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Hooman Majd

Entries by Hooman Majd

Do We Need Sanctions Against Iran? Two Opposing Views

(40) Comments | Posted December 9, 2010 | 4:38 PM

We need sanctions against Iran
Meir Javedanfar

Winston Churchill once described Russia as "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." No one yet has come up with an analogy to describe the difficulty of understanding and dealing with Iran.

With its thousands of years of history and...

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Iran Mania

(114) Comments | Posted September 28, 2009 | 4:57 PM

Iran is once again back, with a vengeance befitting the summer behavior of its Basij and after a brief post-post-election respite, in Western headlines. And as is customary, Iran experts and analysts and watchers are falling over themselves to explain this frustratingly un-explainable nation and its intentions to the masses....

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Another Friedman Special

(65) Comments | Posted April 15, 2009 | 12:38 PM

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman rarely disappoints when it comes to inane, or even spurious arguments and ideas, but in his latest column, he demonstrates such a lack of understanding of not just diplomacy, his subject of the day, but also of how the world has changed (beyond...

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What Gulf?

(185) Comments | Posted February 25, 2009 | 4:28 PM

The United States, which under President Obama has promised to engage Iran on the basis of mutual respect, and which under both presidents Bush and Obama has professed its admiration for the Iranian people and their culture (if not for their government), this week announced the appointment of Dennis...

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Master of Delusion

(137) Comments | Posted January 28, 2009 | 11:51 AM

With President Obama making Middle East peace a welcome top priority early in his presidency (and dispatching the highly respected George Mitchell to the region this week), analysts, "experts," and opinion-makers are falling over themselves to offer their two cents on what will work, and what won't. Tom Friedman, ever...

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Uh, No "Preconditions"?

(90) Comments | Posted January 26, 2009 | 3:50 PM

Susan Rice, President Obama's new Ambassador the United Nations and a member of the cabinet, today for the first time spoke publicly about the Iran nuclear issue. During the long campaign for the presidency, President Obama repeatedly vowed to begin negotiations, to talk to Iran (even as he backpedaled on...

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Misunderestimating Iran: Week 415

(49) Comments | Posted January 13, 2009 | 7:48 PM

The Bush White House and its State Department, in their final days and even as Hillary Clinton undergoes the confirmation process to become the next Secretary of State, continue to be oblivious to irony, or at least to the almost comical aspects of their records and official statements. On Sunday,...

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Dear Mahmoud

(90) Comments | Posted December 30, 2008 | 11:10 AM

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's congratulatory letter to President-elect Barack Obama, the first of its kind in the thirty-year history of the Islamic Republic, has so far gone unanswered. President-elect Obama has understandably been busy with filling cabinet and sub-cabinet posts, as well trying to figure out what on earth he's going...

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What if They Don't Want Carrots?

(141) Comments | Posted December 8, 2008 | 5:30 PM

On Sunday, President-elect Barack Obama once again waded into the treacherous waters of U.S.-Iran relations without the benefit of some understanding of who Iranians are, and how they might respond to a certain kind of language (employed in public). Language that may seem perfectly reasonable to us, but when heard...

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Ya Hussein!

(73) Comments | Posted November 4, 2008 | 9:50 PM

In February of 2007, when I was sitting with former President Khatami of Iran in his office in North Tehran, he asked me about Barack Obama, whom Iranians were hearing (and were very curious) about. "He could be the next president," I said, "but you know, his middle name is...

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Sleepy in Washington

(130) Comments | Posted October 29, 2008 | 11:10 AM

Occasionally, even an Op-Ed columnist of great repute gets something so wrong that his views literally beg for a rebuttal. Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times today about Iran, and about (President) Obama's potential to negotiate with our adversary from a position of strength, or with "leverage",...

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Madam (Vice) President

(67) Comments | Posted October 3, 2008 | 11:53 AM

The Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States has, in answering questions about Iran and its nuclear program in the past, emphatically said that we "shouldn't second-guess Israel's security efforts against Iran," which one supposes is in line with John McCain's response in his first debate with Barack...

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The Iran Factor

(56) Comments | Posted September 25, 2008 | 12:08 PM

This week at the United Nations, with President Ahmadinejad once again in New York to deliver an address to the General Assembly, the U.S. was hoping to gather the P5+1 ministers to discuss imposing further sanctions on Iran for its refusal to abide by previous Security Council resolutions demanding that...

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No Way to Conduct Foreign Policy

(172) Comments | Posted August 16, 2008 | 9:38 AM

"Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century."-----George W. Bush, 8/15/08, on Russia's military offensive into Georgia.

Indeed, Mr. Bush. Demanding that Iran forgo uranium enrichment, a right enshrined in the NPT to which it is a signatory, before diplomacy and negotiations...

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What Iran Means to Iraq

(22) Comments | Posted June 9, 2008 | 11:58 AM

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq is on a state visit to Iran (which began on Saturday evening), his third since he assumed office in 2005. He was, as is customary for Muslim heads of state (and prime ministers), granted an audience with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The photographs...

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The Persian Question

(173) Comments | Posted May 30, 2008 | 2:30 PM

As Iran once again becomes the centerpiece of the foreign policy debate between the two likely candidates for president, analysts and commentators continue to weigh in on the glaring difference between the positions of Senators Obama and McCain on how to tackle the Persian question. David Brooks, writing in...

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Beirut Is Burning

(119) Comments | Posted May 10, 2008 | 9:38 AM

If there were ever a perfect example of the Bush administration's utterly bankrupt, and provably impotent, foreign policy, it would have to be the State Department's reaction to events in Beirut over the last few days. The laughably weak U.S.-backed Lebanese government, in what can only be described as...

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The Gore Factor

(182) Comments | Posted May 2, 2008 | 6:05 PM

Let us assume for a moment that the Democratic convention commences in August without a presumptive nominee. (Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama appear likely to throw in the towel before the convention, no matter what happens on May 6, and it also seems increasingly likely that the candidates will...

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George's Rubaiyat

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2008 | 7:11 PM

AP: February 2, 2008: Putin fielded an array of questions touching on topics ranging from steps to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program to water levels in a particular Russian reservoir. Asked what he does to brighten up a bad mood, he said he talks to his dog,...

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Bomb, Bomb, Iran?

(84) Comments | Posted April 4, 2008 | 11:58 AM

While most Americans (and the writers on and visitors to this site, as well as most of the media) remained largely focused on the race for the democratic nomination (and the subject of race within that race), a little war within a war erupted last week in Iraq, and then...

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