Category: Iran

Crisis in Syria

July 19, 2012

As the United Nations Security Council prepares to vote on a new resolution aimed at curbing the violence in Syria, the White House is stating that President Bashar Assad is losing control of the county. Rob Sobhani joined FOX DC in studio with his take on the situation.











View Rob’s interview on FOX DC here

Iran targets an American ally: Azerbaijan

July 17, 2012

News that the Iranian regime wanted to kill America’s ambassador to Azerbaijan in 2011 should not have come as a surprise to members of the U.S. Congress who have followed Tehran’s repeated attempts to undermine one of America’s most reliable allies in the broader Middle East. After spending a week in Baku, the vibrant capital of Azerbaijan, it has become very clear that the Iranian regime wants to overthrow this pro-western former Soviet republic on its northern border.

Tehran misses no opportunity to destabilize Azerbaijan. The pretext the week I visited Baku was that Azerbaijan was hosting Eurovision, the annual “American Idol” contest of Europe. That a Muslim nation would host singers, dancers, and tourists from all across Europe with open arms, irrespective of how they were dressed or their sexual orientation, is anathema to the intolerant mullahs of Iran. Beyond this superficial condemnation, there are more fundamental reasons for Iran to target this reliable American partner. Continue reading “Iran targets an American ally: Azerbaijan” »

American Foreign Policy Must Take Into Account Dueling Irans

July 3, 2012

As the world grapples with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, discussions abound in think tanks and capitals around the world concerning a key question: what makes Iran tick? The real question should be: which Iran?

The Iran of the government of the Islamic Republic, a serial human rights abuser that executes more people per capita than anywhere else in the world, undermines Iran’s enormous economic potential with corruption, mismanagement, and needless diplomatic spats, and sends money and weapons to Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad’s goons killing the Syrian opposition?

Or the Iran of a young, dynamic populace hungry for democracy, dignity, and jobs, a population that, as Nicholas Kristof has reported recently in the New York Times, harbors little antipathy toward the United States and wants the same freedoms we all want, who are heirs to one of the world’s greatest civilizations that has produced some of the finest thinkers, artists, scientists – and even political leaders — the world has known? Continue reading “American Foreign Policy Must Take Into Account Dueling Irans” »

Iran’s Crisis Amid Plenty

March 14, 2012

The gap between the Iranian regime and the Iranian people continues to widen. Well-crafted words of hope and encouragement from Western leaders can help widen this gap and make it permanent. Below is a suggested draft for President Obama as he prepares his greeting to Iran on Nowruz (New Year), which falls on March 20.

Tonight as millions of Iranians gather around the Haft Sin table to celebrate Nowruz, on behalf of the American people I want to say Eid-e-shoma Mobarak—happy spring. Nowruz is about renewing bonds of friendship, doing away with the old and bringing in the new. The …

Read Full Article in The Wall Street Journal here

Obama’s Iran Moment

February 16, 2012


President Obama’s recent executive order freezing the assets of Iran’s clerical regime is another step in the right direction, bringing immediate pressure on Tehran. But a more significant move and quite possibly a game-changer would be an executive order, with close congressional consultation, to commit material and policy support for the aspirations of the Iranian people. According to former intelligence officials, the psychological boost of such an act alone by the president will cause a paradigm shift within the Iranian political world.

The fundamental premise of such an order would be to correct the failure of successive administrations to counter the Iranian regime’s covert and overt policy of low-intensity war with America. Continue reading “Obama’s Iran Moment” »

Iran’s Crisis Amid Plenty

July 17, 2011


In the 2011 Spring issue of Harvard International Review an article I co-wrote with Dr. Fariborz Ghadar makes the case that since the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the country’s economic position vis a vis its neighbors has deteriorated. For example, whereas in 1974 Iran’s per capita income was 50% higher than Turkey’s, today Turks enjoy a per capita income double that of Iranians.  Qatar, Iran’s neighbor to the south is today the leading exporter of LNG whereas Iran should have captured the natural gas markets of Europe and Asia since it started the implementation of a global export strategy in 1976. Continue reading “Iran’s Crisis Amid Plenty” »

Flashback: Baha’is on Trial

July 9, 2011


Another round of scape -goating of Iran’s Baha’is by the theocratic regime started last week with a show trial of the seven men and women that make up the ad hoc coordinating body of the Iranian Baha’is – the country’s largest religious minority. Charged with stirring up all the unrest sweeping the country today, Iran’s 300,000 Baha’is find themselves in serious jeopardy.

As President Obama tries to tackle the troubling issue of America’s relations with Iran, he should keep the prayer for America that has been officially enshrined in Baha’i prayer books as his moral compass:

Oh, God, let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees and render this just government victorious. Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. Oh, God, this American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy.”

The prayer itself was delivered in Chicago on April 30, 1912, by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith, Baha’u’llah, who was visiting the United States at the behest of the nascent Baha’i community in America. Since then, the Baha’i community has been able to flourish in America because of the protections granted by our Constitution. Continue reading “Flashback: Baha’is on Trial” »

Israel’s Iran Dilemma

May 23, 2011


When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses members of Congress on Tuesday, he will get a rousing reception and – no doubt – a standing ovation if he suggests a military strike on Iran to destroy that country’s nuclear weapons facilities. Mr. Netanyahu rightly will point out that Iran is the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism, a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah and a threat to the Jewish state.

Members of Congress would be well-advised to take stock of the history between Iran and the Jewish state before giving the Israeli prime minister a green light to attack Iran. This 2,500-year-old history suggests that the character of the regime in Tehran has had the most immediate influence on Israeli-Iranian relations: Secularists have welcomed ties to the Jewish state, whereas Islamists have opposed cultivation of closer ties to Israel. Continue reading “Israel’s Iran Dilemma” »