending democracy.

Campaign for Peace and Democracy Iran sign-on

New Politics readers and friends are invited to sign the Campaign for Peace and Democracy statement “End the War Threats and Sanctions Program Against Iran – Support the Struggle for Democracy Inside Iran.” The statement is being circulated widely in the United States and internationally. To sign on or see the evolving list of signers go to

Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison, Co-Directors, CPD, The statement along with a selected list of signers is below:

Green Is the New Green: Social Media and the Post-Election Crisis in Iran, 2009

The Persian language blogosphere is rich, varied, and dynamic. Of the 100 million blogs registered around the world in 2005, 700,000 were Persian language, either inside Iran or in the diaspora. Of these, over 60,000 are updated frequently. With over 20 million Iranians connecting to the internet, and over 600,000 Iranians signed up on Facebook by the presidential election of the summer of 2009, the Iranian cyber community is by far the most dynamic such community in the Middle East, and one that is unambiguously diverse.

Iran: Reform and Revolution

Recent news about Iran has been dominated by U.S. attempts to increase sanctions, and one could be forgiven for thinking the world hegemonic capitalist power is preparing war against a major nuclear power. The reality is far different: all the fuss is about a country where nine months of mass protests have not only weakened the state but also divided the ruling circles, making reconciliation at the top impossible.

Revolutionary Prefigurations: The Green Movement, Critical Solidarity, and the Struggle for Iran's Future

A year has now passed since the explosive appearance of Iran’s Green movement in June 2009. Suspecting malfeasance in the official tally of the country’s June 12 presidential election, millions of Iranians took to the streets. The historian Ervand Abrahamian, author of the classic Iran Between Two Revolutions, described the silent rally of June 15 at Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran (London Review of Books, 7/23/09):

Revisiting Foucault and the Iranian Revolution

February 2004 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. From September 1978 to February 1979, in the course of a massive urban revolution with millions of participants, the Iranian people toppled the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1941-1979), which had pursued a highly authoritarian program of economic and cultural modernization. By late 1978, the Islamist faction led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had come to dominate the antiregime uprising, in which secular nationalists, democrats, and leftists also participated.

Middle East Developments

"What we're seeing here, in a sense, is … the birth pangs of a new Middle East…."

— Condoleezza Rice, July 21, 2006



Birds and Cages: Reading Sex and the State in Janet Afary's Sexual Politics in Modern Iran

Janet Afary is hopeful about the future of women's rights in Iran. And she identifies many reasons to be so, from secret individual acts of resistance by women against husbands, fathers, and dictators to collective feminist struggle and today's One Million Signatures Campaign for equal rights. But Sexual Politics in Modern Iran also reveals the full force of the cultural and political systems that the Iranian movement for gender equality confronts.

Iranian Workers say: "We have nothing to lose but our unpaid wages"

Half a year after the demonstrations of June, 2009 in Iran, it is probably easier to examine in more depth the events that changed the country's political landscape. The bourgeois media in Iran and abroad is unanimous: the presidential elections of June 2009 and predictions of a Moussavi victory gave hope that change within the exiting regime was possible; millions of Iranians took part in the elections; the regime rigged the results; the rest is history.

Free Kian Tajbakhsh. Rally Sept. 23 for democracy in Iran

My colleague, Niloofar Mina, has been working on a campaign to free Kian Tajbakhsh, a scholar imprisoned in Iran. Kian is an American citizen of Iranian heritage, a secular intellectual, a sociologist and an independent scholar. He is not attached to any political organization or movement, inside and outside the country. Niloofar closely follows events in Iran through Persian language media sources, official and unofficial. She has learned that Kian is in a show trial with a group of defendants associated with Iran’s reformist movement.

A Debate about Iran and the Left

The Campaign for Peace and Democracy’s “Q&A on Iran” has elicited an extremely critical response from Edward Herman and David Peterson, posted on MRzine. To summarize, Herman and Peterson accuse the Campaign of aiding and abetting (unwittingly, they allow) U.S. imperialism and its aggressive designs on Iran. They reject, for the most part, allegations of election fraud by the Ahmadinejad regime and dismiss the idea of solidarity with the Iranian pro-democracy movement. Their position appears to be that the U.S.

Question & Answer on the Iran Crisis

Campaign for Peace and Democracy July 7, 2009 Right after the June 12 elections in Iran, the Campaign for Peace and Democracy issued a statement expressing our strong support for the masses of Iranians protesting electoral fraud and our horror at the ferocious response of the government.

The Change We REALLY Want?

WITH THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA, millions in the United States and around the world are hoping for relief from the dangerous arrogance and destructiveness of George Bush’s foreign policy. President Obama is expected to take important positive initiatives — like closing Guantanamo and lifting the rule denying international organizations receiving U.S. aid the right to let women know about abortion. When the inevitable right-wing reaction to these initiatives comes, it will be crucial for us in the peace movement to defend them.