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OPINION
September 15, 1991
In 1917, the Russian Revolution resulted in the installation of a Bolshevik government in the Soviet Union. In 1979, the Iranian revolution resulted in the installation of a Muslim fundamentalist government in Iran. The two governments were alike in that they both held absolute power, suppressing dissent and minorities. In 1991, after 74 years, a counterrevolution of sorts occurred in the Soviet Union, throwing off the chains of Communist rule and ending a dark period in Russian history.
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WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
Nine months after taking office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani finds himself under pressure from both his reformist supporters and hard-line conservatives as efforts to spur political change and economic progress have stumbled. Rouhani has faced a backlash in recent weeks from the very base that helped get him elected, which now sees a lack of movement to bolster personal liberties or free political prisoners. Meanwhile, both reformists and hard-liners are increasingly frustrated over economic woes.
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OPINION
February 16, 2013
Re "On Iran, there's time," Opinion, Feb. 14 Ray Takeyh counsels the United States and its allies to apply patience as nuclear talks with Iran resume later this month. He contends that "time works best for the United States," while a "take it or leave it" approach will not. Unfortunately, patient negotiation has been tested time and again - not by the U.S. and its allies but by the International Atomic Energy Agency. For more than a decade the respected nuclear watchdog has attempted to get Tehran to divulge all of its nuclear activities.
WORLD
April 23, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Iran replaced its top prison administrator Wednesday after public protests alleging excessive violence against inmates at a prison that holds inmates detained for political crimes. The semiofficial Fars News Agency reported that Gholam Hosein Esmaeli was removed from his position as director of the nation's penal system and appointed as head of an appeals court  branch in Tehran. Esmaeli told local media that the change was a promotion and was in no way related to last week's disturbances at the capital's Evin Prison.
WORLD
July 8, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels
TEHRAN - Iran on Monday denounced the military coup that toppled Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, signaling a shift after days of guarded and cryptic commentary on the crisis. “The interference of military forces in the political scene is unacceptable and concerning,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said Monday , according to Iran's English-language Press TV. Iran has called for reinstatement of the democratically elected Morsi and said that elections, not “the streets,” should determine who is Egypt's leader - an indication that Tehran sees an Islamist government, however flawed, as its best hope for an ally in Cairo.
WORLD
May 29, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels
TEHRAN -- Iran hosted a peace conference on Syria on Wednesday titled "Political Solution, Regional Stability. " The Iranian news media dubbed the gathering in Tehran the "Friends of Syria Conference," a term used by a coalition of Western and Arab states that support the Syrian opposition forces fighting against forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. It came as Russian and U.S. officials are trying to organize a peace conference on Syria in Geneva next month. Iran, Assad's key regional ally, has yet to be invited to the Geneva conference, spurring some observers to believe Wednesday's conference was a move by Tehran to portray itself as an important player.  Iranian media reported that officials from 40 countries and representatives from regional and international organizations were to take part in the conference.
WORLD
October 24, 2013 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Rome for seven hours Wednesday evening, double-billed as discussions on Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Headed into the meeting , both leaders appeared to agree in their concern that Iran must not be able to develop a nuclear weapon and that diplomatic means were the best way toward achieving this goal.  Welcoming the change of tone and diplomatic opening offered by Iran's new leadership, Kerry stressed that the U.S. will need to know that actions are being taken to make it "crystal clear, undeniably clear, fail-safe to the world" that whatever nuclear program Iran pursues is a peaceful one. These actions, according to Netanyahu, must involve complete dismantling of Iran's uranium-enrichment capabilities and removal of amassed fissile material from the country, as well as halting the country's plutonium track.
WORLD
April 23, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Iran replaced its top prison administrator Wednesday after public protests alleging excessive violence against inmates at a prison that holds inmates detained for political crimes. The semiofficial Fars News Agency reported that Gholam Hosein Esmaeli was removed from his position as director of the nation's penal system and appointed as head of an appeals court  branch in Tehran. Esmaeli told local media that the change was a promotion and was in no way related to last week's disturbances at the capital's Evin Prison.
WORLD
April 6, 2013 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The latest round of international negotiations over Iran's disputed nuclear program concluded Saturday with no sign of progress and the future of the fitful diplomatic effort uncertain. Officials from Iran and the six world powers had "long and intensive discussions" in the two-day session in Kazakhstan, but ended "far apart on the substance," Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign policy chief, said in Almaty. The group didn't schedule another meeting, as they usually have done in the past to show that diplomacy would continue with at least low-level conversations.
OPINION
February 26, 2013 | By Hussein Banai
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been doubling down on his hard-line message that all but rules out the possibility of direct talks with the United States. In the lead-up to the latest round of the so-called six-party talks on Iran's nuclear program, which begin in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, Khamenei enumerated his reasons in a Feb. 16 speech. Calling Western suspicions of Iran's nuclear program "illogical," "disingenuous" and "insulting," Khamenei characterized the latest efforts by the Obama administration to negotiate directly with Iran as "a marketing ploy" designed to convince Islamic countries around the world that if the Islamic Republic, with its long history of resistance and endurance, finally relented and negotiated, then what hope would they have standing up against the West.
WORLD
April 19, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN - Iran has "virtually resolved" its dispute with world powers over a planned nuclear plant that could produce weapon material, the chairman of Iran's nuclear agency told a state news agency. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's nuclear program, told the official Al Alam news channel Saturday that Iran had agreed to redesign the Arak plant, about 150 miles southwest of Tehran, to produce far less plutonium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons. Salehi said the 80% reduction in plutonium production capability at Arak had been "welcomed" by the six countries engaged in talks with Iran about its nuclear program: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
WORLD
April 18, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - President Obama signed into law a bill Friday that will block Iran's new ambassador to the United Nations from entering the United States. The measure is the first substantial bill from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a likely Republican presidential hopeful, to become law. It says the president can deny admission to any diplomat who “has been engaged in terrorist activity against the United States or its allies and may pose a threat to U.S. national security interests.” The bill is aimed at barring the entry of Hamid Aboutalebi, a veteran Iranian envoy who has acknowledged that he served as a part-time translator for Iranian militants during the 1979 U.S. Embassy crisis in Tehran.
WORLD
April 11, 2014 | By Paul Richter and Ramin Mostaghim
WASHINGTON - The White House will block Iran's choice of United Nations ambassador from entering the United States, officials said Friday, stoking new tension between Tehran and Washington as they approach a critical moment in negotiations over Iran's disputed nuclear program. Facing overwhelming bipartisan pressure from Congress, White House officials said Hamid Aboutalebi would not be granted a U.S. visa. The choice of the veteran diplomat set off an outcry in Washington because of his membership in the radical student group that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held U.S. diplomats hostage during Iran's 1979 revolution.
WORLD
April 11, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Protesters at a boisterous rally after Friday prayers demanded that Iran retain its nuclear “rights,” as the public voiced its displeasure with the lack of concrete results from ongoing negotiations with world powers. Echoing earlier comments from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, the protesters vowed that Iran would not shut down its nuclear program or relinquish its uranium enrichment capabilities. “Full nuclear cycle is our inalienable right!” chanted the protesters, who expressed fear that Iran's leadership would cave in to demands from the six world powers to dismantle the nation's nuclear program.
OPINION
April 9, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The United States is irked that Iran has chosen as its representative to the United Nations a diplomat who apparently was involved with a student group that seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The embassy takeover, a violation of international law that led to the 444-day captivity of 52 American hostages, contributed to hostility between the two countries that only recently has begun to abate. But the Obama administration is making a mistake in publicly labeling as "not viable" the posting to the U.N. of Hamid Aboutalebi, an experienced diplomat aligned with Iran's reformist President Hassan Rouhani.
WORLD
April 9, 2014 | By Paul Richter and Ramin Mostaghim
WASHINGTON - Negotiators for Iran and six world powers said Wednesday that they have completed preliminary discussions on Iran's disputed nuclear program and are dashing to finish a long-term comprehensive agreement by July 20. Wrapping up two days of talks in Vienna, the negotiators said they would meet next month to draft a final deal in hope of reaching an accord before the midsummer deadline. The results are hardly assured because the process will entail difficult decisions on a number of contentious issues.
OPINION
December 11, 2009
No one understands the revolutionary potential of students better than old revolutionaries. That's one reason Iranian security forces fought hard with tear gas, batons and arrests this week to put down university protests across the country. Another is that six months after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection, and despite persistent government efforts to quash the unrest, the protests continue. To these students, the leadership that took power three decades ago in a popular uprising against the repressive government of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi is now the repressive establishment.
OPINION
September 20, 2013 | By Ray Takeyh
In an autumn ritual, an Iranian president is once more coming to New York for the United Nations' annual meeting of the heads of state. Media frenzy is likely to follow, as the smiling visage of President Hassan Rouhani dominates the airways next week. Beyond vague pledges of cooperation and lofty rhetoric about turning a new page, the question remains how to assess the intentions of the new Iranian government. The early indications are that Rouhani has put together a seasoned team that seeks to both advance and legitimize Iran's nuclear program.
WORLD
April 8, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Paul Richter
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has told Iran that its nominee for ambassador to the United Nations is “not viable," but the White House did not outline steps it might take to derail the potential appointment. Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said President Obama has serious concerns about Tehran's choice of Hamid Aboutalebi, who has acknowledged that he was a member of the student group that led the 1979 armed takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Carney did not say if what he described as "diplomatic jargon" meant the State Department would refuse to grant a visa to Aboutalebi.
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