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November 19, 2013
ATOMS FOR PEACE
Muhammad Sahimi
Western powers suspect that Iran is developing atomic weapons. But the controversy over the country’s nuclear program obscures the fact that Iran launched its pursuit of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes a quarter century before the Islamic revolution. It was the United States that helped Iran launch its nuclear quest.
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In 2003, Shirin Ebadi became the first Iranian and first Muslim woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. She has championed human rights in Iran for three decades, and was a founder of Iran’s women’s movement. Since the anti-freedom crackdown in 2009, she has traveled the globe to press the case for justice in the Islamic Republic. She speaks with journalist Nazila Fathi on Iran’s new president and the prospects for democracy in Iran.
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The deal for Iran to provide natural gas to Pakistan and India promised to bolster peace and prosperity in a volatile region. Instead, it became engulfed in a geopolitical struggle.
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Reflecting on democracy, the Iranian philosopher argues: “In a tyrannical system, the first organ that stops functioning is the judicial heart, and that when our heart is so feeble, having a strong and robust body is little more than a naïve and ridiculous dream.”
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Three decades of American hostility to Iran has resulted in a “satisfying purity of indignation” but little more. It is time for presidential leadership, starting with small and symbolic gestures, to prevent an armed conflict that will cause irreparable damage to both sides.
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Is U.S. Policy in Syria Changing?
Tunnel Vision
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STUMBLING TO TEHRAN
Danny Postel
Danny Postel follows the Leveretts to Tehran.
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