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Is Iran a Country or a Cause?

Published by the Atlantic On April 21, a week after Iran’s first-ever direct attack on Israel, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with his military commanders to gloat. The assault had failed to cause much damage in Israel, but Khamenei claimed victory and tried to give it a patriotic color. “What matters most,” he said, …

The Fiasco of Iranian Diaspora Politics

Published by New Lines Iranians today, both in Iran and across the diaspora, are reckoning with two intricately related questions: How has the Islamic Republic survived, and why did the Woman, Life, Freedom movement, despite all of its momentous and meaningful achievements, fail? These questions have become even more salient and urgent as the regime’s …

Were Iran and Israel really friends before 1979? It’s complicated

Published in the National Anarrative that has persisted throughout the decades-long cold conflict between Iran and Israel is that, before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the two countries had excellent relations that only soured after the Islamic Republic’s establishment. Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s last crown prince, himself has repeatedly espoused a version of this narrative in his …

Flaneur: My Enlightened Tehran

Published by Liberties “Were you culture-shocked?” is the question people often ask upon discovering that, at  the age of twenty,  I moved from Iran to the West. “Of course I was,” I usually say. “I still am.”  But I suspect they mis-imagine the tribulations of that transition. Exchanging the Tehran of the 2000s, where I …