Blog Archives

Misreading Iran’s Elections: Iranian Infighting and American Narcissism

World Affairs Journal – Iran’s presidential election of June 14th is being hailed as a political opening. The landslide victory of Hassan Rouhani, who had called for moderation in foreign and domestic policies, for a more open state news media,

I Heart Khomeini

Wall Street Journal – Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett’s “Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms With the Islamic Republic of Iran” is a long and elaborate promotional brochure designed to sell Americans on the

Bending Iran to the Rule of Law

New York Times – As Iran says it plans to upgrade its main nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz, and talks on its disputed nuclear program are set to resume this month with world powers, we can look to one brilliant

Daughter of the Storm: An Iranian Literary Revolution

NPR – Adolescence is a universally grave hour. Mine was made graver by a revolution in 1979 in my beloved birth country of Iran. The mutiny I felt within had an echo in the world without. On the streets, martial

What Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ Misses About Iran

The Daily Beast – As one of the students protesting outside the American embassy during the Iran hostage crisis, Roya Hakakian writes about her unique perspective on Ben Affleck’s film Argo. But she says the film misses the essential point

How Blaming the West Hides a War on Women

The Washington Post – The targeting of Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl shot nearly two weeks ago by a Pakistani Taliban assassin, brought back memories of my teenage years in Tehran, where theocratic zealots were similarly in control. The words

The Verdict that Shook Iran and Europe

Reuters – “They say a good news story is like an onion. The more one peels it, the newer and fresher are the layers that surface. If depth and longevity are the gold standards for a news story, then the

A Friend’s Tribute to Ambassador Chris Stevens: The Diplomatic Indiana Jones

The Daily Beast – He was brilliant, full of conviction, and defied the extremist narrative that Americans are greedy, arrogant, and dimwitted. They had no choice but to kill him. Roya Hakakian remembers her dear friend Chris Stevens. “Eating on

Where Did Iran’s Green Movement Go?

New York Times – Iran appears to have missed the Arab Spring that is sweeping through the region. Or perhaps the country is experiencing the tail end of the long theocratic winter about to blanket its neighbors. No one knows

Iran & Israel: What Two Enemies Share

New York Times – “IF a war were to break out between Iran and Israel, whose side would you be on?” someone asked me on Facebook a few weeks ago, when an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities was reportedly imminent.