12182017Mon

By Hamid Yazdan Panah

May 9 marks the seventh anniversary of the execution of Kurdish activist and teacher Farzad Kamangar inside Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. Kamangar was accused of being a member of the Kurdish opposition group PJAK and was sentenced to death following a brief trial which lacked due process.

Ethnic Kurds face systematic discrimination and repression in Iran, and continue to struggle for their own rights and autonomy. Kamangar’s activism centered not only on his identity as a Kurd but as an Iranian who resisted the theocratic regime and fought for the rights of his people and community.

By Hamid Yazdan Panah

On October 30th, 2012, Sattar Beheshti was arrested by the Iranian cyber police. His crime alleged crime was posting his political opinions on social media, which included a harsh rebuke of the regime in Iran. Beheshti would never see home again. Prison authorities would contact his family on November 6th and asking them to collect his body. Four years after his death, Beheshti has come to embody the spirit of resistance in Iran, in an ongoing struggle against censorship and governmental repression.

By Hamid Yazdan Panah

Iran is a hot commodity. Whether it is being sold as a misunderstood land of mystery, or eyed as a potential business or investment opportunity, it is difficult to find a narrative which does not reduce the country to a means to a particular end. Historically, this included the vilification of Iran as an anti-western wasteland, divorced from historical context, geopolitical significance and diversity.

By Hamid Yazdan Panah

Each year the Iranian resistance holds a massive convention in Paris calling for democratic change in Iran. The event draws tens of thousands of participants, more than a hundred elected officials and dignitaries from various countries, and brings together a multitude of political groups and factions. This year things felt a little different, as the event not only garnered significant attention worldwide, but also reflected the steady and deliberate pace at which the Iranian resistance continues to sustain its movement.

By Hamid Yazdan Panah

Recent reports have shed light on the tactics used by the Obama administration to sell the Iran deal to the American public.  Ploughshares, a group identified by the White House as a key partner in selling the Iran deal to the public has recently been found to have provided funding to specific reporters and media outlets. The revelation calls into question the ethics of the administration, and raises serious questions as to the integrity of certain non-governmental organizations and media outlets. Putting aside the nuclear deal with Iran, the Ploughshares controversy uncovers a deeper issue with respect to the treatment of the Iranian opposition by those involved in the “echo chamber.”

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