Chroniques de la décadence

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, The Death of the Ayatollah-Maker

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By S. Hesam Houryaband, The death of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the beginning days of January 2017 marks a political turning point in Iran, the ramifications of which are yet to be felt nationally and internationally.  But one thing is clear: Rafsanjani’s death provides another massive political opportunity for Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to finally consolidate total political power in the country. Ironically, although it was Rafsanjani’s political manoeuvring and masterminding efforts which paved the way for Khamenei to become Supreme Leader after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini,…read more

The Persian Gulf Arab States and the Regional Refugee Crisis

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By S. Hesam Houryaband. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees have flooded the gates of Europe, escaping the worsening humanitarian crisis engulfing Syria and Iraq. Millions of Syrians and Iraqis have been hard hit by the civil war in Syria and Iraq, as well as the threat posed by ISIS. To date, according to UNHCR, approximately 5 million Syrians have left the country seeking refuge in neighboring states, or making their way to Europe. Faced with the impending waves of refugees, several European nations have felt…read more

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Looks Like You Sold Your Soul To The Devil!

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By S. Hesam Houryaband. On April 28th, 2015 in an interview with Charlie Rose, Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, discussed the human rights situation in Iran and much to my astonishment and millions of others, he bluntly stated that, “We do not jail people for their opinions.” And as if that statement wasn’t enough, Mr. Zarif went on to say, “And I believe it is important for everybody to respect the rule of law and to allow the political process, the judicial process in Iran to run its course.”…read more

The Middle East regional « Cold War », what next? An interview with S. Hesam Houryaband.

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*Cover picture: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz. Interview by Philippe Labrecque. S. Hesam Houryaband has an extensive background in international, political, and diplomatic affairs with experience working for the Iranian Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Mission of Iran to the UN, and Embassy of Iran to France. S. Hesam holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and Diplomacy. Philippe Labrecque: What are the origins of the current regional “Cold War” between Iran and the Gulf Monarchies, especially Saudi Arabia? S. Hesam Houryaband : The current rivalries between Iran and the other Persian Gulf monarchies,…read more

Middle East: What sort of coverage do we get?

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To read the entire article, please visit The Beacon Reader, where it was posted initially. “Put simply, American journalists are interested in only two topics in the Middle East: Israel and the United States.” – Daniel Pipes, 1984. The most recent Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the rise of the Islamic State, the Civil War in Syria, the Arab Spring and its ensuing upheaval, not forgetting the decade-long Iraq war, have steadily kept the Middle East in the news in recent years. While we grow increasingly critical of our respective national media landscapes,…read more

Syria: popular revolution or manipulation from abroad?

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By Philippe Labrecque Published on March 11, 2012 by The New Political Centre In an article published by The Spectator, journalist Rod Liddle asks an important question: what is the actual proportion of Syrians that support the uprising? It is a query which seems to have been largely ignored by the discourse over Syria and the measures that the international community should take against the Syrian government. Rebellion? As Liddle points out, it is difficult to imagine the Christians or the Alawites backing the so-called Free Syrian Army against Bashir…read more