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Ali Safavi
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Ali Safavi is a member of Iran's Parliament in Exile, National Council of Resistance of Iran, and President of the Near East Policy Research (NEPR), a consulting and policy analysis firm in Washington, DC, www.neareastpolicy.com.

A sociologist by career, Safavi studied and taught at UCLA, California State University Los Angeles and University of Michigan from 1972 until 1981.

An activist during the anti-Shah student movement in the 1970s in the US, Safavi has been involved in Iranian affairs since then and has lectured and written extensively on issues related to Iran, Iraq, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and the political process in the Middle East.

Safavi was involved in the successful legal campaign to remove the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), from the lists of terrorist groups in the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States.

A dozen of his articles have been published in various books and periodicals. Some of them include “Who is Khatami?,” “Beware of Misnomers in Iran,” “Iran’s Foreign Policy Under the Clerical Regime,” and “Soccer Diplomacy,” and "Missing the Mark on Iran."

Safavi has worked on translating and editing several books, including “Enemies of the Ayatollahs (Zed Books, 2003)”, “Crime Against Humanity (2000),” “Misogyny in Power (1998)”, Democracy Betrayed (1995), “Women, Islam and Fundamentalism (1995) and “Islamic Fundamentalism: The New Global Threat, (Seven Locks Press, 1993).”

He has appeared on many television and radio interviews, including CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, CBC, The BBC, Sky TV, Al-Arabiya, Al-Jazeera, France's Antenne 2, France-24, ITN, BBC radio, Voice of America, Deutche Welle, and ORF of Austria.

Safavi's articles have been published in major media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, The Botosn Herald, The Washington Times, The McClatchy Newspapers, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herlad, San Fransisco Chronicle, Orange County Register and The Daily Telegraph, among others.

Safavi's older brother, Hossein, a US-educated aerospace engineer from Northrop University in California, was executed by the current Iranian regime in 1981 for his opposition to their repressive policies.

He could be reached at alisafavi@neareastpolicy.com or via Twitter @amsafavi

Entries by Ali Safavi

Enabling the Persian Spring

(56) Comments | Posted June 7, 2011 | 6:18 PM

In his speech last month about the seismic shifts unfolding in the Middle East, President Obama referred to the "shouts of human dignity... being heard across the region" and said, "The question before us is what role America will play as this story unfolds."

The ousting of several dictators in...

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Time to Act on Iran Regime

(168) Comments | Posted March 9, 2011 | 12:54 PM

For the past three weeks, tens of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in Iran once again, demanding democracy and an end to the regime. Popular protests continue to haunt the fundamentalist rulers at a critical time in the region's history. But without offering support to the Iranian...

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Reality Check: The MEK and the Guardian's Credibility Gap

(8) Comments | Posted February 2, 2011 | 7:50 PM

An article published on January 9, by The Guardian on the principal Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), by Matthew Partridge, a graduate student and freelance journalist, is jam-packed with first-grade logical blunders, permeated with The Guardian's embarrassingly lopsided journalism on the issue, and topped with dubious...

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The West's Monologue With Tehran

(69) Comments | Posted December 31, 2010 | 12:28 PM

As western powers and the Iranian regime plan for more talks in January, policymakers in Washington are left to deliberate on what exactly the White House's engagement strategy is supposed to accomplish. Both engagement and the non-comprehensive sanctions, of course, have thus far failed vis-à-vis the Iranian nuclear program. Time...

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WikiLeaks Disclosures and the Historic Opportunity on Iran

(61) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 2:16 PM

Thousands of classified documents were released last week by WikiLeaks about developments in Iraq since 2003. But they don't just underscore serious shortcomings in Iraq, they also amplify the urgency to revisit the US policy on Iran. This is made chillingly clear when a glance at the nearly 400,000 military...

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Marzieh, Iran's Musical Icon, Passes Away

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2010 | 3:08 PM

Marzieh, Iran's most celebrated 20th century female singer, who later in her distinguished career gave voice to millions of disenchanted Iranians yearning to be free of clerical dictatorship, died on Wednesday in Paris. She was 86.

The renowned Iranian diva's captivating voice and charisma had brought her extraordinary fame and...

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Listen to Iranian Voices of Dissent

(108) Comments | Posted September 28, 2010 | 5:37 PM

Before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad echoed the repulsive views of the Iranian theocracy at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, thousands of Iranian Resistance supporters, who had come to New York from 40 states across the US, echoed the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people by protesting opposite the UN headquarters....

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Reality Check: Who Are the Factual Journalists?

(10) Comments | Posted July 20, 2010 | 3:46 PM

In "Who are the Terrorists," Kenneth Timmerman rehashes absurd tabloid allegations against the main Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), in response to the majority of the US Congress calling for the protection of 3,500 of the group's members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq.

The residents of Ashraf,...

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Biased Journalism in The Guardian

(18) Comments | Posted June 15, 2010 | 8:19 AM


On June 7, the British daily The Guardian published a piece about the massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran in the late 1980s. Little did the author know that Guardian editors had taken it upon themselves to conveniently change some of the wording in the article,...

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Iran Crisis Needs a Firm Response

(18) Comments | Posted May 11, 2010 | 3:58 PM

In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler spouted his "love for peace" in a series of speeches as the Nazis masterfully concealed their real ambitions to wage war. In public, Hitler became all but a peace activist, while in private, the German dictator spent more on Germany's rearmament program than unemployment relief....

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Reality Check: Understanding the Mujahedin-e Khalq

(19) Comments | Posted April 22, 2010 | 5:43 PM

Aside from the clearly false allegations against the MEK, which have been addressed in previous posts, some of the MEK's activities inside Iran prior to 2001 have been cited by the US Department of State and others as providing ostensible justification for the terrorist label against the organization. The MEK's...

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Reality Check: Mujahedin-e Khalq, Kurds and Shiites in Iraq

(25) Comments | Posted April 6, 2010 | 9:28 AM

One of the unsubstantiated allegations against the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) is that it was involved in the suppression of Iraqi Kurds and Shiites in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The source of this allegation, which later found its way into a 1994 Department of State report on...

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Reality Check: Understanding the Politics Behind the MEK's Terrorist Designation

(45) Comments | Posted March 31, 2010 | 5:00 PM

The Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) has figured prominently in policy equations between Tehran and Washington since at least 1985. As recently as June 2007, in talks with the United States over Iraq's security, the Iranian regime's ambassador to Baghdad pressed the issue of the MEK and the presence of some 3,400...

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Iran: People's Vitality, Regime's Paleness

(24) Comments | Posted March 25, 2010 | 12:37 PM

On Tuesday, March 16, Iran was once again the scene of boisterous anti-regime protests nationwide, this time in celebration of an ancient occasion, Chaharshanbeh Souri (Festival of Fire). Despite a flurry of threats and a hodgepodge of suppressive measures arranged by flustered authorities, Iranians, led by youths, came out in...

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Iran's Uprising Prospects After February 11: Escalation or Decline?

(10) Comments | Posted March 15, 2010 | 7:45 AM

On the eve of Chaharchanbeh Souri (Festival of Fire), on the last Tuesday of the Iranian year, which is another occasion for the Iranian people to vent their anger at the regime and express the yearning for change, a review of what happened on the anniversary of the anti-Monarchic revolution...

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Reality Check: Understanding the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK)

(180) Comments | Posted March 2, 2010 | 3:13 PM

The Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) was founded in 1965 by three Muslim university graduates and sought to replace the Shah's dictatorship with a representative government that respects human rights. But after the 1979 revolution, it fell victim to the new dictatorship's onslaught. So far, it has lost tens of thousands of...

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Refocusing Washington's Policy Lens on Iran

(77) Comments | Posted February 10, 2010 | 2:06 PM

On a chilly October day in 1981, after returning home from the University of Michigan campus, I answered a phone call. On the other side of the line was my step mother from Iran. She rarely called those days because of the reign of terror imposed by the regime some...

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