Authoritarian Survival: Iran's Republic of Repression

In 2019, the Islamic Republic of Iran marked its fortieth anniversary in power. It proudly staged ceremonies to commemorate this milestone, but before the year was out it would face widespread, bitter protests of a sort that have become familiar, denying its legitimacy and demanding an end to undemocratic rule by Shia Muslim clerics. The early months of 2020 brought the regime more high-profile troubles. These included the accidental shootdown of a civilian airliner and now encompass Iranian society's suffering as part of the covid-19 pandemic—a suffering that has grown worse even as top officials have refused to acknowledge the true extent and severity of what the disease has wrought for the people of Iran. ...

The story of Iran, a murdered hacker and me

His tone was frantic. He was scared and paranoid, deleting his WhatsApp messages as soon as I had read them. Masoud Molavi Vardanjani wanted to speak to someone “in Washington”. I was cautious, too. I am just a journalist, I insisted. Who would I know “in Washington”? And how can I even be sure it’s you, I asked, and not some Iranian regime operative up to some trickery? ...

Iran: decades of unsustainable water use has dried up lakes and caused environmental destruction

Salt storms are an emerging threat for millions of people in north-western Iran, thanks to the catastrophe of Lake Urmia. Once one of the world’s largest salt lakes, and still the country’s largest lake, Urmia is now barely a tenth of its former size. ...

MI6, the coup in Iran that changed the Middle East, and the cover-up

The hidden role of a British secret service officer who led the coup that permanently altered the Middle East is to be revealed for the first time since an Observer news story was suppressed in 1985. ...

To Secure His Legacy, Khamenei Is Packing Iran’s Government With Young Radicals

The supreme leader’s youth-washing strategy could keep detente with the United States off the table for years. In just under a year, Iran will elect a new president. Coming after the U.S. election this November, there is some hope that the occasion could usher in improved U.S.-Iranian relations. Yet, given the way Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has been narrowing the field of candidates, that seems unlikely. ...

Interview with Parviz Mokhtari USRHR member International Committee- Germany

I was raised in a politically active family. My father worked for Iranian railways and at night for “Eteelaat” newspaper. We almost always had daily and weekly journals in our house. ...

Interview with Hajir Attari, USRHR Media committee – Sweden

Thank you for your invitation. My name is Hajir Attari born in 1982, graduated from Industrial Engineering, Systems Analysis Dept. from Azad University. ...

Interview with Mitra Aliabouzar, USRHR Women’s Committee – Michigan, USA

My name is Mitra Aliabouzar. I was a member of the Islamic Student Association at Tehran Polytechnic (AUT) and Sharif University of Technology (SUT). I was arrested three times after the disputed presidential election in 2009. I left Iran in 2013 and joined the George Washington University (GWU) for a Ph.D. program. I received my doctoral degree in mechanical engineering in 2018 and right now I am a postdoc fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UMICH). ...

We immigrants owe a great debt to the African American struggle for equality

A few days after I arrived as a refugee in America in 1985, when I was 18, relatives already living here came to take me sightseeing. My mother and I had resettled in New York, and naturally my relatives wanted to show me the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Instead, I wanted to see Harlem. ...

Why Iranians, rattled by suicides, point a finger at leaders

The powerful images of hopelessness came one after another, creating mounting waves of shock for Iranians who may have thought themselves inured to tales of desperation, destitution, and political angst. ...