Articles on Iran

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Millions of people are being displaced across the region. Freedom House

Middle East map blurs as old order breaks down

It is about 100 years since the then-imperial powers of Britain and France first demarcated the boundaries between Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Mandate Palestine. Now, it looks like those borders are…
‘One hand’: Once again it is the military which is calling the shots in Egypt. Zeinab Mohamed via Creative Commons

No change without trauma in Middle East’s political logjam

In the past four weeks, a major political earthquake seems to have hit the Middle East, where three key regional constituencies: Iran, Qatar and Egypt, experienced more or less unexpected changes of leadership…
Safe pair of hands: Rowhani in nuclear negotiations in 2003. Mojtaba Salimi via Creative Commons

A safe pair of old hands now holds the key to Iran’s future

In the past 10 days big crowds of Iranians have taken to the streets to celebrate two things. The outpouring of joy for the unexpected first-round victory of Hassan Rowhani in the presidential election…
The grim cost of conflict. Freedom House via Creative Commons

Syria casts its shadow as G8 leaders gather

President Obama’s confirmation that the United States would begin arming Syrian rebels has prompted an urgent debate about both the legality and the effectiveness of the decision. The announcement, ahead…
Iran’s ruling class have engineered the result of elections to their favoured candidate - will Friday’s presidential election be any different? EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Iranian elections: true legitimacy, or the country’s Achilles heel?

Iranian elections have often been the country’s Achilles heel, or as Iranians say, pashneye achil. Since the Islamic Republic of Iran’s inception in 1979, the ruling clergy has incorporated electoral procedures…
Increased sanctions against Iran could weaken more than its national currency, the Rial. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

New sanctions could be hindering progress in Iran

Bob Carr’s announcement yesterday that Australia would increase sanctions against Iran will be greeted with praise from some quarters. There is a growing understanding among analysts, diplomats and leaders…
Iranian students demonstrate in Tehran to mark the 33rd anniversary of US Embassy takeover. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Obama’s legacy could lie in the Middle East, but will he go for it?

The re-election of Barack Obama to a second term will have significant ramifications for an America struggling with economic and social difficulties. But will it have the same impact on residents of the…
Iran’s gas could make a difference to the world’s carbon-reduction efforts, if only the world was allowed to use it. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

US–Iran normalisation could fight climate change

The problem of climate change policy at an international level is not only about reaching agreement on sharing the mitigation burden. It is also about how dysfunctional foreign policies - not directly…
A group of Iranian pilgrims captured by the Free Syria Army who claim are Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Al Arabiya

Iran – Syrian ally to the bitter end

This week the Islamic Republic of Iran made a blunt statement, reiterating its position in relation to the on-going conflict in Syria. According to Saeed Jalili, a senior advisor to the Iranian Supreme…
President Nixon’s meeting with China’s Communist Party Leader Mao Tse Tung in 1972 began closer ties between the two countries. Wikimedia/Office of Presidential Libraries

Stabilising the Middle East: lessons from the US rapprochement with China

Now, as at the time of the Vietnam war, the global primacy of the United States is increasingly being questioned. Among the reasons are its role in the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the continued and…
A simple desire to understand the way the world works has landed some Iranian researchers in hot water.

Particles and persecution: why we should care about Iranian physicists

On a given day, your typical physicist is mainly preoccupied with trying to understand the intimate secrets of the universe. As with most academics, we get to visit one another in parts of the world to…
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses Iran “Nuclear Day” gathering. EPA/Press TV

An attack on Iran: the legal basis, or lack thereof

Talk of a possible Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities has re-ignited debate over the right of self-defence under international law. Some academics, including Anthony D'Amato and [Alan Dershowitz](link…
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the White House in early March, 2012. EPA/Martin H Simon

On Iran, Obama shows he loves Israel a little too much

A key facet of America’s extended, depressing election campaigns is that every serious presidential candidate has to prove their fanatical, unswerving devotion to the Israeli government. As part of this…
Iran is constructing nuclear power stations; that much is clear. AAP

Could Iran be building nuclear weapons? A scientific perspective

There is much concern that Iran is in the process of developing nuclear weapons. Such a development, we’re told, could induce Israel to launch a unilateral military strike with all types of unpredictable…
Partial boycotts don’t work; it’s too easy to secure new buyers and sellers. AAP

Half-hearted Iran embargo won’t push up oil prices

The European Union (EU) voted last week to ban oil imports from Iran. The EU will immediately ban the signing of any new oil contracts with Iran, while the existing ones will be fulfilled up to 1 July…
The aftermath of a bombing in Tehran that killed a nuclear scientist. EPA/STR

Are we stumbling towards war with Iran?

Relations between Iran and the United States and its ally Israel have descended into the worst crisis in years. Concern is growing that the situation could quickly degenerate into conflict. The origins…
A proposed EU oil embargo may push Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad closer to China and Venezuela. AAP

An EU oil embargo is unlikely to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions

Last week the European Union indicated that it is likely to enact an oil embargo on Iran. The move is aimed at damaging Iran’s crucial oil export business enough so the country’s regime curtails its nuclear…
Iranian protestors storm the UK embassy in Tehran this week. AAP/Taberkenareh

The long history of Iranian distrust of the West

Iran’s relations with the West have been difficult for years. The growing international condemnation of Iran for its less-than-transparent nuclear program, based on a report by the International Atomic…

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