Political Capital

Kambiz Foroohar


A blindfolded U.S. hostage is paraded by his captors at the U.S. Embassy on Nov. 8, 1979 in Tehran, Iran.

Photograph by AFP via Getty Images

A blindfolded U.S. hostage is paraded by his captors at the U.S. Embassy on Nov. 8, 1979 in Tehran, Iran.

Iranian Hardliners: Remember U.S. Embassy

A European Parliament resolution yesterday which expressed “grave concerns” over violation of human rights in Iran has provoked angry response from Iranian officials. The EU resolution drew attention to Iran’s lack of cooperation with United Nations human rights bodies, including...

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a joint press conference  on March 9, 2014 in Tehran.

Photograph by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a joint press conference on March 9, 2014 in Tehran.

Zarif’s Facebook Fame Proves Fickle

Iran’s poetry-quoting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is finding that Facebook friends can be fickle. Last year, Zarif, who has 858,000 fans, was lauded for his Facebook diplomacy, sharing his insights and even itinerary of his overseas online as nuclear...

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Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, waves to the audience before giving a speech at a public gathering in the city of Mashhad, Iran, on March 21, 2014.

Photograph by Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/AP Photo

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, waves to the audience before giving a speech at a public gathering in the city of Mashhad, Iran, on March 21, 2014.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Questions Holocaust — Again

With nuclear talks between Iran and world leaders progressing, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei focused on cultural wars to come in his Nowrouz speech at the city of Mashad. Last year, Khamenei, who said he doubted if nuclear talks could...

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Iranians follow news from the newspapers outside a newsstand.

Photograph by Behrouz Medri/AFP via Getty Images

Iranians follow news from the newspapers outside a newsstand.

Iranian Censorship Act of Kindness: Javan

In a move that George Orwell might appreciate, a hardline Iranian newspaper said it erased a woman from a photograph of European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton for her own good. Yesterday, Javan, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary...

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EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, coordinator of nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers, during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on March 9, 2014 in Tehran.

Photograph by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, coordinator of nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers, during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on March 9, 2014 in Tehran.

Iran’s Secret Weapon: Photoshop

Iran’s secret weapon against dissidents? Photoshop. Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, caused a storm during her visit to Iran after she met with six women activists and Gohar Esghi, the mother of blogger Sattar Beheshti, who was...

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, speaks to his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski during a press conference in Tehran, on March 1, 2014.

Photograph by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, speaks to his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski during a press conference in Tehran, on March 1, 2014.

Polish Foreign Minister Tweets Iran for Censorship of Remarks

When he found out that his criticism of Iranian censorship was censored, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski took to Twitter and YouTube to make sure his message was not lost. Speaking at a joint press conference in Tehran with Iran’s...

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Mohammad Khatami, former president of the Iran, left, and John Kerry during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Photograph by Suzanne Plunkett/Bloomberg

Mohammad Khatami, former president of the Iran, left, and John Kerry during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Iranian Leader Asks Eavesdroppers: Please Don’t Misquote Us

Is Iran becoming an Orwellian state under the watchful gaze of a Big Brother? Yesterday, former President Mohammad Khatami warned that state monitoring of citizens and electronic surveillance had become so prevalent that everyone assumes their conversations are being overheard....

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Iranian lawmaker Ali Motahari, leaves the podium after delivering a speech on proposed ministers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at the parliament, in Tehran, Iran.

Photograph by Vahid Salemi/AP Photo

Iranian lawmaker Ali Motahari, leaves the podium after delivering a speech on proposed ministers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at the parliament, in Tehran, Iran.

Spy vs. Lawmaker: Iranian Bugging

In America, members of Congress are investigating the nation’s electronic spying agency. In Iran, it’s the other way around. Iranian lawmakers are monitored by their own Intelligence Ministry, which is even listening in on the mobile phone conversations of the...

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An Iranian man looks at a Facebook page bearing portraits of Argentinian football star Lionel Messi and Brazilian model Fernanda Lima, a presenter at the World Cup draw, at his office in Tehean on Dec. 9, 2013.

Photograph by Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images

An Iranian man looks at a Facebook page bearing portraits of Argentinian football star Lionel Messi and Brazilian model Fernanda Lima, a presenter at the World Cup draw, at his office in Tehean on Dec. 9, 2013.

Facebook Tehran-Style: Never Saying You’re Sorry to the French

Last month, after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius put the brakes on a nuclear deal among Iran and world powers in Geneva, many Iranians vented their anger online, leaving both humorous and abusive comments on his Facebook page. Iranian state...

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