Why Iran’s execution of Ruhollah Zam should be seen as a warning in the West

On 12 December 2020 an execution took place in Iran that was like no other, even for a country that has the second highest known number of state-sponsored executions in the world. Everything about it – who the victim was and how and why he was apprehended, tried and hanged – holds critical insights for foreign policymakers in the US, […]

Iranian women are staging an offensive against sexual abuse. It’s long over-due

For the past 42 years, Iran’s clerical leadership has defended the regime’s harsh Islamic dress code by claiming that mandatory wearing of the hijab is women’s best defense against men’s sexual advances. Yet over the past few weeks, Iranian women have offered up a devastating rebuttal of that claim — by coming forward to accuse […]

He chose jail over disowning his sister – set an example for all his countrymen

Last fall, Iranian authorities arrested Alireza Alinejad, a 45-year-old father of two, who has not broken any laws, not even according to the officials who jailed him. There would be nothing newsworthy about yet another unwarranted arrest in Iran, except that this one involves an unusual story of familial love, with a brother making a […]

There are two types of hijabs. The difference is huge

In an interview for the April issue of Vogue Arabia, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said, “To me, the hijab means power, liberation, beauty and resistance.” As two women who once lived with the mandatory hijab in Iran, we hope to bring another perspective to this complex matter by describing our experiences.There are two vastly different kinds of […]

The Flame of Feminism Is Alive in Iran

The revolution that swept through Iran 40 years ago ruptured all diplomatic ties between Iran and the United States. This we know all too well. But another bond, one between Iranian feminists and their American counterparts, was also ruptured, which, unlike the other, occurred in virtual anonymity. In March 1979, days after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini […]

Why They Stay

Among the world’s endangered minorities, Iranian Jews are an anomaly. Like their counterparts, their conditions categorically refute all the efforts their nation makes at seeming civilized and egalitarian—and so they embody, often without wanting to, all that is ugly and unjust about their native land.But Iran’s Jewish community does something more. It also embodies the […]

Commentary: In post-Khashoggi Saudi, a chance to fill a moral void

As the Trump White House entertains Riyadh’s dubious explanation for the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, the global business community is filling a vital moral void. Dozens of Western executives have cancelled their attendance at the investor conference nicknamed “Davos in the Desert,” […]

I came to America as a refugee. You took me just as I am

I arrived in the United States as a refugee in May 1985. I was 19. I came with only a backpack and little English. Making matters worse, I had come of age during the Iranian revolution of 1979 and its aftermath; in school, we had chanted “Death to America” every morning before the start of […]

Commentary: Why the U.S. should support Iran protesters

In recent weeks, Iran has again been in the throes of an uprising. Signs of the regime change America had long hoped to see are on the horizon. In the unlikeliest cities — once the strongholds of the conservatives — Iranians have taken to the streets, demanding, not just reform, but a referendum. A nationwide referendum […]