Skip navigation

Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

Research: Iran

The Foreign Policy Centre's Iran programme takes an in-depth look at some of the key issues facing Iran, including the development of civil society, human rights, nuclear non-proliferation, Iran's role in global energy security and its engagement in the wider Middle East.

Articles

> FPC Briefing: Constructing Sectarianisms and Conflict in the Middle East

By Dr Simon Mabon.

Dr Simon Mabon explores the geo-political competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, looking at how this struggle impacts on local sectarian tensions in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon.

Download FPC Briefing: Constructing Sectarianisms (450 kilobyte PDF)


> FPC Briefing: The Middle Eastern 'Great Game'

By Dr Simon Mabon.

In this FPC Briefing Dr Simon Mabon explores the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran that has manifested itself in proxy competition in Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Syria. It suggests that while sectarian issues shape the rivalry it is important to consider other factors, namely a legacy of Arab – Persian tensions and geopolitical considerations to fully understand the nature of the rivalry and how this fuels across the Middle East.

Download FPC Briefing: The Middle Eastern 'Great Game' (440 kilobyte PDF)


> FPC Briefing: Bahrain – between Geopolitical and Humanitarian Concerns

By Dr Simon Mabon.

FPC Research Associate Dr Simon Mabon gives the background to the political unrest and human rights abuses that took place in Bahrain around the Arab Spring. The briefing sets out the geo-political competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran that forms the backdrop to recent events and critiques the UK government's relations with Bahrain.

Download Bahrain – between Geopolitical and Humanitarian Concerns (310 kilobyte PDF)


More Articles...

Publications

Show just this publication

> Iran Human Rights Review: Due Process

[Cover of Iran Human Rights Review: Due Process]

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam (Ed.), Tahirih Danesh (Ed.)

February 2017

In this latest issue, the Iran Human Rights Review focuses on due process in the Iranian legal system. The review contains contributions from experienced human rights lawyers, activists and defenders. The Iran Human Rights Review: Due Process focuses on a number of key issues including the legal history of Iran and the current legal system of the Islamic Republic laws, with a particular focus on areas that either are in need of or are open to improvement to provide access to justice and ensure the legal system follows due process. The key arrears for improvement include resolving the tensions between Iran's national codes, its international commitments and its religiously inspired 'qesas' laws, with a particular focus on the use of the death penalty and juvenile executions.

The Iran Human Rights Review: Due Process edition was edited by Tahirih Danesh and Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam. It contains contributions from experienced human rights lawyers, activists and defenders such as the former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed and a number of other experts including Roya Kashefi, Sedigheh Vasmaghi, Shahin Milani, Ladan Boroumand, Kamyar Behrang, Azin Tadjdini, Araz Fanni, Behrouz Javid-Tehrani and Rebin Rahmani. Leading international lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC has kindly provided the foreword.


Show just this publication

> Iran Human Rights Review: Economy

[Cover of Iran Human Rights Review: Economy]

Hossein Rassam (Ed.), Tahirih Danesh (Ed.)

June 2016

In this issue, the Iran Human Rights Review focuses on the relationship between Iran's human rights record and its economy. Activists and experts offer a range of perspectives on issues that impact Iran's economy, in light of the human rights dynamics that place a spotlight on Iran. The Iran Human Rights Review: Economy issue highlights religious and economic freedoms, the environment and child labour among others.

The Iran Human Rights Review: Economy issue is edited by Tahirih Danesh and Hossein Rassam. It contains contributions by: Dr Leila Alikarami, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); Professor Ali Arab, Georgetown University; Azam Bahrami; Kamyar Behrang; Dr. Abdolsattar Dushouki, Baluchestan Research Centre; Marcos Alan Ferreira and Hanna Belle, Federal University of Paraiba - UFPB; Brian Grim, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation; and Solmaz Ikdar; The issue also contains a foreword by Dr. Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of the Global Indicators Group at the World Bank.


Show just this publication

> Iran Human Rights Review: United Nations

[Cover of Iran Human Rights Review: United Nations]

Tahirih Danesh (Ed.), Adam Hug (Ed.)

October 2014

This new edition of the Foreign Policy Centre's Iran Human Rights Review (IHRR) focuses on the relationship between Iran and the United Nations. Academic and civil society experts put forward a range of different perspectives with a particular focus on how the country interacts with UN human rights mechanisms and its commitments under international law. The review looks at issues including the lack of access to Iran for UN Special Rapporteurs, the country's approach to the Universal Periodic Review process, the problems facing the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Islamic Republic Government's approach to questions of international law and practice in the context of the wider Iranian human rights tradition.

The Iran Human Rights Review: United Nations was edited by FPC Senior Research Associate Tahirih Danesh with Adam Hug, FPC Policy Director. Contributors include: Taimoor Aliassi (The Association for Human rights in Kurdistan for Iran-Geneva, KMMK-G), Elahe Amani (Women's Intercultural Network), Ali Ansari (University of St Andrews), Tori Egherman (Arseh Sevom), Hassan Nayeb Hashem (Südwind), Hossein Rassam (Rastah Consulting), Raha Shadan, Pardis Shafafi (University of St Andrews) and Dan Wheatley (Syracuse University).


More Publications...

Past Events

Show just this event

> Iran Human Rights Review: Where now for human rights in Iran?

IHRR

Date: Tuesday 21st February 2017

Time: 6 - 7.30pm

Venue: Committee Room 9, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA

Speakers:

  • Dr Ahmed Shaheed, former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran and current UN SR on Freedom of Religion or Belief
  • Mehrangiz Kar, Iranian Lawyer and Chairperson of the Siamak Pourzand Foundation
  • Tahirih Danesh, Chief Editor, Iran Human Rights Review
  • Roya Kashefi-Ladjevardi, Head of Human Rights - Association des Chercheurs Iraniens

Chair: Rt Hon. Ann Clwyd MP, Chair of the Human Rights APPG

This event will take place as Iran looks ahead to a Presidential election in May 2017, where even the challenging human rights situation under the Rouhani Presidency is at risk of deteriorating further under growing pressure from hardliners. It will explore the current culture of human rights in Iran and attempts by sections of the regime to position personal freedoms as threats to Iran's security. The seminar will focus on the themes of the three latest editions of the FPC's Iran Human Rights Review: the human rights impact of the economy as sanctions are slowly lifted; issues of women and human rights; and the upcoming edition on due process (due to launch in early 2017).

Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk providing your name and any affiliation.

Download IHRR event February 21 2016 (210 kilobyte PDF)


Show just this event

> Human Rights in Iran: taking stock on the 5th anniversary of the 'Green Movement'

Date: Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Time: 6.00pm-7.30pm

Venue: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Room, Houses of Parliament

Speakers:

  • Prof Payam Akhavan, Associate Professor of International Law, McGill University
  • Shadi Sadr, Founder, Justice for Iran
  • Nazenin Ansari, Diplomatic Editor, Kayhan London
  • Dr Hadi Enayat, Visiting Lecturer, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (Aga Khan University)
  • Roya Kashefi, Head of the Human Rights Committee, Association of Iranian Researchers (ACI)

Chair: Jeremy Corbyn MP

June 2014 marks the fifth anniversary of the 2009 post-election uprising and the birth of the 'Green Movement' civil society phenomenon in Iran. The events of 2009 served as a meeting point for the pre-revolutionary generation of experts and activists and their post-revolutionary counterparts who are often young, tech savvy and post-ideological. However since the post-election protests were forcefully put down, both generations of activists have faced increased pressure from the security services who have tried to halt the increasing numbers of grassroots activists, networks and organisations that are working on human rights in Iran.

This seminar event will use as the basis for discussion the Foreign Policy Centre's Iran Human Rights Review project that aims to serve as a platform for the voices of both established and emerging figures involved in Iranian human rights research and activism. The event will particularly focus on the findings of the January 2014 Violence edition and the upcoming IHRR editions on the role of the UN and the concept of justice. The discussion will also touch on the findings of three previous editions on Youth, Access to Information and Religion. The panel of experts comprises some of the key contributors to these editions.

The event is free and open to all.

Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk

Download Human Rights in Iran event (210 kilobyte PDF)


Show just this event

> Satellite Jamming in Iran: A War Over Airwaves

Date: Tuesday 20th November 2012

Time: 6.00-7.30pm

Venue: Committee Room 8, House of Commons

This Foreign Policy Centre and Small Media event will launch and discuss the key findings of Small Media's new report "Satellite Jamming in Iran: A War Over Airwaves". Satellite jamming is a problematic reality in Iran. Satellite television provides one of the few access points to information and entertainment for Iranians that is not regulated by the authorities; however, for the Iranian government these channels are 'proof' of the West's engagement in a soft war against their rule. Satellite jamming is a key point of contention, not only between Iran and international broadcasting authorities, but also within Iran's ruling establishment. This event will bring together the voices of key players who are enmeshed in the war over the airwaves to present an overview of the situation and provide a valuable series of recommendations.

Speakers:

  • Mahmood Enayat, Founder, Small Media
  • Sadeq Saba, Head of BBC Persian
  • Tahirih Danesh, Senior Research Associate, Foreign Policy Centre
  • Mahmoud Tadjallimehr

Chair: Ben Wallace MP, Co-Chair All-Party Parliamentary Group on Iran

The event is free and open to all. The report will be available in hard copy and on USB sticks for attendees.

Please contact events@fpc.org.uk to RSVP for this event

Download Satellite Jamming in Iran: A War Over Airwaves event invite (130 kilobyte PDF)


More Past Events...