“We are All Afghans” in Iran

by Jeffry R. Halverson The Arab Spring showed the world how social media can help organize mass political dissent. In the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, single issues coalesced online into far broader and diverse campaigns that toppled ruling regimes. Recently, outside of the Arab world, discriminatory government policies  in Iran against Afghans have come to light. Decried by critics as overt state-backed racism, it is a scandalous hot-button issue that the rulers of the […] Read more »

The Iranian Narrative Landscape Stirs

by Jeffry R. Halverson Recently, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been abuzz over the release of a video entitled “The Coming is Very Near,” a 28-minute production created by a group of Twelver Shi‘a devotees of the Hidden Imam al-Mahdi, known as the Harbingers of the Coming (perhaps associated with the Hojjatieh Society). It is believed that President Ahmadinejad’s chief-of-staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei is a member of the group. A report released by the […] Read more »

The Iranian Letter to President Bush: Analysis and Recommendations

by Bud Goodall, Linell Cady, Steven R. Corman, Kelly McDonald, Mark Woodward, & Carolyn Forbes On May 9, 2006, world media outlets released news of a letter written by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to U.S. President George W. Bush. The letter was the first official communiqué from the Iranian government to the U.S. since the two countries broke diplomatic ties in 1979. The letter was dismissed by U.S. spokespersons as a “rambling” narrative or as […] Read more »