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Concepts & Thoughts

The Meaning of Halabja

by Reza Akhlaghi A new article from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on the 25th anniversary of the chemical bombing of Halabja by Saddam’s forces draws attention to the failure of the international community in acknowledging it at…
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The Bahá’ís in Iran Are Systematically Abused

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs by Reza Akhlaghi On Wednesday, January 2, the U.S. House of Representatives, in a unanimous resolution, condemned the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its systematic…
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KAFKANISTAN: Ventureing into Unknown Places

 by Reza Akhlaghi In the spring of 2006, Austrian Lukas Birk, under the alias “Smiley Wallah” ventured into Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran as a tourist—a dangerous endeavor the average person would never dream of doing. In his travels,…
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In Memoriam: Anthony Shadid

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs by Reza Akhlaghi On behalf of Foreign Policy Association Blogs, I am writing to extend our heart-felt condolences on the passing of Anthony Shadid, a true Middle East expert and a…
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Year in Review—Middle East

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs by Reza Akhlaghi Irrespective of one’s ideological affiliations, 2011 was an inconvenient year for the Middle East, to put it mildly. The speed at which Arab Spring brought about…
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A Close Encounter in the Sunni-Shiite Divide

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs by Reza Akhlaghi With the ensuing brouhaha over the alleged assassination plot by the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington, the spectrum of views—from…
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Look Who’s Calling the Shots?!

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs by Reza Akhlaghi As a new generation of Arabs in the Middle East continues to jolt the region into a new, tumultuous, and yet-to-be-defined era, Iran’s internal politics is…
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A Quest for Democracy in Iran

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs  by Reza Akhlaghi On Sunday, February 20, 2011 Iranians will take to the streets to hold anti-government demonstrations to commemorate the death of two protesters killed during an…
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Iran: Under an Emerging New State Ideology

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs by Reza Akhlaghi The post-election turmoil in Iran and the enormity of the threat it posed to the regime’s stability forced the Iranian government–under a new and still emerging…
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Strife in Iran’s Domestic Politics

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs by Reza Akhlaghi Disappointment over the Islamic Republic’s intransigence in its nuclear policy has given further credence to Western suspicions that Iran may be buying time to…
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The Green Movement and a Traumatized Generation

Originally published in Foreign Policy Association Blogs by Reza Akhlaghi Under the thick smoke billowing from toppled and burnt motor cycles used by the militia forces in the tumultuous streets of Iran lies a strong narrative: a…
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Iran: A Geopolitical Conundrum

This article was originally published in the Global Brief magazine by Reza Akhlaghi Political tugs of war, tireless lobbying efforts, a barrage of op-ed pieces vying for public opinion support, not to mention fear-mongering by various…
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The Coup against Mazdakite

Originally published in Tehran Bureau Uprising in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh and the Quest for Social Justice in today's Iran. by Reza Akhlaghi The influence of clergy over Iranian society is not limited to today's Islamic Republic -- far from…
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