After listening to Narges Bajoghli speak, you might just reconsider your preconceived notions about Iran. She’s a post-doctoral research associate in international affairs at the Watson Institute at Brown University, and recently received her PhD socio-cultural anthropology from New York University. Her research focuses on pro-regime cultural producers in Iran, and is based on fieldwork conducted with Basij, Ansar-e Hezbollah, and Revolutionary Guard media producers in Iran, from 2009 to 2015. Narges is also the co-founder of the non-profit organization Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), and she’s been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, and NPR, among many others. Narges and I talked about the Iran-Iraq war playing a key role in contemporary Iranian politics; the biggest misconceptions about the IRGC and Basij; the relationship between Iran’s government and people; survivors of chemical warfare in Iran; and how a 24-year old 2Pac song speaks to a lot of what’s going on in America today. She tweets at @nargesbajoghli
July 28th, 2016
July 22nd, 2016
July 14th, 2016
You won't find a better Egypt analyst in the business than Tim Kaldas. He's a fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East policy in Cairo, a visiting professor at Nile University in Cairo, and a professional wedding photographer that you should hire for all of your matrimonial needs. Tim's research focuses on transitional politics in Egypt, regime survival strategies, U.S.-Egypt relations, and much more. His commentary and analysis has been featured on CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and many other media outlets. Tim and I talked about what caused the Egyptian uprisings in 2011, what's happened since then, what potentially lies ahead, the many ways in which regional security is a total mess, and how a late-90's rock and roll song sheds light on the problems in present-day Egypt.
July 5th, 2016
June 8th, 2016
Shervin Malekzadeh is one of the most thoughtful guys writing about Iran-related issues today. He’s a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Middle East Center. Prior to that, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Political Science at Swarthmore College. He received his PhD in Government from Georgetown University, and his research focuses on the politics of schooling, culture and identity in post-revolutionary Iran. Shervin and I talked about the interplay between state and society in Iran, his fieldwork in Iran during the past three elections, and female lead singers in rock bands.
May 5th, 2016
When it comes to sanctions law, Erich Ferrari is one of the best in the business. From DC to Dubai and everywhere in between, he helps his clients appeal U.S. government decisions to freeze their assets and cut them off from America’s financial system. He is also a man of the people, sharing his expertise with Iranian Americans across the U.S. in an effort to help them make informed decisions. Erich talks with Reza about sanctions after the nuclear deal, pros and cons of sanctions as a foreign policy tool, and his top five emcees in hip hop.
September 20th, 2012
We had the wonderful opportunity to interview the hosts behind Iranican, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization based in the Silicon Valley whose mission is to explore issues affecting “Generation Iranian-American". This is done via radio and video interviews and shows as well as via an online blog. The Iranican team uses entertainment in order to educate and discuss communal issues.
September 6th, 2012
In this episode, we chat with Ronny Edry, an Israeli graphic designer, teacher, father, husband, and, most recently, known world-wide as the founder of the “Israel Loves Iran” campaign which later grew to become the “We Love You” community. The “We Love You” movement began on March 14 of this year when Ronny uploaded a poster of him and his daughter holding an Israeli flag. The poster said: “Iranians, we will never bomb your country. We love you.” Attached to the poster was also a letter that Ronny penned to the people of Iran. In it, he expressed his desire to prevent war and better understand his Iranian counterparts. Within hours, the poster and letter became viral and return messages started pouring in from Iran. The “We Love You” movement now has a loyal following all over 63 countries and its presence on the web and on Facebook is growing daily, with millions having viewed its videos and heard its message.
August 22nd, 2012
Last week, NIAC worked closely with Congressman Dennis Kucinich and 13 of his colleagues to advance a letter urging President Obama to suspend sanctions that prevent aid organizations from working in Iran and prevent Americans from sending charitable donations to earthquake victims -- a step that was taken in 2003 when an earthquake struck the Iranian city Bam. Yesterday (August 21), we have the extraordinary opportunity to talk with Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) after the Obama Administration announced a general license effectively suspending sanctions to allow humanitarian relief for 45 days.
August 9th, 2012
We speak with Jewish-American filmmaker Justine Shapiro. Justine is the former host of the travel series GlobeTrekker and was nominated for an Oscar for her documentary called “Promises,” which gave us a look into the lives of Palestinian and Israeli children in and around Jerusalem. Justine's newest documentary, "Our Summer in Tehran" shows us the seldom seen realm of middle class family life in Iran. In the film, Justine and her 6-year-old son Mateo go to Tehran to spend the summer with 3 families: a religious family with ties to the government; a cosmopolitan, secular family; and a single mom who is an actress.